Protests in Chicago Banks Funding Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Result in Temporary Bank Closures
Chicago, IL– Protesters in Chicago caused disruptions in multiple bank branches Saturday with banners and a bullhorn. They were calling attention to the fact that Bank of America, Citibank and Chase bank are investing billions of dollars in an illegal pipeline, Enbridge’s Line 3, that violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe peoples and if built will worsen the climate crisis.
The protesters were acting in solidarity with Anishinaabe people in so-called Northern Minnesota that are fighting to stop the construction of Line 3 and as part of a larger week of protests called “Defund Line 3: Week of Art Actions.” The week of action is designed to put pressure on funders to not renew Enbridge’s line of credit for the controversial pipeline.
Protesters carried a banner inside the bank branches that read “Stop the Money Pipeline” and had a painting of a pipeline with the words Line 3 on it and the logos of Wells Fargo, MUFG, Bank of America, Citibank and Chase Bank, some of the financiers of the pipeline. They also played a pre-recorded public service announcement for bank employees and customers that was amplified with a bullhorn to interrupt business and to make them aware that the banks were funding the pipeline and all the injustice that comes with it. The Bank of America and Citibank locations shut down for the duration of the protests.
The oIl pipeline is slated to cross 200 bodies of water and threaten manoomin, a wild rice that is an important traditional food source of the Anishinaabe peoples.
The pipeline will carry tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Superior, Wisconsin and connect to other pipelines that bring tar sands to the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, IN.. BP Whiting dumps refuse from tar sands refining into Lake Michigan, Chicago’s source for drinking water. Tar Sands are oil mixed with sand that requires three times as much water and at least 15% more carbon emissions than traditional oil. Line 3 is the greenhouse gas equivalent of 50 new coal plants.
When asked why he decided to disrupt bank business today Barry Feldman responded, “Water is life for the Ojibwe people. The big banks must respect their treaty rights. Stop Line 3! Stop the Money Pipeline now!”
Over 400 people have been arrested in Minnesota for protesting Line 3 construction by using the direct action tactics of walking onto worksites, locking themselves to equipment, and staging tree sits. They are resorting to these tactics because the government has not observed treaty rights or acted to stop the negative impacts to water, land and our climate. For more information about the movement to stop line 3,visit www.stopline3.org.