Minneapolis, MN – In single digit weather, a dozen or so water protectors disrupted the grand opening of a new Wells Fargo bank in uptown Minneapolis on the morning of December 12th, demanding Wells Fargo divest from funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 12, 2016
Two of the three doors to the bank were locked with bike locks as demonstrators held signs that read “Divest from DAPL” and “Wells Fargo Funds Genocide“.
After about forty five minutes, police arrived and spoke with a liaison from the group. The fire department arrived shortly thereafter to cut the bike locks off the doors. The group of demonstrators spoke with employees and patrons of the bank in the parking lot entrance way about the importance of divesting from funding the Dakota Access Pipeline and passed out flyers.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 12, 2016
No arrests were made and it was not determined who had put the locks on the doors.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 12, 2016
This is the fourth public direct action targeting Wells Fargo since the beginning of the Global Month for #NoDAPL Action. The first three demonstrations were consecutive actions that occurred on December 1st (click for full report), starting with a lock-down at Wells Fargo’s corporate office in which employees got physical with the demonstrators, as seen in video below.
Beyond the direct actions that have targeted the banks and offices of Wells Fargo, politicians in Minneapolis are also organizing against their DAPL funding. Last week, a motion to “stop doing business with financial institutions that invest in the fossil fuel industry and in projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline”, was brought forth by City Council members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon as they seek to cut the city’s ties to it’s partnerships with Wells Fargo. They asked that city staff create new options to put on the table for financial services for the city by July 2017.
The group of water protectors the December 12th demonstration called themselves “concerned Minnesotans” and said they targeted Wells Fargo as an “answer to a call from Native leaders, part of a national effort throughout December, designed to convince the banks to cut off funding for the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Here is their statement:
“Minnesotans Close Wells Fargo Uptown Branch Grand Opening to Demand it Stop Bankrolling the Dakota Access Pipeline
#DivestFromDAPL Wells Fargo Action
Monday, Dec 12, 2016, 10AM-11AM
Wells Fargo Branch at the Corner of W. Lake St. & Humbolt Ave. S.
On Monday, December 12, a dozen concerned Minnesotans will close down a new Wells Fargo branch building in Uptown Minneapolis on the day of its grand opening.
As police actions escalate to human rights abuses against thousands of Native Americans and allies gathered to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Wells Fargo and other major banks like US Bank continue financing the companies that are building the pipeline: Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics, and Enbridge Energy.
Today’s action is taking place in answer to a call from Native leaders, part of a national effort throughout December, designed to convince the banks to cut off funding for the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline. Action participants will encourage bank customers to withdraw their money from Wells Fargo and announce the newly opened bank branch is “closed for business.” Despite the recent announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the final drilling permit for the pipeline’s completion, Energy Transfer Partners continue to move forward with construction in a flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked oil pipeline currently under construction from North Dakota to Illinois. The segment of DAPL planned to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at Standing Rock will disturb sacred burial grounds and tunnel underneath the Missouri River. The water protectors at Standing Rock are peacefully attempting to stop the pipeline. Police attacks on the water protectors with concussion grenades and water cannons in sub-freezing weather violate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Wells Fargo has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment in the Dakota Access pipeline. Recently, Wells Fargo committed in writing to meet with tribal leadership from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation after similar public pressure at one of its Minneapolis branch locations on December 1. However, to date the company has not taken any meaningful public actions to follow through on its promise to meet with Native leaders or to divest from the pipeline. Public pressure events like today’s bank closure will continue until Wells Fargo publicly demonstrates meaningful action to address these abuses.“
Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, including actions during the Global Month of #NoDAPL Action. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information.
Our report from September has detailed information about the funders of the Dakota Access Pipeline and financial reports. (As of November 21st, Sunoco Logistics has bought out Energy Transfer Partners.) Below is an image from Food & Water Watch detailing specific banks‘ involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
To help our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the "Toxic Tour," Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple's email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People's Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, "No More Stolen Sisters" Demonstration Blockades DAPL Man Camp; 25+ Arrests
- November 16, Despite Army Corps Statement, DAPL Moves Horizontal Drill to Missouri River Crossing
- November 17, Demonstration in Bismarck-Mandan, Cass County Deputies Beat Man Bloody
- November 20, Police Attack Unarmed Water Protectors w/ Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons; 300+ injured
- November 21, Land Defense & Water Protection Actions Ripple Across Turtle Island
- November 22, Hundreds Target U.S. Army Corps Building in St. Paul w #NoDAPL Message
- November 22, Anonymous DDOS Munitions Vendor After Sheriffs Attack #NoDAPL
- November 22, #NoDAPL Water Protector Faces Possible Loss Of Her Arm After Police Attack
- November 24, Water Protectors Bridge onto Turtle Island; Mandan Thanksgiving Street Feast
- November 25, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Intent to Close Oceti Sakowin #NoDAPL Camp
- November 29, Excessive Force Lawsuit Filed Against Morton County Sheriff for November 20 Bridge Assault
- December 1, Direct Action Continues To Disrupt Dakota Access Pipeline Construction in Iowa
- December 3, Divest from DAPL; Three Wells Fargo Locations Targeted in Minneapolis, Eight People Locked Down and Two Arrested
- December 4, Army Corps Denies Dakota Access Pipeline Easement
- December 8, Veterans Apologize for Genocide & March to Backwater Bridge in Blizzard
- December 8, Nebraska Supplied State Troopers, Surveillance Aircraft to North Dakota Under EMAC
- December 12, #DivestFromDAPL Action Disrupts Wells Fargo Branch Grand Opening, Doors Secured with Bike Locks
- December 19, First Water Protector Trials Set for January as Another ND Pipeline Leaks