THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Outraged Seattle Chase Customers Close Their Bank Accounts

I’m in Seattle today with an amazing crew of activists who have had enough. They are fed up with Chase bank financing environmental destruction and after weeks of protesting at one of the bank’s flagship downtown branches, they today, literally, ‘put their money where there mouths are’. They closed their Chase bank accounts. Bob Spivey a Chase Customer who divested in Chase today said, “I am outraged that I have been supporting a bank that is the largest US funder of mountaintop removal, a process that destroys Mountain tops, local health, safe drinking water, and the entire structure of communities--all for very little net energy gains. Chase facilitated major funding for Arch Coal, which was just denied a water quality permit by the EPA, and for Massey Energy, the company involved in the recent explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine, one of the worst mining disasters in US history.” The “divestors” chose April 15 to make their protest, because it is tax day. And they wanted to make the link between Chase receiving tax breaks, funded by the public, and their socially irresponsible investment that destroys communities. Dominique Trudel, from Seattle SWARM said: “Chase is set to take roughly 1.4 billion dollars in tax breaks this year. Instead of investing the communities whose tax payers have foot the bill for Chase’s tax breaks, Chase has invested in dangerous mining practices like MTR and dangerous mining companies like Massey Energy.” After closing their accounts, the former Chase clients and their supporters rallied outside the branch to educate Chase customers and Seattle citizens about the environmental destruction that Chase is funding.

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