***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
*Photos and interviews available on request
March 1st, 2021
Dozens of concerned citizens target 5 separate Chase branches across the Twin Cities
Twin Cities, MN – Today, in coordination with a rapidly growing national movement opposed to the construction of the Line 3 pipeline in Northern Minnesota, dozens of regional residents have gathered for socially distanced protests with signs and chants at Chase Bank locations throughout the Twin Cities. Over 130 water protectors have now been arrested in dozens of separate actions as part of a robust Indigenous led effort to halt construction of Enbridge’s hotly contested tar sands pipeline expansion project. The largest financier of fossil fuels in the world, Chase Bank has long been a target of climate advocates upset that the Wall Street giant continues to play such an outsized role driving the climate crisis.
Chase is in the process of expanding its presence across the metro area and every branch has faced Line 3 related protests on multiple occasions now.
Joe Meinholz, a community organizer at Minnesota Interfaith power & Light who works toward climate justice with hundreds of congregations, said “Banks are not exempt from our moral imperative to protect a living planet and uphold treaty obligations to Indigenous communities. Our faith traditions compel us today to divest our money and our hearts from death-dealing industries, we hope Chase will join us.”
Organizers of today’s mobilizations include the groups MN350, Sunrise Twin Cities, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Rainforest Action Network, Resource Generation- Minnesota and Spirit Action. Opponents of the Line 3 project cite the violation of Indigenous treaty rights, the destruction of wild rice growing areassacred to local tribes, and the imminent danger inevitable pipeline leaks pose to dozens of wetlands and water crossings, including the Mississippi River.
Line 3 is projected to carry the carbon pollution equivilent of 50 coal fired power plants, making it a nationally and globally significant contributor to the climate crisis. Tar sands oil is known to be one of the most environmentally destructive forms of fossil fuels to produce.
Leah Stillman, a 20 year old student at University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities said “We are a group of University of Minnesota students demanding that Chase Bank divest from Line 3, a tar sands pipeline that violates not only Indigenous treaty rights, but also the right to a safe and just future for all. We’re here to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Land Defenders and Water Protectors, to make it very clear that in order to avoid irreparable socio-ecological consequences, Chase must walk away from Line 3.”