For immediate release: Monday, May 7, 2018, 3pm PT
Ayse Gursoz, Rainforest Action Network, (650)391-6443, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nationwide Rallies Against JPMorgan
National Day of Action in 16 US cities. Ten arrested. More arrests under way. Two bank branches shut down.
For high resolution photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rainforestactionnetwork/
SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 2018 –– A large coalition of activists and community leaders rallied across 15 US cities for #ShutDownChase, a national day of action holding top US funder of extreme fossil fuels, JPMorgan Chase, accountable for its financing practices. CEO Jamie Dimon has claimed to support the Paris Agreement, yet his bank ramped up its funding for the worst fossil fuels in 2017, and in the process, financed projects and companies that threaten Indigenous rights and culture.
“As the biggest financier of extreme fossil fuels on Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase is putting the Paris Agreement goal of a ‘1.5 degree world’ further out of reach every month,” said Tess Geyer, Senior Climate and Energy Organizer at Rainforest Action Network. “We’re telling them: no more profiting off climate chaos and Indigenous rights abuses. They need to get out of tar sands, coal and other extreme fossil fuels now.”
Demonstrations spanning from New York to California sprung up outside Chase branches and city halls throughout the day, one week ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting in Plano Texas, scheduled for May 15. In Seattle, four Native American “tarpees” were constructed, shutting down the street outside Chase bank. Ten people were arrested.
“We’ve come together in Los Angeles to call upon our city to do better, to be a true leader in the movement towards a sustainable world,” said Madeline Merritt of Divest LA, an organizer for the action in Los Angeles. “We were able to successfully lead the city to divest from Wells Fargo, and now are committed to drawing national attention to JP Morgan Chase for its ongoing crimes against people and planet, and its callous financing of extreme fossil fuel projects. We are here to Shut Down Chase and any other immoral financial institutions that put short term profits over our precious lands, waters and our future generations.”
In the face of the Trump administration’s full-blown climate denialism, the public is tying the climate, environmental, and human rights impacts of fossil fuels to the financial institutions backing the sector. One of the Paris Agreement’s three objectives is “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” As laid out in Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2018, this means banks must end their support for extreme fossil fuels and cease financing further expansion of any fossil fuels.