Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is having an impact, even on the mainstream financial sector.
Give Steven Heim and Boston Common Asset Management part of the credit.
Heim is not a name you will recognize, but he is an important behind-the-scenes player. He works for the Boston Common Asset Management, a company committed to the “global commons” and “dedicated to the pursuit of financial return and social change…”
According to Tim Brennan, Treasurer and CFO of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), a community opposed to the pipeline, Heim “has been a leader in getting investors organized around DAPL.”
Here is the background on how Heim and Boston Common have been working to stop DAPL, and other updates from the financial sector. Continue reading →
More than 100 people braved a cold evening to hold a vigil Tuesday night for a young water protector who sustained a serious arm injury, the result of ongoing excessive force used against those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sophia Wilansky, 21 of New York, was carrying water to unarmed people on the front lines when she was struck by a concussion grenade, according to a report in Indian Country Today. She had to be airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where she underwent a lengthy operation to save her badly damaged arm.
The Indian Country Today story included a statement by Wilansky’s father:
Both her radial and ulnar artery were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well. All of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown away. The police did not do this by accident—it was an intentional act of throwing it directly at her. …
I died a thousand deaths today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now alien arm and hand.”
Public pressure on banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline appears to be paying off.
Norway’s largest bank, one of 38 financial institutions providing loans for the project, announced it is conducting its own objective investigation into the treatment of the Standing Rock Sioux and whether their rights are being violated, according to an article in Yes! magazine. Continue reading →
Those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline are opening a new front in efforts to stop the project: They are following the money.
Pipeline opponents are putting the public spotlight on the many financial institutions funding the pipeline. A recent article in Yes! Magazine headlined: “A Strategy to Stop the Funding Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline” suggests nonviolent civil disobedience to highlight the disconnect between banks public stance on green energy and their financial backing of the pipeline.
An analysis by Food & Water Watch shows a combined 38 financial institutions have provided a $10-billion-plus credit line to companies working on the Dakota Access Pipeline, the article says. The financial institutions include Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, UBS, and Morgan Stanley. According to the article:
Many of these banks may be vulnerable to pressure. For one thing, they’re eager to appear green: Bank of America, for instance, recently announced plans to make all its bank branches “carbon-neutral” by 2020. Which is nice — solar panels on the roof of the drive-thru tellers are better than no solar panels. But as [Rainforest Action Network’s Amanda] Starbuck said, it’s basically meaningless stacked up against Bank of America’s lending portfolio, chock full of loans to develop “extreme fossil fuels, which are simply incompatible with a climate-stable world.”
One major loan for the Dakota Access Pipeline hinges on the project getting key government permits, a point of vulnerability given the federal government’s recent action which increased environmental reviews.
Yes! Magazine provided contact names for leaders of 17 of the banks so people can write letters. Also, protests at banks have sprung up across the country from Long Beach to the Bronx, the article says.
For more pipeline updates and a summary of the Treaty of Old Crossings, signed on this day in 1863, read on.