Water Protectors Paint Mural in Protest of Wells Fargo

Water Protectors outside Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco’s financial district. Native News Online photos by Arthur Jacobs

Published February 25, 2018

As Wells Fargo Makes New Investments in the Keystone XL Pipeline, Idle No More SF Bay and Indigenous Environmental Networks and other Climate Justice Groups Urge the Bank to Divest from Pipeline Companies.

SAN FRANCISCO – On Saturday, over a hundred concerned citizens, activists, and Water Protectors participated in a nonviolent direct action led by Indigenous leaders and activists. The action took place in front of the Wells Fargo in the Financial District of San Francisco. During the action, the intersection of Montgomery St. and California St. was blocked and activists painted a giant mural to protest the bank’s ties to TransCanada, the company proposing to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. The action’s organizers were also protesting a Wells Fargo grant program for Native communities.

Water Protectors blocked the street in front of Wells Fargo.

On November 29th 2017, Wells Fargo announced a new grant program that would provide $50 million over the next five years to help address the economic, social, and environmental needs of American Indian/Alaska Native communities. At the same time, Wells Fargo agreed to extend two credit facilities totaling $1.5 billion for Canadian oil corporation, TransCanada, to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL)  has been a contentious issue for Indigenous communities both in the United States and in Canada. For nearly a decade, Indigenous community leaders and activists have fought the KXL project, and in November 2015 activists were victorious in stopping the project.

However, since the inauguration of President Trump, the pipeline has been revitalized. But so has the movement to stop the pipeline. By urging and putting pressure on the the pipeline’s investors, Indigenous leaders and activists hope that another victory can be won.

Water Protectors painted a mural in front of Wells Fargo.

Photo by Anesti Vega

Arthur Jacobs contributed to this story from San Francisco.

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