After November 8th, U.S. election drama will dramatically decrease. One forefront issue that won’t subside, however, is the matter of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) being built on territory promised to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in an 1851 treaty.
For months, activists supporting the Native American tribe have been gathered near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to prevent construction of the DAPL from continuing. “Water protectors” claim that the development of the pipeline is likely to result in environmental damage as well as uproot sacred burial ground. Supporters say it will be an economic boon that will result in a decreased dependency on foreign oil.
Though an order was given to halt construction by three federal agencies and by Obama himself, the DAPL construction continues to encroach approximately 17 miles into the 20-mile voluntary exclusion zone. It’s because of this that activists continue to protest, despite being shot with rubber bullets, maced, tased, and even beaten with batons. They’ve made it clear that they are not leaving until the $3.7 billion pipeline is stopped.
If you are one of the individuals in opposition of the DAPL’s development, you might be interested in hearing Susan Sarandon’s latest piece of advice. The outspoken actress – along with celebrities Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, and Shailene Woodley – is one of many well-known individuals advocating for the DAPL’s construction to be halted.
Recently, the star launched an online petition calling on people to tell big banks to stop investing in the company behind the pipeline. Money talks, so to speak, which is why she’s asking for people to transfer their funds to a credit union or to withdraw completely from the banks behind the project, which include the Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Wells Fargo, Chase and CitiBank.
The petition reads:
“The Standing Rock Sioux’s only water source will be endangered by this pipeline. They have put their bodies on the line to stop the construction and defend their water and their way of life. The police brutality in response to their peaceful demonstrations is outrageous, and must not continue.”
Sarandon says the best way activists can protest the DAPL is by pulling their money out of accounts with these banks, make a video of the transaction, and upload it to social media. Ideally, others would be inspired by this form of protest and do the same. Some responses have already been received by representatives of almost every bank. Kelly Sapp, spokeswoman for Bank of America, said in a statement:
“Bank of America is not a lender in the project-level financing and has contributed to Native American communities through various initiatives.”
Further investigation, however, has revealed that the bank is in partnership with Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC. UBS spokesman, Peter Stack, also said the bank is not funding the project. According to Minds, however, SEC documents of UBS reveals an investment partnership with Sunoco in Baker Holdings Company LLC, which has an interest in Dakota Access LLC and to the companies contributing to the construction of the pipeline. At present, HSBC declined to comment, and the other banks did return requests for comment.