Environmental activists with Extinction Rebellion marched into Chase Bank in the Columbia Heights area of Washington DC Saturday morning to demand they halt funding for the Line 3 pipeline.
The group brought a large fake pipeline prop designed to look like a snake.
After a bank employee called police, the group went outside. In total, they spent about five minutes inside. There were no arrests.
“Tar sands kill, and pipelines will spill, so we’re gonna leave Chase Bank a little message.”
After leaving the bank lobby, the activists set up police-line style tape labelled “climate emergency” and poured black liquid on the sidewalk to simulate an oil spill.
“We are here today to demand that Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and other financial institutions immediately stop funding the Line 3 Pipeline. So we took the message directly to them,” organizer Jesse Bogdan with Extinction Rebellion DC told News2Share. “The symbolism of the snake pipeline is in solidarity with indigenous water protectors and indigenous activists who are fighting against this Line 3 Pipeline right now in Minnesota. This black snake symbolizes the poison that it’s bringing to their land.”
“We spilled oil in front of Chase Bank to show that by investing in the pipeline they are irrevocably harming our planet and leaving damage that will never go away.”
Bogdan clarified to News2Share that the “oil” was a solution of corn starch, water, and food dye.
“We are in a climate emergency. Mass extinction is happening now. People are suffering and dying. The climate crisis risks triggering social collapse. And these criminal banks are funding all of this. They are funding climate chaos and social collapse,” a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion added in a press release following the event.
“If completed, Line 3 will pollute and destroy pristine wetlands, Anishinaabe territories, the Mississippi riverhead, and the coast of Lake Superior, and will intensify the climate breakdown that threatens societal collapse around the world,” the statement said. “Enbridge forges ahead with the pipeline expansion even though it violates indigenous people’s treaty rights.”
Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank, provide billions of dollars to Enbridge to build Line 3, which is expected to transport oil from Canada into the United States.