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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Peninsula | U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice
Marchers Hit Up 8 Banks Funding DAPL in Palo Alto
Rocking Palo Alto's downtown shopping and banking hub, protestors took the message "Defund DAPL" to eight banks that help fund the Dakota Access Pipeline today.
Hundreds of marchers -- loud and strong -- took their Rolling March and Rally through downtown Palo Alto on February 11. They hit up eight banks that are responsible for helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. Things got started at noon in front of City Hall with a rally featuring indigenous speakers Dr. Maria Michael, Hartman Deetz, and Delphine Red Shirt amongst others. Brave Valve Turner Michael Foster helped round out the program of speeches, prayers and chants. (Five people in four states who shut the valves on pipelines carrying tar sands oil have become known as "The Valve Turners"). A member of Palo Alto's city council also spoke briefly.
California's giant public pension funds - California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) - own a major chunk of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline. The board of CalPERS is voting at a public meeting on February 13th on whether to support a plan to divest from DAPL. Currently, they plan to oppose divestment. Petitions calling on CalPERS to divest passed hand to hand during the rally, everyone eager to sign.
Immediately following the opening rally marchers made their way to Citibank on University Avenue, then took their protest to Morgan Stanley and Comerica Banks in an area full of shoppers. The message of demonstrators taking their cause to the streets filled downtown. Bank of America's financial center was next after Union Bank on the "hit list". Marchers also rallied in front of HSBC, Wells Fargo, and Chase banks before a closing rally back at City Hall. To the end demonstrators cried out "Mni Wiconi - Water is Life!"
Dr. Maria D. Michael created sacred space. She led indigenous prayer.
Lead rally organizer Mel Liu, ever tireless, on the right.