An Open Letter to the Banks of the World from one of my American Friends

I know that many people around the world have something to say about the new President of the United States of America. So many issues have been raised. One of my friends, Stephanie Ferguson, whom I met when we both lived in Sunninghill – and we regularly had lunch together – brought this particular matter to my attention so I offered her my blog as a platform to share. I hope you will help get the word out there! 

Donald Trump.

I would like to point out that while 63 million Americans voted for him, 73.6 million of us voted for someone else. And in a cruel irony, the Electoral College, an institution designed to keep people like Trump out of the White House, put him into it.

Trump hasn’t wasted any time making many odious changes, but the one I’m writing about today concerns the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’m not sure how much y’all have heard about it, but here’s an overview. The pipeline will carry crude oil 1200 miles underground from the oil fields in northwestern North Dakota to southern Illinois. The original route would have tunneled under the water supply for Bismarck, North Dakota, but residents there didn’t want the risk to their water supply. So it was moved south of the city, and under the water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

I’m not sure y’all know how nasty the United States has been to the Native Americans over the years, but it’s been bad. We’ve killed hundreds of thousands of them, and broken every treaty we’ve ever made with them, and most of us think it’s time to stop. In December, thousands of US military veterans and donations from tens of thousands of Americans, arrived at Standing Rock to reinforce the Native Americans who had been protesting, and sometimes suffering violence at the hands of private security forces and sheriff’s deputies, for months.
Finally, the US Army Corps of Engineers called a halt to construction pending an environmental impact statement that would explore alternate routes for the pipeline. And now Trump has issued an executive order to speed the construction of the pipeline.

I’m not sure just how much weight this executive order carries, or if this order (or any of Trump’s several orders so far) can even do what he wants them to do, under the rules laid out by our Constitution. But it’s clear that the DAPL has a friendly administration in place; after all, Trump used to own stock in the company overseeing construction of the pipeline, and may still, given his refusal to open up his financial records to scrutiny. So, if we can’t stop Trump, we have to take another tack.

We need to divest in all the banks who are funding this pipeline. And Vicky has graciously given me this platform to talk to you, because not all of these banks are American. I haven’t googled all the banks, but I know there are British, French, German, and Japanese banks providing funds for the DAPL. These banks use deposits to leverage investment at a 10-1 ratio. So if you take $1,000 out of one of these banks, you deprive it of $10,000 to invest. Not all of their investment goes to petroleum pipelines, of course. But if you withdraw your money from them, and tell them why, they are bound to think twice before they finance another global-warming-increasing, indigenous-people-abusing project.

I’ve included a list of the offending banks at the end of this post, if you are inclined to join the cause. In fact, you can follow our other anti-Trump activities on Twitter at #theresistance. If any of you have the skills to translate my post into languages that reach the patrons of the other banks, I would be very grateful. And so, I’m sure, would the Native Americans who are once again fighting for their survival.

Thank you very sincerely.
Stephanie Ferguson
Ordinary citizen
United States of America

Wells Fargo
BNP Paribas
SunTrust
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Mizuho Bank
Citibank (CitiGroup)
TD Securities
Credit Agricole
Intesa SanPaolo
ING Bank
Natixis
BayernLB
BBVA Securities
DBN Capital
ICBC London
SMBC Nikko Securities
Societe General

Find more info here: http://www.defunddapl.org/contact-the-banks

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