Thursday, October 27, 2016
Four arrested at TD Bank New Jersey Headquarters as activists protest TD Bank’s Support for Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Shortly before noon, activists with Food & Water Watch, NJ Industrial Union Council and the Green Party of NJ entered the corporate headquarters of TD Bank in Mount Laurel for a demonstration calling on CEO Mike Pedersen to withdraw the bank’s financial support of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Activists were arrested as they sat in prayer for the hundreds of tribes and thousands of water protectors who have been resisting pipeline construction.
The $3.8 billion, 1,100 mile Dakota Access Pipeline would send 570,000 barrels of fracked oil per day from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. The risk of a pipeline spill into the Missouri River threatens the drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux and 8 million people living downstream.
“Not only does this pipeline break the sacred laws of nature, by backing the project without the prior and informed consent of the Sioux Nation, TD Bank violates it’s own code of corporate responsibility, and the US Government breaks federal law. The land where the Dakota Access Pipeline would cut under the Missouri River is Lakotah land, belonging to the Great Sioux Nation as stipulated by Article VI of the U. S. Constitution.” - Dr. Margo Simmons, Cherokee/Shawnee/Lakotah/African-American and Green Party of NJ Member.
For months now, a national spotlight has been shining on the aggressive response from law enforcement and their treatment of largely Native American peaceful protesters at Standing Rock. On September 3rd The Standing Rock Sioux Nation identified a location near Cannonball, North Dakota as a recently discovered ancient burial site and made a court filing with the US Government to protect it on September 3. Within hours, employees of Energy Transfer Partners showed up – flanked by private security and guard dogs – and bulldozed the site. As peaceful water protectors gathered at the site, attack dogs were unleashed, injuring six, and an additional 30 protesters, including children, were sprayed with pepper spray. In all, more than 260 people have reportedly been arrested since the protests began in Morton County — over 100 this weekend alone.
“We are here to show our respect for indigenous rights, both human as well as the rights of land and water. We denounce the actions of TD Bank and others who continue to fund the pipeline because it is not only unnecessary, but an insult to our humanity.” Carol Gay, President, NJ Industrial Union Council
In August, TD Bank signed on to a $2.5 billion loan to fund the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Since less than half of this money has been distributed so far, TD and other banks still have time to cut the line of credit for the project.
By continuing to fund DAPL, TD Bank is putting their own profits before the safety and well-being of millions of people.
Today's action targeting TD Bank was done in solidarity with the hundreds of tribes and thousands of water protectors taking peaceful, non-violent direct action to stop the Dakota Access pipeline.
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