How Global Solidarity Can Help Ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline Is Never Built

by Mary Sweeters

December 8, 2016

Water protectors and Indigenous leaders have called for solidarity actions demanding banks cut funding to the Dakota Access Pipeline. People are answering from around the world.

Supporters ask Citibank and it's customers not to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. San Diego, CA.

Supporters ask Citibank and it's customers not to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. San Diego, CA.

Matthew McGinnis Photography

The last week could mark a turning point for our movements.

After months of resistance and prayers, the Obama Administration and Army Corp of Engineers ceded to one demand of water protectors at Standing Rock: not grant the final permit needed to cross under the Missouri River in order to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.

And before that, on Thursday, December 1, people around the world responded to a call from water protectors for a global day of solidarity.

In dozens of cities supporters closed their accounts in banks lending funds to the pipeline, they delivered letters to bank management, rallied outside, added their voices on social media, and participated in nonviolent direct actions to disrupt business as usual and call attention to the issue.

Pushing the Army Corp to not grant Dakota Access’ permit was a huge win for water protectors; without the camp of resistance that grew since April, the pipeline would have been constructed at Lake Oahe.

But the pipeline could still be built via an alternative route that will likely affect other communities after a new environmental impact statement is completed. And given President-Elect Donald Trump’s support of the project, we’ll have to fight extra hard to ensure that Indigenous rights are upheld and the new environmental assessment is thorough.

Londoners demand the Royal Bank of Scotland cut funding for the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Our current momentum also gives water protectors and allies like you the opportunity to push the banks financing the pipeline even harder to cut its funding.

December 1st was just the beginning of a global month of action — to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline never is built we must demand institutions like Citibank, Wells Fargo and TD Bank cut funding to the pipeline. Find an action near you!

You won’t be alone. People are already showing their solidarity at banks around the world.

Hundreds of people — led by Samí Indigenous leaders — visited Nordea bank offices in Finland (pictured), Denmark and Sweden to demand the company cut funding from DAPL. Tens of thousands have signed a petition to Nordea in the past few days. Samí groups already pushed Norway’s biggest bank to cut funding from the pipeline.

On December 1, Greenpeace volunteers in New York, DC, Chicago, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego visited Citibank branches. Citibank is a major lender to the pipeline and acted as coordinating entity for the other lenders on the project.

Activists in Spain who were on their third day blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline and storage facility took a moment call out Citi in solidarity with Standing Rock. Photo credit: Greenpeace.

Members of the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Save Pechora Committee, and Greenpeace Russia stopped by Citibank in Moscow to deliver a joint letter demanding Citi withdraw their support of the project. Photo: Greenpeace.

Across the United States, water protectors and allies have been engaging in many nonviolent blockades and actions at banks funding the pipeline.

Activists in Spain who were on their third day blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline and storage facility took a moment call out Citi in solidarity with Standing Rock. Photo credit: Greenpeace.

Activists in Spain who were on their third day blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline and storage facility took a moment call out Citi in solidarity with Standing Rock. Photo credit: Greenpeace.

Greenpeace Japan and 350 Japan organized a joint #NoDAPL action to show solidarity with Standing Rock and request meetings with Japanese banks Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ, and SMBC Nikko Securities to discuss withdrawing their funding from the DAPL.

Greenpeace Japan and 350 Japan organized a joint #NoDAPL action to show solidarity with Standing Rock and request meetings with Japanese banks Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ, and SMBC Nikko Securities to discuss withdrawing their funding  from the DAPL.

Actions continue. On Monday, 200 people showed up at TD Bank in Montpelier, Vermont to demand the bank cut funding the pipeline.

Let’s keep the momentum going! Join in solidarity with Standing Rock’s water protectors and stand up the the institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline!

Mary Sweeters

By Mary Sweeters

Mary Sweeters is a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace USA. She works to fight the undue influence of the oil industry in solidarity with communities affected by oil extraction, pollution, and climate change, and to advocate for a just transition to a clean energy economy. She is from Sonoma, California.

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