In a win for Standing Rock, Seattle just moved to dump Wells Fargo. - Grist


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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In a win for Standing Rock, Seattle just moved to dump Wells Fargo.

A Seattle City Council committee voted 8-0 to divest from the bank, which currently manages $3 billion of the city’s money and is a major funder of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Hundreds of demonstrators swarmed outside City Hall before the Wednesday morning hearing and erupted in cheers upon learning the outcome.

The bill, which will go to a vote by the full council on Monday, calls for Seattle to find a more socially responsible bank and prohibits the city from investing in Wells Fargo over the next three years. Wells Fargo holds $120 million in a $2.5 billion credit agreement directly financing the construction of the pipeline. If the bill passes, Seattle will be the first major city to divest over Dakota Access.

On Tuesday, the acting secretary of the Army told two members of Congress that he has ordered approval of a final easement necessary to complete construction of the pipeline.

But the anti-pipeline fight continues on multiple fronts. In cities like Seattle, activists aim to apply financial pressure to Dakota Access’ biggest investors. In North Dakota, #NoDAPL organizer LaDonna Brave Bull Allard asked water protectors and their allies to return — seemingly contradicting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to clear the resistance camps by Jan. 30.