Early this morning a group of activists disrupted Morgan Stanley‘s annual shareholder meeting by blocking vehicle access at both entrances to their corporate campus in Purchase, New York. The action was carried out in solidarity with communities across the continent who are being harmed by Morgan Stanley’s continued financing of extreme energy development. This includes providing financing for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the highly controversial Dakota Access, Bayou Bridge and Mariner East Pipelines.
Morgan Stanley is the eighth largest shareholder of ETP and the largest shareholder of ETP’s parent company, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE). In total Morgan Stanley controls over $1.2 billion in shares in ETP and ETE. Morgan Stanley has also loaned money to both ETP and ETE.
At the main entrance of the facility, a group deployed banners, cones and forest debris to block the road. Three people were arrested after refusing to leave the site. The rear entrance was blockaded after a gate was barricaded shut. The action was organized by The FANG Collective, a direct action and community organizing group based in the Northeast.
“Our families in Louisiana are living on the front lines of environmental racism and climate injustice” said Cherri Foytlin, organizer with L’eau Est La Vie camp in Southeast Louisiana that’s resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. “Our entire culture and way of life in the Bayou are now under attack from ETP and their top financiers like Morgan Stanley.”
In 2015 Morgan Stanley agreed to stop financing certain coal mining projects, and they pride themselves on their “sustainability” efforts. Yet they still finance one of the most reckless fossil fuel companies in the world, Energy Transfer Partners.
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Morgan Stanley is also the lead financier of Invenergy, an energy company that is trying to build a series of fracked-gas power plants, including in Burrillville, Rhode Island. Additionally, Morgan Stanley provides funding for other major fossil fuel companies like Dominion and Enbridge, and is the lead financier for a series of LNG facilities proposed for Nova Scotia.
“Morgan Stanley says that they are a socially responsible company, and boasts about their commitment to sustainability,” said Nick Katkevich of The FANG Colleective. “But at the same time they are funding some of the most violent and vicious corporations on the planet. It’s time for Morgan Stanley to back up their words with actions and end their financing of fossil fuel projects.”
The FANG Collective has been in dialogue with the Morgan Stanley for nearly two years. But recently the group disrupted Morgan Stanley recruitment events at college campuses in Rhode Island and Michigan over their financing of ETP.
“By financing Energy Transfer Partners, Morgan Stanley is funding the wholesale destruction of our homes, our environment, and our lives,” said Elise Gerhart, who’s mother is currently in court after ETP seized and clear cut a stand of forest her family’s as been protecting for decades. “There is nothing innovative about the fossil fuel industry, ETP, or any of their pipeline projects- be it Dakota Access, Mariner East, Rover, or Bayou Bridge. Companies like ETP operate not on principles of sustainability, but rather on a foundation of exploitation. Every dollar invested in their business, the business of extracting and polluting, is a dollar spent harming people in the path of these projects.”
Here are videos from Facebook:
3 folks have been arrested blocking Morgan Stanley’s annual shareholder’s meeting. TAKE ACTION: CALL: +1 (212) 761-4000 – Ask for Audrey Choi, Morgan Stanley’s head of sustainability. Tell Morgan Stanley to end their investment in the fossil fuel industry. #StopETP #NoBayouBridge
— FANG (@FangCollective) May 24, 2018
[This report is based heavily on a press release from The FANG Collective]