“We’re here to rise up and unmask the absurdity that they’re here asking you to trust them with your money, which they will invest in the very fossil fuel projects that will sink our state beneath the rising tides of climate change.“
About 20 members of Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI) gathered on Atwood Avenue in Cranston on Monday to protest yet another Chase Bank location in Rhode island. CARI is trying to drive home the message that Chase:
- Far more than any other bank in the world, funds fossil fuel projects. These are heating the planet, melting the polar ice caps and causing dramatic sea-level rise. This threatens communities, towns and cities across the globe and in Rhode Island in particular.
- Chase Bank has a long history redlining of and discriminating against black, brown, indigenous, and poor communities.
- The U.S. Department of Justice has described Chase lending practices as “intentional and willful with reckless disregard for the rights of African-American and Hispanic borrowers.”
- Chase Bank cares about nothing but the bottom line at the end of the current quarter. It has no commitment to its workers nor the community in which it does its business.
“Climate Action Rhode Island is here today to let the people of Cranston know that the people moving into their city with two new locations is also the worst bank in the world for the climate change that is devastating our environment all around the globe,” said organizer Brian Wilder. “Chase Bank is funding fossil fuel projects worldwide, and they are increasing their funding every year. The scientists are telling us that a catastrophe has begun, yet Chase insists on going for the short term profits at the expense of the rest of us.”
To build their new location, Chase is razing four houses.
“Right now we are in the middle of a severe housing crisis,” said Elaina Scorpio, who also organizes with Tenant Network RI on the issues of homelessness and evictions. “We have a shortage of affordable housing. People cannot pay their rent right now because of the Covid pandemic, through no fault of their own, and we’re looking at a severe shortage of housing.
“To see this during this time of crisis is really upsetting. Beyond being out here as part of CARI to protest Chase as the number funder of fossil fuel projects, we’re also watching the destruction of housing during a time when I am working with people as part of Tenant Network RI who are not able to stay in their homes.”
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“The bank could easily fit in the lot without knocking those houses down,” added Brian Wilder.
The environmental crisis and the housing crisis being represented on a small empty lot in Cranston seems pretty symbolic, said UpriseRI.
“Basically, the rich and the powerful get what they want,” said Scorpio.
“Chase Bank is invading our tiny little state,” said climate activist Jen Long. “We’re here to rise up and unmask the absurdity that they’re here asking you to trust them with your money, which they will invest in the very fossil fuel projects that will sink our state beneath the rising tides of climate change.”