Ignoring the existential threat of climate change and the rights of indigenous people, big banks continue to aggressively fund fossil fuel infrastructure. On Saturday, around 50 people gathered outside TD Bank on Westminster Street in downtown Providence to protest the bank’s financing of the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline that Enbridge Energy is trying to build across indigenous Anishinaabe territory in the State of Minnesota. TD Bank is the largest investor in this pipeline, which is currently under construction but is facing indigenous led resistance from groups such as the Giniw Collective, who have been carrying out direct actions to halt construction of the project.
Organized by the Fang Collective, Saturday’s protest in Providence is the first in a series of weekly demonstrations targeting the banks that fund the pipeline. The next action will take place outside the downtown Providence branch of Bank of America on Friday, March 19 from 3-5pm.
The Fang Collective writes:
“If constructed, this 1,031-mile-long pipeline will ensure that life will become unlivable; for the many Indigenous peoples there it invokes a cultural genocide. Running from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, the Line 3 Pipeline would cross Ojibwe territory, whose federal land treaties this project directly violates, and the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabe, Dakota, Odawa, Iowa, Ponca, Omaha, Sauk, Fox, Ho Chunk, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Not to mention Line 3 would have a carbon equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants and risk over 200 bodies of water. Remember, pipelines always break. Plus, the people running this pipeline “relocation” project (really, it’s an expansion project) are from the Canadian Corporation Enbridge Energy. The same group responsible for the largest inland oil spill in United States history. You can read more about this pipeline project at StopLine3.org.
“Enbridge also has an impact here in Rhode Island. In 2016 Enbridge bought out Spectra Energy, which operates a massive fracked-gas pipeline that cuts across the Northeast. The pipeline has a compressor station in Burrillville which spews toxins onto that community.”
The protest outside TD Bank ran for just under two hours, and mask wearing asocial distancing guidelines were followed.