Above Photo: From Upriseri.com
On Thursday activists and organizers with The FANG Collective, the Shame On Citizens campaign and other groups celebrated after learning that Citizens Bank had ended their financing of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). Citizens Bank faced waves of demonstrations last year over their dealings with ETP and their sister company Sunoco Logistics. This included a lock-down action at the Citizens Bank headquarter building in Providence on March 2, 2017 carried out by the FANG Collective. Three people were arrested as part of the action.
ETP is one of the most reckless corporations on the planet. Across the continent they have desecrated waterways and used violence and intimidation to try and silence opposition. ETP must be held accountable for their actions. We need more financial institutions to do what Citizens Bank has done and cut their ties with ETP.
ETP built the highly contentious Dakota Access Pipeline which faced fierce indigenous led resistance at Standing Rock and elsewhere. ETP is also constructing the controversial Mariner East pipeline in Pennsylvania and the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana. The Bayou Bridge pipeline would connect to the Dakota Access system, transporting oil from North Dakota to export terminals in Louisiana.
“There was a call from Standing Rock to pressure banks to divest from financing the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said August Guang from the Shame on Citizens Campaign. Since Citizens Bank is headquartered in Rhode Island, and as settlers who have profited off of the colonization of the indigenous tribes on this land, we felt a responsibility to respond to that call.”
Citizens Bank had contributed $72.5 million to a larger $2.5 billion revolving line of credit to Sunoco Logistics in March 2015. At the time, Energy Transfer Partners partially owned Sunoco Logistics, and in April 2017 the companies fully merged. According to recently released United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings from Energy Transfer Partners, this $2.5 billion revolving line of credit was terminated ahead of schedule in December 2017. The line of credit was replaced by two new loans, which Citizens Bank elected not to contribute to.
In addition to the lock-down action at the Citizens Bank headquarter building, the Shame on Citizens campaign organized public demonstrations at Citizens Bank locations and also recruited community members to publicly close their Citizens accounts. See:
The group #NoDAPL Rhode Island also pressured the Providence City Council to cuts their ties with Citizens.
Around the world, banks that finance ETP have been targeted with direct actions and demonstrations inspired by the surge of resistance at Standing Rock in the fall of 2016. This includes an action at Brown University where FANG members disrupted a recruitment event by Morgan Stanley over their financing of ETP.