Solidarity Protesters Lock Down At TD Head Office Over DAPL

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Above photo: From the Facebook page of Syed Hussan.

14884710_10100467894324012_3214314185166520504_oToronto, Canada, Nov. 25, 4:30pm – EST – Three protesters locked their necks to railings inside TD Head office today as native land protectors and allies rallied and drummed outside the bank. Anglican ministers Maggie Helwig and Andrea Budgey, and activist Taylor Flook asked to speak with Bob Dorrance, Chairman, CEO and President of TD Securities asking why he had not yet made a statement condemning the attacks on peaceful land defenders occupying their treaty territory in North Dakota.

Protesters are targeting TD in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, where thousands of land defenders are blocking construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). TD Securities, a subsidiary of TD, has been targeted by protests in recent weeks after the bank was identified as one of the largest funders of the controversial pipeline.

TD subsidiary TD Securities is one of the seventeen banks that has provided project-level loans to Dakota Access LLC. It has the seventh largest commitment ($360 million) out of these seventeen banks. TD Securities is also financing Sunoco Logistics, a member of the Energy Transfer corporate family, and two of its companies (Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners) partly own the joint venture of Dakota Access LLC.”

“By remaining silent on this issue, TD is complicit in these attacks on innocent people. We came here to clarify if these acts of violence are seen as acceptable by the people who work and bank at TD,” said Taylor Flook, one of the activists who locked their neck down.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple declared of a State of Emergency in response to protests, enabling law enforcement from six other states to be called in to Standing Rock. Elders and children, alongside many others, have been bitten by DAPL private security attack dogs, pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and beaten by police. Often elders are arrested while in ceremonial dress and actively praying. Last week, 142 people were arrested at Standing Rock. Almost all were given felony charges. On November 2, water protectors were shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed as they defended a burial ground and sacred site for the Standing Rock Sioux.

The DAPL will carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. It would cross 200 waterways, including under the Missouri River, upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota (which draws its drinking water from that river). Water protectors have gathered in opposition to this pipeline since August 15, and representatives of 200 native nations have been amongst the thousands who have camped to support the defenders.

“While our Indigenous elders, brothers, sisters and children stand at the banks of the Cannonball River protecting the water and sacred lands under the ever present threat and inflictions of violence, we stand here today looking for answers and a statement as to why TD would allow such violence and destruction to happen to peaceful unarmed individuals,” explained Sue Lynn Manone. “Water is a right, so we will fight. Water is life, so we have to fight.”

Indigenous resistance to pipelines is not unique to North Dakota. Just today, the offices of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett’s offices were occupied in solidarity with First Nations, such as the Tsleil-Waituth First Nation, that are opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Later this month, Chippewas of the Thames First Nations is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the legal right of Indigenous Peoples to be consulted on energy projects such as Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, which runs from Sarnia to Montreal.

6:25pm – EST – Two of the women were arrested by Toronto Police. A solidarity demonstration continues outside the bank.

10:30pm – EST – The two brave arrestees have been released on bail from 51 Division of the Toronto Police Services.

Call TD Securities and tell them to STOP FUNDING DAPL
US: 212-827-7000. Canada: (416) 307-8500
More ways to contact TD Securities: Click here for information

  • Jon

    Remember Shamar Thomas who, in his army sergeant’s uniform stood down the police who were attacking the Occupy people? He said “There is no honor in what you are doing! Why are you doing this?” and the officers temporarily stood down. Time to raise that same slogan,over and over to those who attack peaceful water protectors.