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October 31, 2016

Contact: Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161, [laurel@ran.org]

Bay Area residents demand end to bank’s financing of controversial North Dakota Pipeline in daring protest.

Photos Available Here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskKZW7ZG

San Francisco, CA – This morning, a dozen people were arrested in a daring occupation of the Citigroup Center lobby in San Francisco’s Financial District. The protesters demanded that Citibank, one of the largest funders of the Dakota Access Pipeline, stop financing the highly destructive project. The action comes in direct response to the crackdown by North Dakota law enforcement of protest camps blocking the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline where 141 were violently arrested on Thursday.

“We are determined to prevent the pursuit of extreme energy from destroying our communities, natural systems and climate, therefore confrontational protests like the water protector camps are necessary actions for change,” said Corazon Amada of Diablo Rising Tide, at today’s action. “We stand in solidarity with those who stand up for us all.”

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The Dakota Access Pipeline has made international headlines in the past month as thousands have gathered in encampments along the Missouri River to block construction of the 1,100 mile-long pipeline. The pipeline would carry fracked-oil from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota through 4 states to Patoka, IL for dispersal to several different pipeline systems for eventual refining and overseas export. The effort has reported over different 100 tribes represented at the camps. The pipeline threatens the Missouri River, an important source of water for the Standing Rock Sioux.

“I am here today because Indigenous friends and allies in North Dakota are literally risking life and limb to stop this pipeline,” said Christy Tennery-Spalding of Diablo Rising Tide while risking arrest at today’s action. “Oil companies and banks like Citigroup do not care about clean water and clean air of impacted communities. These companies only motivation is profit and we’re here today to say, ‘NO MORE!’”

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Citigroup is a lead arranger and lender to the project. In August, the bank arranged for a $2.5 billion loan to the collection of oil companies building the pipeline. Along with Citigroup, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank, and TD Securities are major lenders of the project. Currently, Dakota Access can only withdraw $1.1 billion from these lenders until certain government permits are issued.

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