Another protest against the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in Canada has broken out at the Chase Bank at City Centre on E. State Street. The branch location is closed currently, with the front entrance locked and a police presence. A few protestors gathered in the bank's lobby before the front door was locked, while others are grouped in the foyer.
According to participants in the protest, the Chase location is being targeted because of JP Morgan Chase's general climate conduct, like funding coal mining, fracked oil involvement, etc. The protestors are a mixture of Extinction Rebellion, Ithaca's Sunrise Movement Chapter, and general supporters of climate change reform.
This comes one day after a protest regarding the same issue broke out at the intersection of Cayuga and Green Streets, blocking traffic for several hours. The pipeline is being proposed by TC Energy, which operates the TransCanada Pipeline system that spans throughout the country. Carter and the other protesters are seeking to have government officials across New York State intervene with the project.
Protestors said they aren't sure if the actions will continue into a third day on Friday. Plus, Sunrise Movement member were also protesting at Cornell University over similar issues.
We object to the marriage of @Cornell and the fossil fuel industry! We ask Cornell to divest now for our collective future! #FossilFuelDivestmentDay #twithaca #Ithaca #ClimateChange pic.twitter.com/rrZ4fWd2T4— Sunrise Ithaca (@IthacaSunrise) February 13, 2020
JPMorgan Chase has issued a statement about the protest.
“Across our company, we promote inclusive economic growth and opportunity in communities where we operate, and by 2023 we will invest $1.75 billion towards these efforts," the bank's statement said. "We also work to advance environmental sustainability within our business activities and facilities. We recognize the complexity of climate change issues and actively engage with a diverse set of stakeholders to understand their views. We firmly believe that balancing environmental and social issues with financial considerations is fundamental to sound risk management. We have a significant amount of work underway to further build upon our efforts on climate-related risk and opportunity and we look forward to sharing more later this year.”
The pipeline would supply natural gas across Canada but would cross through land populated by the indigenous Wet’suwet’en people located in British Columbia. The land the controversial pipeline would be on is home to a traditional healing center on the Unist’ot’en territory. It’s also home for numerous natural resources that Wet’suwet’en and neighboring indigenous people rely on for their survival.
Continual protests across the globe have only grown since an incident on Jan. 7, 2019, when Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) forcibly arrested indigenous people on their own land. This came after an injunction was filed against the Wet’suwet’en people by TC Energy. Protester Cheyenne Carter, during the protest on Feb. 12, said this effort is to have government officials across New York State to call out TC Energy for what this pipeline would do to indigenous people.
“People are doing this all over the world,” Carter said then. “We’re hoping that other people in New York will hear our message. So much so that the Mayor and the Governor will write a letter to the pipeline and the Canadian government, telling them they do not agree with what they’re doing. To say that they don’t stand with the pipeline.”