May 6th, 2019 #NoMoreStolenSisters #NoMoreStolenRelatives #DIVEST

The Coalition of Women Water Protectors organized a prayerful action in Hollywood,CA to raise awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives on May 6th. Members collaboratively wrote letters to Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo denouncing their increasing investment in the fossil fuels industries despite the #NODAPL protests. The letter explains that these banks investment in fossil fuel infrastructure is not only accelerating climate chaos, it also endorses the disproportionate abduction, rape, disappearance, and murders of indigenous women, children, and two spirit relatives who are targeted by oil pipeline workers who live in “man camps” near pipeline construction and maintenance sites and indigenous territories. We were successful in delivering the letters to ⅔ bank managers (Chase & Wells Fargo).

It was a surreal experience. To our surprise, we made it into Chase Bank, banner, speaker, and mic included. We addressed employees and customers alike. We urged employees to unionize and demand their employer to divest from fossil fuels. We encouraged customers to divest their money and open accounts with credit unions. Some of them were semi-paying attention and then we addressed them more directly.


When the mic was passed to me, I mentioned that a Harvard researcher had reported in the last two weeks that we don’t even have 11 years to prevent global climate catastrophe-as we had previously thought. We have five years to switch to renewable energy to prevent global temperatures from rising to 2 degrees Celsius and higher. I spoke about how these banks are also invested in private prison corporations and weapons manufacturers. I noted how more employees and customers became attentive, as if they were in fact awakening from the numbness of the normalization of extraction. It felt like a scene out of a dystopic film, where the majority are sleep-walking and a minority are pleading with them, trying a variety of tricks to wake them up.


I thought I had alarmed them a bit and then I heard another’s warning, “When your children are starving because you didn’t do anything to stop climate change, you’ll remember this.” I felt as if I was having an out of body moment because I felt the seriousness of her warning too. I’ve already grappled with whether the environment will be favorable for me to bear children in the future and the thought of more children suffering because of the pacified masses struck me yet again- the past, the present, and an eerie future all at once. I can’t  believe but I must accept: I must address multiple existential threats in a single lifetime. We marched on to Wells Fargo singing prayerfully and chanting “No more stolen sisters!”


By the time we got to Wells Fargo, the manager had stepped outside to inform us the bank was closed for the day. One of our members explained to the manager why we were making visits to the three major banks funding fossil fuel projects and delivering letters to the branch managers. The more he listened, the more visibly stressed he appeared. It seemed like his moral consciousness was awakened and he knew we were right but he didn’t know what to do about it as someone whose livelihood depends on a morally bankrupt institution.


I addressed him, reiterating the 5 year deadline we have to shift to renewable energy. This time, I emphasized the younger generations. “I imagine you have children.” He nodded. “Their future depends on us. If we don’t act now, there won’t be a livable future for them.” His eyes were widened. If I remember correctly, he was slightly trembling. He took the letter and said he would read it and share it. I told him he could share the letter with other Wells Fargo Managers and with his staff. I reiterated that he and other employees could unionize and demand Wells Fargo’s divestment. His facial expression looked like he had seen a ghost. I think he knew he was truly accountable to his child or children’s future and their future had come knocking to the door of his workplace.


Missing and murdered indigenous relatives as collateral damage of the fossil fuel industries that are responsible for mass extinctions of species vital to the planets ecosystems cannot be a topic that is reduced to a single day of awareness. This creative, prayerful intervention is a template for YOU to replicate and take action locally with your group of friends, your neighbors, families, and community members. You can use the letter templates in the links below to print out and creatively deliver them to branches of big banks in your community. Reach out to us if you have any questions on how to organize your own letter deliveries! We are here to support you and to continue building momentum!

In solidarity,

SoCal350 Climate Action 

Bank of America Letter Template

Chase Letter Template

Wells Fargo Letter Template

Here’s a live stream of our action: