On Friday, hundreds of people took over a street in San Francisco outside the head offices of Wells Fargo, a major US bank. Their mission: to paint a huge banner on the tarmac, protesting the bank’s role in funding the climate crisis.
Wells Fargo is the third biggest funder of fossil fuels in the world and has funnelled an astonishing $223.35 billion towards coal, oil and gas in the last five years. It’s also involved in the Line 3 pipeline, currently being built in Minnesota cross the traditional lands of Indigenous communities.
The protestors came together from a diverse range of groups to challenge Wells Fargo. Indigenous, youth, senior, labour and other climate campaigners joined the calls for an urgent change in direction to end fossil fuel financing and halt construction of Line 3. They also demanded a change at the top, calling for the removal of board chair Charles Noski for failure to take serious action on the climate crisis.
Once the mural was complete, the protestors marched to the nearby offices of BlackRock, the largest holder of Wells Fargo shares, to press the case for voting against Noski at the upcoming AGM.
As AGM season approaches, Wells Fargo and other banks will be feeling the pressure to set how and when they will tap off the money for outdated fossil fuels.