On Tuesday, Seattle’s City Hall erupted into cheers and song as the nine City Council members voted unanimously to dump Wells Fargo.
The Stranger reports:
The Seattle City Council has unanimously voted to end the city’s relationship with Wells Fargo over the bank’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), its financing of private prison companies, and a regulatory scandal involving the bank’s creation of two million unauthorized accounts.
Wells Fargo now handles $3 billion in city funds. But when Seattle’s contract expires in 2018, they’re taking their money out and finding a new bank. Matt Remle and other members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were also there. They pushed for this ordinance, and we should forgive them if they indulge in a bit of schadenfreude. After all, as the Indian Country Media Network aptly points out, Wells Fargo preyed on Native Americans, along with elderly people and college students during their fake checking account scam.
The divestment is also a badly needed morale booster for the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies. The vote happened just a few hours after the Army Corps of Engineers told Congress they’re giving Energy Transfer Partners their easement.
As Donald Trump would say, “sad.”
— Chris Stearns (@stearnsseattle) February 7, 2017
The Seattle Times adds:
The bill that passed the City Council Tuesday also expands the use of socially responsible practices as a criterion for selection of contractors for most city contracts. The bill forbids city contractors from engaging in unfair business practices, and excludes any contractor running afoul of the law from bidding for five years.
“It’s going to be a mixed blessing and timely,”Matt Remle, told reporters. City Council member Debora Suarez, a lawyer and member of the Blackfeet Nation added:
“People say, ‘Money Talks. We say, ‘No, it doesn’t. We do.’ ’’
Of course, Wells Fargo VP Tim Brown behaved as though no one could possibly have any reason for ditching his toxic Iron Bank. He insists the ordinance doesn’t change anything.
“The contract remains in force through the end of 2018 and we will continue to support the city, What we are going to do to support them tomorrow is the same we are doing today.”
Because, apparently, Wells Fargo thinks it can only get customers by signing them up for fake checking accounts and then holding them captive.
Yet Debora Juarez says she’s content to wait Brown and his ilk out.
“We [Native Americans] are a patient people. We are not going anywhere. And this is not bigger than us.”
WATCH: Seattle dumps Wells Fargo and makes history.
Seattle is the first U.S. city to divest from Wells Fargo, but they likely won’t be the last. Other cities are already mulling
Here’s a video with jubilant people cheering after the vote was taken.
And here’s the news report from NBC.
Photo: Screen grab of video by Erica Berg via Facebook.
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