Yesterday, three members of Hands Off Appalachia tried to hand deliver a letter to UBS Americas headquarters in Stamford, CT. UBS’ response? Twelve police officers and the bomb squad!
Do you know what’s even more ridiculous than that? The Stamford 14 were hit with a $16,000 restitution fee for their actions last fall! Help us out and DONATE to our legal defense fund: http://bit.ly/donateHOA
CvC was an initial signer of this important letter. Please read and have your group sign on!
Wells Fargo National Days of Action:
Climate Justice and Fossil Fuel Resistance Sign-on Letter
All injustices are inherently linked. In the 21st century one of the strongest links can be found in the massive financial institutions that fund myriad forms of economic, social and environmental destruction.
In 2013 Wells Fargo became the most profitable bank in America, raking in $21.9 Billion. This money was largely made by taking advantage of working-class people, funding the prison/deportation industrial complex, and from investing in the fossil fuel industry. Wells Fargo is perhaps most notorious for their abusive and criminal housing practices – foreclosing on tens of thousands of people a year and doctoring paperwork to speed up this process.
To call attention to these abuses, Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League have called for National Days of Action against Wells Fargo on April 28-29th. The organizers for this mobilization are asking groups to hit Wells Fargo on all fronts.
Wells Fargo invests heavily in mountaintop removal coal mining, hydraulic fracking, tar sands oil extraction, the construction of new coal plants and other extreme energy projects. These investment practices must end.
Due to Wells Fargo’s support of the fossil fuel industry, and out of an understanding that all forms of injustice must be eradicated; we urge fellow climate justice and fossil fuel resistance groups to join this national action.
We stand in solidarity with all who have been affected negatively by Wells Fargo; and with the communities and populations that have been disproportionately impacted.
We stand with Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League in their call for National Days of Action against Wells Fargo on April 28-29th and pledge to actively participate and support this mobilization. Housing is a human right. Migration is a human right. Clean air and water is a human right.
FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas
Capitalism vs the Climate
More Trees Records
Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air
Fossil Free RI
Energy Action Coalition
Hands Off Appalachia
Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice
Locate, or organize an action: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/foreclose-on-wells-fargo
Sign on: http://bit.ly/1qtvCKz
Capitalism vs. the Climate joined with Hands off Appalachia on November 25th in a series of direct actions targeting mountaintop removal financier UBS in Stamford.
14 demonstrators were arrested. On Monday, December 2nd, the last of them were freed.
This is not the first time that people in Appalachia and Connecticut joined together to protest the coal bosses. In 1988-90, Appalachians went on strike against Pittston coal and traveled to protest the company’s HQ in Greenwich, CT. That strike won crucial health care and retirement benefits for miners in Virginia. Now, we will win in making UBS divest from blowing up mountains.
Here is a sampling of our actions’ sizable media attention:
Between the Lines (radio), “Direct Action Protest Hits Swiss Bank UBS for Role in Financing Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining”
Stamford Advocate (front page), “14 arrested in protest of Stamford based UBS”
Stamford Patch, “UBS protesters cause headache for police in downtown Stamford”
News 12 Connecticut (video), “4 “Hands Off Appalachia” protesters facing charges after protesting UBS by climbing atop crane”
The Struggle (video), “UBS is tearing up Appalachia” (starts at 24:42)
Also, on the 24th, Hands off Appalachia dropped a banner in the middle of UBS’ Thanksgiving parade in Stamford!
CvC’s Dan Fischer writes in Climate Connections:
Climate injustice for sale in Northeast’s carbon trade
By Dan Fischer, 5 November 2013, Special to Climate Connections
With establishment environmentalists’ support, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states wish to update and expand the region’s electricity sector cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI. At quarterly auctions, RGGI sells permits for pollution to electricity companies, banks and other bidders, before letting these parties trade with each other on a pollution market. An update currently being implemented to RGGI’s Model Rule would lower the number of pollution rights sold at these auctions, theoretically reducing the region’s pollution over time. A number of factors, however, make RGGI unlikely to fairly or effectively reduce emissions.RGGI’s update could bring to the region new pollution hotspots in poor and minority communities, increased use of carbon offsets, and a greater reliance on dirty, greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources like biomass and natural gas.
Here are the footnotes that got cut off:
On Saturdays, we will be picketing TD Bank locations around CT in protest of their investments in the Keystone XL pipeline.
Please check here for an updated schedule:
Saturday August 31 at 11 am: 2035 Broad St, Hartford, CT.
Saturday, September 14 at 11 am: 994 Chapel St, New Haven, CT.
Saturday, Sept 21 at 11 am: 911 Washington St, Middletown, CT.
Saturday, November 9 at 11 am: 994 Chapel St, New Haven, CT.
Want to organize a protest at a TD Bank near you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
TD Bank is one of the largest financial backers of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport the carbon-rich and leak-prone tar sands from Alberta. Tar sands spell “game over for the climate” and add 120 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere, according to NASA’s leading scientist James Hansen. Downstream from the extraction in Alberta, indigenous Fort Chipewyan communities experience water contamination, increases in rare cancers and other impacts which Mike Mecredi describes as “slow industrial genocide.” The pipeline threatens homes and ecosystems from Montana to Texas. People like the 78 year old Texan grandmother Eleanor Fairchild have been arrested for “trespassing” on their own land, trying to protect their homes from being destroyed. TD holds 24,391,713 shares in TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline. TD loaned $993 million to the pipeline project between 2007 and 2010.
Move your money and accounts to a local credit union. There are many credit union options in CT, which give back more to our local economy and are democratically controlled by their members. Enter your zip code at asmarterchoice.org to find a credit union close to you.
Four Arrested Protesting UBS Funding of Mountaintop Removal Coal Extraction
Activists call for ethical and sustainable investment in Appalachia
Stamford, CT- This afternoon activists associated with Capitalism vs. the Climate and Hands Off Appalachia participated in a solidarity action at UBS wealth management services in Stamford, Connecticut. The non-violent protest was in opposition to UBS’ funding of the harmful extractive process known as mountaintop removal. Four of the activists, April Scheller of Middletown, Carmen Cordero of Hartford, Nick Katkevich of Voluntown, and Vittorio (Vic) Lancia of Portland, were arrested by the Stamford Police Department for Criminal Trespass and Breach of Peace when UBS executives would not meet with them to discuss the request.
Mountaintop removal (MTR) is an extreme form of coal extraction that uses explosives to remove up to 800 vertical feet of mountaintop to expose underlying coal seams. MTR poisons water supplies, causes cancer and birth defects, devastates local economies, and displaces large segments of Central Appalachian residents. UBS provides investment services to Patriot, Arch and James River Coal Companies. These companies operate mountaintop removal mines in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.
Capitalism vs. the Climate member Vic Lancia said, “I’m beyond appalled at the magnitude of devastation and injustice that is mountaintop removal. In such I see no reverence for life on the planet, no economic or social justice , and no concern for prosperity. What I do see is a massive sacrifice to greed. Apathy amounts to such tyranny. That’s why I’m participating in this action.”
Among the demands articulated in the letter read, “repair the damage UBS has done to Appalachian communities and invest in their future: take advantage of the opportunity to invest in energy efficiency in the region; invest in education and infrastructure in communities that are traditionally under-served; and create a pool for micro-loans for young entrepreneurs trying to do business in an environment bereft of economic opportunity.”
“My family lives across from the largest coal fired power plant in the Northeast. Dominating the horizon, the plant is a clear reminder of the coal industries’ poisonous strangle on American energy production. From the mountains of Appalachia to the bays of Rhode Island, coal brings destruction and illness. If UBS has any bit of light in their hearts, they will work immediately to withdraw their financial support from the coal industry and mountaintop removal extraction,” said Nick Katkevich.
Ricki Draper, a cofounder of the Hands off Appalachia campaign said, “Today’s protest exhibits our dedication to ending UBS’ support of an industry that is devastating Appalachia and killing its residents”. Draper was arrested in the Knoxville protest in May. “For over a year, Hands off Appalachia has attempted to get UBS to respond to our demands. UBS has refused comment and any sort of communication. Today, four people courageously demanded a response. I am anxious to see how UBS will respond and if they will take responsibility for the destruction they are funding.”
April Scheller, another activist arrested today said, “Mad persons also know about being violently forced from home, shut away from sky, and subjected to the side effects. Mountainfolk were ordered from their own lands, effectively exiled and bombed by mountaintop removal: look at the craters, washed out roads, wells blackened, mourners chased from gravesites, more still slain while mining. Lost in that was life and home. I seek with them a peaceable end to chemical warfare which darkens skies and sickens children for greed.”
The action today followed a meeting on Wednesday in Kentucky at the Lexington UBS office and a non-violent action in Knoxville, Tennessee on May 24. Further actions are likely to follow until UBS ends their participation in the destruction of Appalachia.
Lead weekend story in CT Environmental Headlines
Coverage in Stamford Advocate