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Protestors urge Chase bank customers in Grand Rapids to move money out over DAPL

People protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline rallied in Grand Rapids Thursday. They want people to move money out of banks that support the project.

“We’re in front of this Chase bank right here,” Manistee resident Kareen Lewis said to the crowd of a few dozen people.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to divesting from anybody who is supporting that Dakota Access Pipeline,” she said.

Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Protestors in front of Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Lewis and others shared stories about the time they spent at the camp of protestors in North Dakota. In addition to divesting from banks that back DAPL, Lewis encouraged people to keep sending supplies to the camp.

The group gathered in Calder Plaza and then walked across the street to the Chase branch to ask company representatives to invest in renewable resources instead.

But the bank had already placed a security officer in front of the building, who was prepared to deny their request. Police officers were at the ready too, telling the group they were not wanted on the private property. After a brief conversation, the group did not enter the bank. They continued the protest on the sidewalk out front and encouraged people to call the bank’s CEO.

“Can’t drink oil! Keep it in the soil!” they chanted.

“Renewable resources, renewable energy is where we need our financial institutions to invest,” organizer Jonathan Rinehart said.

Chase is one of more than a dozen banks that are backing loans for the project.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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