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Seniors protest in Wenatchee against ‘dirty banks’

By Kalie Worthen, The Wenatchee World
Published: March 23, 2023, 8:39am

WENATCHEE — A giant pair of scissors were used by three protestors to chop an equally large “Funding Fossil Fuels” credit card behind Wells Fargo Wednesday afternoon as their fellow protestors flashed signs urging drivers on North Mission Street to “#DefundClimateChange” and “Support the Earth.”

The protestors, of an older demographic, were among a nationwide call to action, “Stop Dirty Banks” to urge the four biggest banks, including Wells Fargo, to move investments out of the fossil fuels industry.

“We’re part of a 100 nationwide events to encourage the four biggest fossil fuel funding banks to change their investment strategies or the depositors and the public will withdraw their money,” said Pierre Dawson, Cashmere resident and protestor. “Since the Paris climate accords were signed in 2015, these four banks have invested over a trillion dollars in new financing for fossil fuel projects. (It’s) local and national working at the same time to maximize our input.”

Senior citizens in cities nationwide participated in similar protests in an effort to pressure banks to stop financing fossil fuels and heed warnings from scientists about the need to phase out oil, gas and coal, according to The Washington Post. The four banks include Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

“We have actual Wells Fargo account holders who are going to cut up their credit cards and move their money out if Wells Fargo doesn’t change their investment strategies,” Dawson said.

The protests were initiated by Third Act, a group that encourages Americans 60 and older to engage in environmental activism. Dawson added the younger generation have been the usual faces representing climate activism and noted 20-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, but now is the time for the older generations to jump into climate activism participation.

“If we’re going to have to meet the goals of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees C, the U.N. (United Nations climate report) has said we need to stop all new fossil fuel projects,” Dawson said. “If we have enough public pressure, the investment decisions on these banks could change tomorrow so it’s a very hopeful possibility.”

The protestors were met with honks and waves as drivers gave beeps of approval.