Downtown earlier today, activists staged a sit-in at the Wells Fargo Bank downtown, in solidarity with Standing Rock and in opposition to the North Dakota Access Pipeline, the 1,168-mile long crude oil pipeline meant to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois that goes through Indigenous land.
The group first gathered at Columbus Park in Harbor East, where there was a moment of silence for Indigenous peoples. Then others, including Juan Ortiz, a Raramuri native spoke. Next to the group marched to the Wells Fargo Bank building downtown where many gathered outside and some entered the bank chanting, "Protect the water, defund the pipeline."
Eventually, three affixed a chain of bike locks around their neck and sat down and began reading four demands:
"1. We demand that Wells Fargo divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline2. We demand that Wells Fargo divest from predatory development and gentrification.3. We ask the people of Baltimore to divest from Wells Fargo.4. We ask the city of Baltimore to respect Indigenous sovereignty by changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day and by removing colonialists statues."
Outside, as group held signs that read "No DAPL," "Big Oil Out Of Native Land," and "From Standing Rock To Palestine Ethnic Cleansing Is A Crime," others lead the group in chants, further articulating the point of the protest tying it to Wells Fargo's funding of the pipeline as well as its "predatory banking" actions and the "ghetto loans" scandal.
Eventually, a line of police officers blocked the entrance to the building and soon after the arrests of those inside began. The three activists who had locked down had a sheet placed over them and were cut out from the bike locks by the fire department. One of the protestors who was arrested, was taken to the hospital. There were six arrests. (Brandon Soderberg)