A Farewell Letter to HSBC - Bankrolling Human Rights Violations at Standing Rock is Unacceptable
Friday, December 30, 2016 at 5:26PM
Nicole in Blogathon, Blogfests, Documentaries, Human Rights, Spotlight
Dear Group Chief Stuart Gullive and fellow HSBC Executives,
As a longtime customer of HSBC, I am appalled that your bank is providing $189 million in revolving credit to Energy Transfer Equity and its subsidiary, Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Not only has the construction of DAPL desecrated burial grounds and related sacred sites on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, it also endangers the drinking water for 18 million people living downstream on the Missouri River.
While these actions alone are enough to give me pause about doing business with HSBC, the civil liberty violations that Energy Transfer Partners have made are among the issues I find most disturbing.
Private DAPL security and militarized police have used excessive force including unleashing dogs, pepper spray, water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas to attack Native American tribe members and their allies who have united in prayer and peaceful direct actions to halt construction of this unjust, hazardous pipeline. These attacks on water protectors in North Dakota have continued to escalate to the point of severely injuring Indigenous and non-Native women.
In the film Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, Cody Hall, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe asks "what is your spirit telling you to do?" Mine leads me to take action on a number of fronts including severing ties with any bank that prioritizes investments in oil pipelines such as DAPL over the safety of people. Today I'm writing this to inform you that I'm closing my account with HSBC and moving my money to a financial institution that is not bankrolling brutality against people, particularly Native Americans, who are exercising their rights to protect the earth and its natural, finite resources.
Until your bank pulls out of its deal with Energy Transfer Equity and Energy Transfer Partners, terminate its contract with them and halt all further funds from being dispersed to these companies, I will encourage other HSBC customers to withdraw their money and close their accounts as well. You and fellow decision makers have an opportunity to demonstrate that you all have a soul. If like me, you believe crimes against humanity is unacceptable, the time for HSBC to rise as the world's ethical bank is now.
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