Hundreds protest Dakota Access pipeline in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hundreds of people are protesting the Dakota pipeline in San Francisco. It started with a prayer circle in Justin Herman Plaza around 8 a.m. Wednesday and took off from there.

Demonstrators want you to make a statement with your banking.

"Because this is a way to be in solidarity with everyone out in Standing Rock," Idle No More organizer Isabella Zizi said.

But even from here, they think they can make a huge difference by hitting banks right where it counts. "Today our goal is to tell people to divest from the banks that are very incorporated and tied to the Dakota Access pipeline, specifically Wells Fargo and Citibank," she said.

The group convinced Michael Horse, who is taking his money out of Wells Fargo on Wednesday. "We're trying to make people understand that if you divest, you don't finance this anymore, maybe we can get on to some cleaner, more sensible energy," he said.

These activists are against the Dakota Access Pipeline because they say it treads on sacred ground and threatens the water supply.

The company building the pipeline disputes those concerns.

The protesters in San Francisco got their message across in a quiet way - with chanting, prayers and a peaceful march.

"We're not trying to scare people or yell at people. We're trying to get people in a consciousness of what is going on," Zizi said.
There have been no arrests and it has been a peaceful process.

Wells Fargo released a statement saying that the bank is one of 17 financial institutions involved in financing this pipeline and it's committed to environmental sustainability and hopes that all parties involved will work together to reach a peaceful resolution.

ABC7 News is still waiting to hear back from other banks involved.

Read Wells Fargo's full statement below:

Wells Fargo is 1 of 17 financial institutions involved in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. As a company committed to environmental sustainability and human rights, we respect all the differing opinions being expressed in this dispute, and hope all parties involved will work together to reach a peaceful resolution.

We are committed to supporting responsible energy development. Last year alone, projects owned in whole or in part by Wells Fargo produced 10 percent of all solar photovoltaic and wind energy generated in the U.S. Since 2012, the company has invested more than $52 billion in environmentally sustainable businesses.
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