#DivestFromDAPL Action Disrupts Wells Fargo Branch Grand Opening, Doors Secured with Bike Locks

Minneapolis, MN – In single digit weather, a dozen or so water protectors disrupted the grand opening of a new Wells Fargo bank in uptown Minneapolis on the morning of December 12th, demanding Wells Fargo divest from funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Two of the three doors to the bank were locked with bike locks as demonstrators held signs that read “Divest from DAPL” and “Wells Fargo Funds Genocide“.

After about forty five minutes, police arrived and spoke with a liaison from the group. The fire department arrived shortly thereafter to cut the bike locks off the doors. The group of demonstrators spoke with employees and patrons of the bank in the parking lot entrance way about the importance of divesting from funding the Dakota Access Pipeline and passed out flyers.


No arrests were made and it was not determined who had put the locks on the doors.

This is the fourth public direct action targeting Wells Fargo since the beginning of the Global Month for #NoDAPL Action. The first three demonstrations were consecutive actions that occurred on December 1st (click for full report), starting with a lock-down at Wells Fargo’s corporate office in which employees got physical with the demonstrators, as seen in video below.

Beyond the direct actions that have targeted the banks and offices of Wells Fargo, politicians in Minneapolis are also organizing against their DAPL funding. Last week, a motion to “stop doing business with financial institutions that invest in the fossil fuel industry and in projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline”, was brought forth by City Council members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon as they seek to cut the city’s ties to it’s partnerships with Wells Fargo. They asked that city staff create new options to put on the table for financial services for the city by July 2017.

The group of water protectors the December 12th demonstration called themselves “concerned Minnesotans” and said they targeted Wells Fargo as an “answer to a call from Native leaders, part of a national effort throughout December, designed to convince the banks to cut off funding for the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Here is their statement:

Minnesotans Close Wells Fargo Uptown Branch Grand Opening to Demand it Stop Bankrolling the Dakota Access Pipeline


#DivestFromDAPL Wells Fargo Action
Monday, Dec 12, 2016, 10AM-11AM
Wells Fargo Branch at the Corner of W. Lake St. & Humbolt Ave. S.


On Monday, December 12, a dozen concerned Minnesotans will close down a new Wells Fargo branch building in Uptown Minneapolis on the day of its grand opening.

As police actions escalate to human rights abuses against thousands of Native Americans and allies gathered to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Wells Fargo and other major banks like US Bank continue financing the companies that are building the pipeline: Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics, and Enbridge Energy.


Today’s action is taking place in answer to a call from Native leaders, part of a national effort throughout December, designed to convince the banks to cut off funding for the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline. Action participants will encourage bank customers to withdraw their money from Wells Fargo and announce the newly opened bank branch is “closed for business.” Despite the recent announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the final drilling permit for the pipeline’s completion, Energy Transfer Partners continue to move forward with construction in a flagrant disregard for the rule of law.


The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked oil pipeline currently under construction from North Dakota to Illinois. The segment of DAPL planned to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at Standing Rock will disturb sacred burial grounds and tunnel underneath the Missouri River. The water protectors at Standing Rock are peacefully attempting to stop the pipeline. Police attacks on the water protectors with concussion grenades and water cannons in sub-freezing weather violate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.


Wells Fargo has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment in the Dakota Access pipeline. Recently, Wells Fargo committed in writing to meet with tribal leadership from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation after similar public pressure at one of its Minneapolis branch locations on December 1. However, to date the company has not taken any meaningful public actions to follow through on its promise to meet with Native leaders or to divest from the pipeline. Public pressure events like today’s bank closure will continue until Wells Fargo publicly demonstrates meaningful action to address these abuses.

Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, including actions during the Global Month of #NoDAPL Action. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information.

Our report from September has detailed information about the funders of the Dakota Access Pipeline and financial reports. (As of November 21st, Sunoco Logistics has bought out Energy Transfer Partners.) Below is an image from Food & Water Watch detailing specific banks‘ involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline.



To help our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:


Below is Unicorn Riot's coverage of the #NoDAPL anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle from early summer 2016 to present:

Watch our feature-length documentary, Black Snake Killaz: A #NoDAPL Story

March - May 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 January 2018 May 2018 July 2018 September 2019 July 2020 March 2021 April 2021 July 2021 September 2021 December 2021 July 2022 September 2022
More from Unicorn Riot 🦄