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This morning Native American defenders and Friends of the Earth and ANV-COP21 activists built a pipeline inside a branch of Société Générale on Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris. The action took place to denounce support from French banks for the construction of new transportation infrastructures for unconventional fossil fuels in the United States.
The campaigners will attend the annual general meetings of BNP Paribas and Société Générale tomorrow, and of Crédit Agricole on Wednesday, where they will call on the banks not to be complicit in the Trump administration's anti-climate policy and to abandon these projects, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples.
Action banners prominent at the Société Générale branch read: read “French banks, don’t Trump the climate”, and “Human Rights before profits”. Photos of this morning's action are available here.
Lucie Pinson, of Friends of the Earth France, commented:
"We call on French banks not to be complicit in the dismantling of environmental regulations by the Trump administration. While the US government may announce at the G7 the country’s exit from the Paris Agreement, the French banks must pledge not to finance the pipeline and terminal projects which have been relaunched or supported by the Trump administration. This is not just about climate and the environment, it's about humanity. "
Among the Native Americans who took part in today’s action are four water protectors who mobilised at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), financed in part by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale.
Rachel Heaton, a water defender from the Muckleshoot tribe in the Auburn area, said:
“We’ve come to France to show that men and women are paying high prices for the fossil fuel projects which the French banks are supporting. The violence that has been committed against the water protectors mobilised against the Dakota Access Pipeline has been particularly severe, and the rights of indigenous peoples are constantly ignored and violated by fossil fuel companies.”
Pauline Boyer, spokesperson of ANV-COP21, said:
“While the controversy surrounding DAPL is still burning , French banks are already preparing new human and environmental abuses in the United States . Today, we are at Société Générale because it is playing a key role in an export project for shale gas in southern Texas. We have already mobilised in March against BNP Paribas, also involved in a similar project, and our solidarity will not weaken until the banks have withdrawn from these projects.”
Juan Mancias, head of the Esto'k Gna tribe from Texas, concluded:
“When I discovered that BNP Paribas and Société Générale were involved in these terminal projects, I decided to come and meet them here in France, an internationally renowned bastion of human rights. Now they can no longer ignore the oppression of my people and my brothers and sisters. I shall be at their AGMs tomorrow to ask them to step out of these projects and to pledge never to ignore our rights.”
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