According to the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi, organizations and private residents have withdrawn more than $700,000 from First Hawaiian Bank as “an act of solidarity with those opposing construction of an oil pipeline under the Missouri River, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline” (DAPL). The bank is owned in significant part by BNP Paribas, an international investment bank backing the pipeline construction. The goal is to withdraw $1 million by December 31st.
“We are withdrawing our funds from this bank because we are clear which side we are on. As Native Hawaiians, we stand with our native brothers and sisters at Standing Rock for the protection of our water against the fossil fuel industry. Now we are asking First Hawaiian Bank: whose side are you on?” said Kumu Hula Vicky Holt-Takamine of the PAʻI Foundation at a press conference outside First Hawaiian Center in downtown Honolulu. Since the blockade against the DAPL began 10 months ago, dozens of Native Hawaiian community leaders have travelled to Standing Rock in a show of solidarity.
“Investment in this pipeline represents the destruction of our planet, contamination of water and loss of our traditional cultures. It represents the loss of our future,” said Addison Davis, a student with Wild Kids Hawaiʻi, a group advocating against fossil fuel pipelines.
“As the next generation of leaders, we will inherit the consequences of the choices made today. We are the ones that will see the detrimental effects of the North Dakota Access Pipeline,” added Kennedy-Anne Marx, also a student with Wild Kids Hawaiʻi. “We stand with Standing Rock today because we want to see a world tomorrow where everyone has access to clean water, and there is no risk of global warming,” she said.
“Further investment in fossil fuel infrastructure like this oil pipeline in North Dakota is simply insane,” said Jodi Malinoski, coordinator for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi’s Oʻahu Group. “Hawaiʻi has already made the commitment to transition to a 100 percent clean energy future. It is time for our local banks and industry to get with the rest of us and get off oil.” The Oʻahu Group is one of many organizations withdrawing their funds from First Hawaiian Bank in an effort to defund the DAPL.
“We know that communities like ours are the consumers of the oil pushed through these pipelines, harming marginalized communities,” said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi. “We also know that accelerating the transition to clean energy here means communities everywhere are cleaner and safer. We have to get off fossil fuels right now, for us, for our neighbors, and for our future generations.”