On Friday, September 17, 2021, dozens of climate activists converged on the world headquarters of Wells Fargo in downtown San Francisco to kick off a new round of actions demanding that Wells stop funding fracking and tar sands – and invest instead into energy and the green economy.

Videos: Peter Menchini

Street theater activities illustrated the destructiveness of Wells Fargo’s outrageous funding of fossil fuel activities. Speakers spelled out the consequences of continued oil and gas investments. Wells Fargo, ignoring the writing on the wall, has poured $223 billion into fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Carnival games illustrated how Wells’ investments have been fueling climate disaster.

Activists dressed as Penitents, representing the calamities that come with fossil-fuel funded climate chaos, moved in ritual, while gas-masked Extractors roamed the area, lending an air of foreboding. The character Oily Wells tried to smooth things over, but no one was fooled by his lies.

In addition to a focus on changing the investment tactics of the financial institution’s leadership, the action seeks to educate and encourage current and potential Wells Fargo customers about ways to move their money into credit unions or good green banks. Read more about healthier banking opportunities and take the Wells Fracko Divestment Campaign Pledge here.

The San Francisco event was part of a National Day of Action on the 10^th^ anniversary of the Occupy Movement. Local action partners included Extinction Rebellion SF Bay Area, Oil and Gas Action Network, 1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations, Silicon Valley Climate Action Now, David Solnit, Sunflower Alliance, Sunrise Movement Bay Area, 350 Bay Area, Black Rock’s Big Problem, CODE PINK, Climate Creative, Diablo Rising Tide, and Fossil Free California.

The day began with the delivery of a petition with over 160,000 signatures to the CEO of Wells Fargo, demanding an end to the financial institution’s fossil fuel funding. This action was part of the Stop the Money Pipeline (STMP) coalition’s “Deadline Glasgow: Defund Climate Chaos” campaign to pressure banks ahead of COP 26, a United Nations climate summit set to start on October 31.

If you’d like to see more videos, check out this interview with Patricia St. Onge of the 1000 Grandmothers, a clip from Leah Redwood of XR SF Bay, or this overview of the day from Thomas Brown.

Click on any photo to see full size gallery…

Photo credits: Jin Zhu, Leon Kunstenaar, David Solnit, Nancy Roberts, Jade Northrup

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion is an International, 100% non-violent, civil disobedience movement that aims to drive radical change through direct action to avert climate catastrophe and minimize the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse. XRUS has four demands: 1) Tell the Truth about Climate Change.  2) Reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2025. 3) Create a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes. 4) Prioritize frontline communities in a just transition.

If you’d like to join us in building community, or creating transformative art confronting the climate crisis, or helping us plan direct actions in the streets … get in touch by emailing us at welcome@xrsfbay.org — and make sure you are signed up for our email newsletter to get updates on upcoming events.

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