Dakota Access Pipeline protesters chain themselves to a bank branch in Massachusetts

A group of protesters chained themselves across the doors of a TD bank in Massachusetts in solidarity with Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in North Dakota. From Masslive.com:

The pipeline opponents began their action just after 8 a.m. by chaining themselves to the doors, shutting the bank branch down.

Police initially gave them 30 minutes to leave, but more than three hours have passed with no movement on either side.

Protestors said they will remain until they are arrested. Marc Osten, a Smith College student, Aly-Johnson-Kurts and University of Massachusetts student Giovano Castro are chained in the front, while Harrison Greene and Paxton Reed are chained in the back.

In a video of the protest police arrive and begin a calm discussion of the situation with the protesters at the front door. “I’m all for peaceful protest but this isn’t really accomplishing that because it’s going to cause issues with people who might want to try and utilize the bank,” an officer said. “We don’t in any way want to inconvenience the employees, this is a statement against TD bank” a protester replied. “I understand,” the officer said, adding, “you certainly have your cause to fight with TD bank and I certainly understand that. I have no issue with that whatsoever.”

“You guys have been here before, you’ve protested many times and we’ve had no issues with it,” the officer said. “Well, we are going to be peaceful but you are right we are escalating this because out at standing rock there has been just incredible violence and escalation there,” one of the protesters said. “Okay but we don’t need that here,” the officer replied.

The discussion with the police takes place at around 14 minutes into this clip.

After a couple hours, police moved in and cut the chains off the protesters. Masslive reports four people were arrested:

This is not the first time people have blocked a bank in solidarity with Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Earlier this month a group used similar methods to block access to a Wells Fargo corporate office in Minneapolis.

The protesters have focused attention on banks who gave a multi-billion dollar loan to the pipeline developer to allow it to complete the project. The NY Times reported last month that a group called BankTrack sent a letter demanding banks halt further money to the developer in light of possible impacts on the environment.