Iowa Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

As I’ve been writing (see table below), the Wet’suwet’en peoples have declared the week of December 20 as a time for international support for their struggle to stop the completion of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through their pristine lands and water.

The map shows only two actions were planned in the Midwest. One is the action we took at the Chase bank in Des Moines yesterday, and the second will be held today in Chicago. Ironically, a mutual friend introduced me to Daniel, another Quaker working in support of the Wet’suwet’en and for LandBack. Daniel will be participating in the Midwest solidarity event in Chicago today.

Another new connection was made when my friend Jon Krieg (American Friends Service Committee) introduced me to Julie Brown, Turtle Island Solidarity Network, who has connections with the Wet’suwet’en organizers as well as activists in Iowa. Julie had connections with most of those who showed up yesterday. She also spoke with the bank manager by phone the day before our event, which facilitated talking with the manager and delivering a letter when we were there yesterday.

The people in the bank were clearly uncomfortable when we entered, but we were silent and non-threatening as we waited for the manager to appear. I was told I could not take photos in the bank and immediately stopped, although I had several shots prior to that.

Dear Branch Manager Minnihan,

As concerned residents of Des Moines and surrounding areas in Iowa, we are gathering today at the Chase bank branch on Merle Hay Road to demand that Chase immediately stops funding of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) project in Wet’suwet’en territory.

Coastal GasLink does not have the consent of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, whose title to the land the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes. And yet Chase has continued to bankroll this illegal project and the destruction of Wet’suwet’en land, When met with resistance, the CGL project deployed sniper rifles and militarized squads against unarmed Indigenous peoples on their own land. People will not stand for this.

We demand that Chase immediately stops funding Coastal GasLink and profiting off of the illegal destruction and invasion of Wet’suwet’en land.

Attached are copies of the eviction notice issued on January 4, 2020, by Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the notice of enforcement issues on November 14, 2020.

Concerned local residents of Des Moines, Iowa

Action Goals
  • Take up the time and energy of Chase leadership nationally and locally
  • Educate members of the public on the role of TC Energy in their role in violating Indigenous rights by sharing graphics on social media, on email lists & in-person interactions
  • Increase the skills and leadership abilities of action participants 
  • Informing the public about the link between the bank’s fossil investments, land theft, and the climate crisis. 
  • Building solidarity between Land Defenders on the frontlines and the broader climate movement. 
  • Building power for the movement by training teams who can escalate against Chase come spring.
Defund Coastal GasLink
Evicting Colonizers
International Week of Action to Defund Coastal GasLink
Wet’suwet’en solidarity in Iowa


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