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caption: Climate activists block the entrance to a JP Morgan Chase bank branch on Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle on Friday.
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Climate activists block the entrance to a JP Morgan Chase bank branch on Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle on Friday.
Credit: Courtesy Elana Sulakshana / 350Seattle

Climate activists shut down Seattle's Fourth Avenue, two banks

Activists called on Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase to stop funding projects that hasten climate catastrophe as they shut down Seattle's Fourth Avenue on Friday.

Protester Carlos Curran helped block Fourth Avenue with his 14-year-old daughter, Lyric Curran.

“I’m sick and tired of her future being taken away from her for profit,” he said. “She’s sick and tired of her future being taken away for profit, for short-term gain. So she’s out here in the streets.”

The Currans were in downtown Seattle with climate action group 350 Seattle to protest two pipelines being built to carry heavily polluting tar-sands oil from Canada.

"I’m old enough that I can join in actions like this and actually have my voice heard," Lyric Curran said.

The protestors attempted to talk to officials in the Canadian consulate on Fourth Avenue but were rebuffed.

Instead, they delivered a letter asking the Canadian government to stop the pipelines.

Endangered orcas in our region swim in waters that would see increased tanker traffic if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is completed.

With an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline, tanker traffic from the Port of Vancouver could increase from the current five ships per month to 34.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, whose government purchased the Trans Mountain project in 2018, has defended the pipeline by saying its profits will be invested in green energy.

Supporters of the Line 3 pipeline project —now under construction in Minnesota — say the project is only restoring capacity that the pipeline has lost over time as it has degraded.

caption: Climate activists block Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle on Friday.
Enlarge Icon
Climate activists block Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle on Friday.
Credit: Courtesy Elana Sulakshana / 350Seattle

Spokespeople for Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase did not respond to requests for comment.

“Climate change is not a lie. Do not let our planet die,” a protester shouted through a bullhorn outside the two banks.

While the whole planet is not going to die, a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature finds that 83% of Canadian tar-sands oil needs to stay in the ground to give the world even a fifty-fifty chance at preventing the global climate from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. That is the goal international climate negotiators have agreed to aim for — but that is rapidly slipping out of reach as fossil fuel combustion continues to pump more heat-trapping pollution into the sky.

Seattle police say Fourth Avenue was shut down for about an hour.

There were no arrests.