Climate activists call for Wells Fargo to divest from oil and coal

Protesters occupied lobby, chained to stagecoach mascot

About 20 climate activists were arrested Monday during a protest at the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters in San Francisco.

The group entered the building at 420 Montgomery St. about 10 a.m. and then several chained themselves to an antique Wells Fargo stagecoach on display in the lobby.

“The ultimate goal is to get Wells Fargo to stop funding oil and gas and coal companies. They are also the top bank funding fracking, and our goal is to get them to stop financing those companies,” said Scott Parkin with the climate group Mt. Diablo Rising Tide.

The protesters were in the lobby for about an hour before San Francisco police officers arrived and started making arrests, Parkin said.

“We wanted to do a large, visible, escalated action to send a message to the corporate management and shareholders,” he said.

The protest comes the day before the bank’s annual shareholders meeting, during which the board will be asked to vote on a resolution that would end its financial relationships with fossil fuel companies.

Citibank and Bank of America will also be asked to vote on similar shareholder resolutions at their annual meetings, which are also Tuesday, Parkin said.

During the protest, activists unfurled a banner that read, “Wells Fargo fund a fossil-free future,” chanted slogans and passed out flyers to passers-by.

Representatives of Wells Fargo and the San Francisco Police Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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