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Climate activists rally in Telluride calling on banks to divest from fossil fuels

 Several dozen residents of Telluride rallied downtown on Tuesday, March 21, as part of a global day of action against banks funding oil and gas projects.
Julia Caulfield
/
KOTO
Several dozen residents of Telluride rallied downtown on Tuesday, March 21, as part of a global day of action against banks funding oil and gas projects.

On a blustery Tuesday, several dozen members of the community in Telluride marched with signs down the street.

They’re part of day of protest against big banks – primarily Bank of America, Chase, CitiBank, and Wells Fargo – that fund fossil fuel companies.

Third Act, an organization encouraging individuals over 60 to take on action climate and justice, spearheaded the day, with protests taking place across the country.

In Telluride, David Holbrooke is helping to lead the charge.

“We have this brand new Chase bank here, and it just doesn’t feel right,” said Holbrooke.

“We have wonderful banks already that are locally run. To have this behemoth come here and keep on poisoning the planet, doesn’t seem right.”

According to the most recent Banking on Climate Chaos Fossil Fuel Finance Report between 2016 and 2021, Chase Bank financed fossil fuels globally to the tune of $382 billion.

Holbrooke says it’s past time to act.

“I have no bleeped out patience for people who are not going to look at what’s happening to us. We can go into the statistics, but it’s just all there, and it’s so sad that people are working against this,” he said.

“It’s hard enough to fix it as it is, and the notion that somehow people think it’s right to actively screw up the planet with these fossil fuel emissions, when we have better options.”

Starting at the San Miguel County Courthouse, Elizabeth Gist, another organizer of the march, spoke to the crowd.

“If we disrupt the flow of money to the fossil fuel industry, they have to stop. Chase alone lent to the fossil fuel industry $382 billion between 2016 and 2021. Just imagine if that money went to renewables, what a wonderful world it would be,” said Gist.

 Protestors marched to the location of the new Chase branch in downtown Telluride on March 21.
Julia Caulfield
/
KOTO
Protestors marched to the location of the new Chase branch in downtown Telluride on March 21.

Then protesters marched the one block to the Chase bank, opening next month.

Emily Catron, one of the members at the protest, said even with a small group, it feels good to be part of a larger movement.

“When you’re small sometimes you’re not a force to reckon with. But when you have a lot of small groups all doing the same thing then it starts to become bigger and bigger. You get one voice, and then it turns into a community, and then it turns into bigger and bigger and eventually it makes a very big difference,” she said.

The Chase bank in Telluride is set to open its doors on April 4th.

Protesters are already making a plan to be there when it does.

This storywas shared with us via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations including KDNK in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.

Julia Caulfield