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Money Talks, Banks are Talking: Dakota Access Pipeline Finance Aftermath

  • Author(s): Cook, Michelle
  • MacMillan, Hugh
  • et al.
Abstract

This Article provides a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) finance and divestment campaign retrospective.  The Article explains: 1) how DAPL was financed, highlighting the dynamic in which banks take fees for the privilege of financing and refinancing pipeline debt; and 2) how joint venture ownership structures and corporate finance arrangements buffered against efforts to hold DAPL banks accountable.  At the same time, many of the same banks finance gun industry and prison industry growth, alongside increased police militarization.  Although, intersectional visibility of these financial ties is a start, victims of the financial industry lack enforceable corporate accountability mechanisms for seeking redress.  DAPL banks managed to deflect divestment pressure and avoid meaningful remedial actions.  These observations point to the need for systemic changes in corporate accountability mechanisms but also to reclaim and reimagine a world outside of capital, of future self-determined indigenous economic structures, new visions and practices of complementary currencies, and other banking alternatives.

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