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Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, other A-list activists speak out and demand bank defund the Canada Gas pipeline: 'People listen to us'
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Screen Actors Guild Foundation

Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, other A-list activists speak out and demand bank defund the Canada Gas pipeline: 'People listen to us'

A gaggle of A-list celebrities including Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio are calling on the Royal Bank of Canada to defund the Canada Gas pipeline.

What are the details?

Ruffalo and others signed an open letter calling for the bank to "withdraw support form the Coastal GasLink pipeline" and accused the financier of "bankrolling the climate crisis" as well as "violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples."

In addition to featuring Ruffalo and DiCaprio, the letter included signatures of entertainers such as Ben Stiller, Jane Fonda, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Gad, Julianne Moore, Mariska Hargitay, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, and more.

Ruffalo added that he and his peers were demanding the bank defund the pipeline because they were privileged enough to have a platform and because "people listen to us."

“We have this privilege and we have to use it for the right thing," he reasoned. "None of this matters if our children can’t drink the water, they can’t breathe the air, they can’t go outside, the world burns around them. None of this means anything anymore. We’re becoming desensitized to this insanity that we’re living in.”

During a Wednesday press conference, Ruffalo added, “We have a responsibility to each other. And it’s time for good people and privileged people, like us, to do the right thing. To make other people, good people, uncomfortable. That’s the only way we’re going to break through this system of racism and harm.”

You can read the letter in its entirety below.

We, the undersigned, demand that City National Bank's parent company, Royal Bank of Canada, withdraw support from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, effective immediately.

Uphold, affirm and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. It is critical that CNB and RBC not only “respect” the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but adhere to policies and practices that ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples as defined in the United Nations Declaration of The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) under Article 32.

City National Bank’s parent company Royal Bank of Canada is bankrolling the climate crisis and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Though RBC claims to be a leader in climate-conscious banking, since acquiring CNB in 2015 RBC has spent more $160 billion to become one of the world’s largest and most aggressive financiers of tar sands, fossil fuel extraction, and transport. RBC is now the fifth largest funder of fossil fuels in the world. BankingOnClimateChaos.org

Though publicly claiming to “respect the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to self-determination”, RBC is heavily invested in the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now bulldozing through the pristine territory and waters of the Wet’suwet’en Peoples, without the consent of the Hereditary Chiefs.

The time to defund Coastal GasLink is now. RBC must withdraw from the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now and stop financing fossil fuels.

What else?

Ruffalo also shared a video to YouTube where he explained the necessity of defunding the pipeline.

“Right now, major banks like the Royal Bank of Canada are financing a fracked gas pipeline bulldozing through the land of the Wet’suwet’en nation in Northern British Columbia, Canada,” he said in the video. “The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs never consented to this pipeline construction through their territories, which would risk the sacred headwaters of the Wedzin Kwa River, but here’s where it gets complicated.”

“The Supreme Court of Canada recognized Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs as rightful title holders of the land, but corporations still get away with consulting only ‘elected leadership’ put in place by the colonial government,” he added.

#StandForTheLand - No More Dirty Bankswww.youtube.com

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