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Group protests Wells Fargo in downtown Duluth over Enbridge

Protesters opposed to Wells Fargo’s involvement with Enbridge leave the bank’s downtown Duluth location Monday afternoon. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com1 / 3
Protesters opposed to Wells Fargo’s involvement with Enbridge, many of them masked, and police officers face each other outside of Wells Fargo on Monday. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com2 / 3
Two protesters hold signs outside of Wells Fargo on Monday. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com3 / 3

A couple of dozen people briefly protested outside the downtown office of the Wells Fargo Bank in Duluth this afternoon, complaining about the bank’s investment in Enbridge Energy.

“This is a front-lines resistance that’s letting this bank know that they are invested in Enbridge,” said Tara Houska, a member of the group from Duluth and national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.

“The Enbridge Corporation wants to send almost 900,000 barrels a day of tar sands … through the headwaters of the Mississippi to the shores of Lake Superior, and they’re investing $743 million into that company.”

The protest was met by almost as many Duluth police officers, several of whom stood just outside of the bank entrance. A couple of bank officials stood just inside.

Protesters distributed what Houska described as “blood money,” paper blowups of dollar bills, marked with red stains. A number of the crumpled papers littered the hallway outside the bank. Videos posted on social media showed protesters with signs, drums and megaphones chanting and making speeches inside the bank for approximately 20 minutes before moving to the hallway outside.

Asked about the littering, Houska responded, “I would say that paper is pretty biodegradable, and that’s a pretty moot issue. … We’re talking about the fact that tar sands is the dirtiest fuel in the world.”

The protest was peaceful, with some of the protesters exchanging words with police officers. They disbanded after a few minutes and walked west on the sidewalk along Superior Street.

A Duluth police spokesperson said there were no arrests or citations.

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