Protest at Duluth Wells Fargo branch over oil pipeline concerns - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Protest at Duluth Wells Fargo branch over oil pipeline concerns

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DULUTH, Minn. (KTTC) -

Duluth Police got an early morning call Friday.

30 protestors were inside the Wells Fargo building downtown Duluth.

Among the protesters, three who chained themselves to the company door and gate which prompted a lockdown.

"We are here to stop line 3," said Enbridge Line Three protester, Ernesto Burbank.

Enbridge's Line Three Pipeline is a 1,100-mile pipeline that carries crude oil from Canada, to Superior. It has caused quite the controversy in northern Minnesota.

Wells Fargo has invested more than $70 billion in clean technology and other environmentally sustainable businesses.

"They're investing their money into oil corporations because big banks like Wells Fargo invest into these oil corporations and these oil corporations in return are desecrating our lands and polluting our waters," said Burbank.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken spoke with the protesters, asking what they wanted.

"Is there anything we can do to convince you short of arrest? Get the key unlock it and open up the business again?" said Tusken.

"Yeah, Wells Fargo can divest out of Enbridge. If we can make that happen right now, you got what you wished for," replied Burbank.

The protesters said they wanted to be arrested.

The Duluth Fire Department cut what looked like a home-made contraption and left behind a hole in the security gate.

Three protesters were arrested taken to the St. Louis County Jail to be held for twelve hours.

The entire protest lasted four hours.

A spokesperson from the Wells Fargo downtown Duluth location released a statement and said in part:

"We respect all those engaging in the conversation surrounding fossil fuel exploration and development as well as renewable and alternative energy."

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