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About 20 climate activists were arrested during a protest at the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters in San Francisco.
The group entered the building at 420 Montgomery St. about 10 a.m. on April 25 and then several chained themselves to an antique Wells Fargo stagecoach on display in the lobby.
“The ultimate goal is to get Wells Fargo to stop funding oil and gas and coal companies. They are also the top bank funding fracking and our goal is to get them to stop financing those companies,” said Scott Parkin with the climate group Diablo Rising Tide.
The protesters were in the lobby for about an hour before San Francisco police officers arrived and started making arrests, Parkin said.
“We wanted to do a large, visible, escalated action to send a message to the corporate management and shareholders,” he said.
The protest came the day before the bank’s annual shareholders meeting, during which the board was asked to support a resolution that would end its financial relationships with fossil fuel companies.
Wells Fargo shareholders previously had the opportunity to vote by proxy on the climate change proposal as well as several other shareholder initiatives ranging from pay and gender equity to transparency on charitable donations.
All of those resolutions failed, with the climate change proposal receiving approximately 11 percent of approval from shareholders, according to preliminary voting results announced during the company’s annual meeting Tuesday.
Citibank and Bank of America were also asked to vote on similar shareholder resolutions at their annual meetings this week, Parkin said.
During the protest, activists unfurled a banner that read “Wells Fargo fund a fossil free future,” chanted slogans and passed out fliers to passersby.
Representatives of Wells Fargo and the San Francisco Police Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.