A dozen stalwart elders were still standing in the rain, an hour and a half into a march and rally in Sebastopol calling for the nation's biggest financial institutions to stop funding new oil exploration and extraction projects. 

According to local organizers, the march from a Bank of America branch to a Wells Fargo location, was just one of 90 events happening nationally.

Collectively they mean to draw attention to an issue a day after a dire report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Standing on Bodega Avenue, in front of a Wells Fargo branch, local organizer and retired teacher Becky Shirley of Santa Rosa says she felt betrayed by President Joe Biden's approval of Willow, an enormous Alaskan oil field.  

"I know it sounds dramatic and people think, oh-gosh, we've heard this before, but we have not taken action like needs to happen. The banks need to stop funding fossil fuel companies. They've loaned, since the Paris Climate accords, they have loaned, these four big banks alone, over $1.2 trillion to fossil fuel company expansion since the Paris climate accords."

Shirley cut up credit cards and urged the public to switch to small community banks and credit unions.

Fellow demonstrator Christine Hoex says even if Wall Street and large institutions ignore her calls, people together, can force them to get in line.

"If people don't put their deposits and don't bank at the banks that are still investing in fossil fuels, then the banks will have less assets to work with. That's pressure from the bottom up, that's grass roots pressure."

One of Tuesday's day of action organizers is a nonprofit called Third Act, with a stated mission of "building community by experienced Americans over the age of 60 determined to change the world for the better."



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