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Waterloo protestors call on big banks to divest from fossil fuels

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The 'Move Your Money March' took over Uptown Waterloo Saturday in protest of investments in fossil fuels by Canada's big banks.

"When fossil fuel companies want to put together a new project, build a new pipeline, extract somewhere new, who is the first people they go to? Banks. They go to banks for their finances, their investments," said Petra Duff, a member of Fossil Free UW.

"So if we want to stop fossil fuel, expansion and kick-start the transition to a green economy, banks are the first people who have to make that step."

Starting in Waterloo Square, demonstrators marched to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Toronto Dominion Bank (TD), Scotiabank and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Several local environmental group helped organize the action including Fossil Free UW, Waterloo Regional Climate Initiatives and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Waterloo Region.

The groups claim large banks are “green washing” – each making commitments to achieve net-zero emissions in their banking operations, while continuing to fund fossil fuels through investments.

At each of their stops, demonstrators attempted to put up posters and talk to bank staff, hoping to have them sway management to divert their investments away from fossil fuels and into climate-saving initiatives.

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