A downtown Chase bank branch closed an hour earlier than scheduled Saturday when three protesters refused to leave as part of a demonstration and were taken into custody.
The three protesters “locked” themselves together inside the branch at 150 N. Michigan Ave. and refused to leave while about 20 other demonstrators gathered outside the bank.
The demonstration was organized by Rising Tide Chicago, which described itself as a local grassroots organization apart of a network of organizations aiming to address the root causes of climate change.
Rising Tide Chicago accused Chase of increasing its investments in fossil fuels after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.
“Direct action is currently needed to interrupt the climate crisis we are facing,” Colin Crowley, one of the participants in the protest said in a statement. “The science is clear about what we need to do in the next 10 years to provide a livable earth for current and future generations, yet Chase Bank continues to prioritize profits over people and planet by continuing to funnel billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry.”
The branch closed at 2 p.m. so that Chicago police could safely handle the situation, a spokesman for Chase said.
As officers arrived they found about 20 protesters outside of the branch and three protesters inside, police said. The three inside were taken into custody and charges against them were pending.
A spokesman for Chase said the company was committed “to use renewable energy for 100% of our global power needs by the end of next year and to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing by 2025. Also, we recognize the complexity of climate change issues and actively engage with a diverse set of stakeholders to understand their views.”