Those going to grab some morning cash from the RBC main branch and the Strathcona branch got a harsh lesson about RBC’s role as the leading financier of the world’s dirtiest oil. The Rainforest Action Network and Edmonton community members marked RBC as a “Global Crime Scene.”
Armed with our very own “Tarbie,” a banner – “Finance the Future, Not Fossil Fuels”, flyers, and of course our “Global Warming Crime Scene” tape, we caused heads to turn and managed to ruffle some feathers of bank employees. In fact, I think we managed to ruffle the feathers of RBC as a whole considering both bank branches said that they knew that we were coming, were expecting us and not in the very least surprised by us.
While a group was stationed outside speaking with the passerby’s and RBC clients, I managed to meet with both Branch managers who tried oh so politely to direct me to the Media Relations managers out of Toronto. However, as a RBC client I was persistent that my concerns needed to be heard and addressed by the local managers themselves. After much prying and prodding I managed to secure a sit down meeting with a Branch manager for later in the day.
I had forwarded both branch managers personal emails outlining my concerns as a long standing client, as well as a member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation located in a downstream community of tar sands pollution. I requested that my email be forwarded to regional managers and whomever else they feel would benefit from it.
The group outside managed to engage in some great conversations, were asked repeatedly to take down the Global Crime Scene tape and managed to sneak in and place deposit envelopes stamped with “RBC created climate chaos” in the banks themselves.
After we left the “crime scene” I went back to the office to confirm my meeting with the branch manager who had decided that he should not meet with me after all, stating he was not aware of the issue enough to fully answer my questions or concerns and forwarded me to Toronto once again. The second branch manager forwarded me to the Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of the RBC regional branch out of Calgary. This turned into a wonderful game of phone tag, and I am still awaiting a response.
All in all, it was a great day with some fun and exciting times.
Mahsi to all of those that came to help out in Edmonton yesterday!!!