Hollywood stars sign joint letter demanding RBC defund Coastal GasLink pipeline

The signatories include more than 65 famous names, including Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr, Joaquin Phoenix, and Scarlett Johansson, who called upon the bank to defund the pipeline, which operates in British Columbia under TC Energy.

Hollywood stars sign joint letter demanding RBC defund Coastal GasLink pipeline
AP Photo/John Bazemore
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Hollywood stars have joined in unison to sign an open letter to the Royal Bank of Canada demanding that it defund Canada Gas pipeline.

The letter calls on the Royal Bank of Canada to “withdraw support from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, effective immediately,” claiming that it is “bankrolling the climate crisis, and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.” 

The signatories include more than 65 famous names, including Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr, Joaquin Phoenix, and Scarlett Johansson, who called upon the bank to defund the pipeline, which operates in British Columbia under TC Energy.

Speaking to Global News, Ruffalo said that the reason he and other celebrities are participating in the attempt to boycott the pipeline is because “people listen to us.”

“We have this privilege and we have to use it for the right thing,” he said, refusing to acknowledge that his efforts could cost thousands of jobs.  

“None of this matters if our children can’t drink the water, they can’t breathe the air, they can’t go outside, the world burns around them,” said the bleeding heart liberal. “None of this means anything anymore. We’re becoming desensitized to this insanity that we’re living in.”

The letter is part of the so-called “No More Dirty Banks” campaign, which claims that the RBC has invested more than $160 billion since 2015 to finance tar sands, fuel extraction, and transport.

Ruffalo is known for his vocal, but not-so-educated opinion on climate change issues,  and previously latched onto the Black Lives Matter movement and urged others to join him. Ruffalo was also among a chorus of celebrities who demanded that charges be dropped against protesters who took part in riots in Phoenix, Arizona, following the death of George Floyd.

“We have a responsibility to each other,” Ruffalo explained during a press conference Wednesday. “And it’s time for good people and privileged people, like us, to do the right thing. To make other people, good people, uncomfortable. That’s the only way we’re going to break through this system of racism and harm.”

Like other climate change activists, Ruffalo conflates drilling for oil with systemic racism, and accuses gas companies of exploiting Canada’s Indigenous population.

“Right now, major banks like the Royal Bank of Canada are financing a fracked gas pipeline bulldozing through the land of the Wet’suwet’en nation in Northern British Columbia, Canada,” the actor stated. “The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs never consented to this pipeline construction through their territories, which would risk the sacred headwaters of the Wedzin Kwa River, but here’s where it gets complicated.”

“The Supreme Court of Canada recognized Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs as rightful title holders of the land, but corporations still get away with consulting only ‘elected leadership’ put in place by the colonial government,” he added.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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