When guests arrived at a holiday party at U.S. Bank Stadium Tuesday evening, they were met with a group of nontraditional Christmas carolers.
More than 50 Dakota Access pipeline protesters sang their own versions of holiday classics outside the stadium where U.S. Bancorp Chief Executive Richard Davis, his clients and other bank executives were expected to attend. Protesters say U.S. Bank “has invested millions in Energy Transfer Partners, the primary company building the pipeline, and has a close relationship with Enbridge Energy, whose crude oil pipelines in Minnesota have escaped federal review.”
A U.S. Bank spokesperson declined to comment.
“It’s really important that not only Richard Davis, but the people who bank at U.S. Bank know that this is part of where their money is going toward,” said Claire Curran, communications and outreach manager at the group Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. “It’s a night for him to be with his customers and people whose money is being used to build pipelines like the Dakota Access pipeline.”
Lines of the holiday classic “Twelve Days of Christmas” became “On the first day of Christmas/ U.S. Bank sent to me/ A pipeline on sacred land.”
The lyrics continued to list oil spills, sounds of grenades, water cannons and broken treaties, said Kathy Hollander, who revised lyrics to other traditional Christmas songs.
“It spoke of the torture the people have experienced at Standing Rock,” she said.
Earlier in December, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted the multibillion-dollar project and told the company building the North Dakota pipeline that it cannot extend the project beneath a reservoir.
As guests drove through the valet line in front of the stadium’s Lower Pentair Gate on Sixth Street, those standing outside continued singing. They were met with mostly stares. Very few partygoers interacted with protesters; most rolled up their windows as those outside tried to hand them fliers.