About SV-CAN!

Who We Are

We’re a nonviolent direct action climate justice group. We’re consensus-driven & open to everyone. We both lead actions & join actions led by our allies.

What We Do

Money is the oxygen on which the fire of global warming burns. Mega-banks play a pivotal role in funding the climate crisis by providing loans to fossil fuel companies. We believe that if we can stop the flow of money, then we can stop the flow of oil. Our actions target two of the worst offenders, “Oily Wells” Fargo, because its global headquarters is in our backyard (San Francisco) and more recently, JPMorgan Chase, one focus of the nationwide Stop the Money Pipeline campaign.

Our direct actions disrupt business as usual for corporate enablers of the fossil-fuel industry. Our goal is to persuade decision-makers to divest from dirty energy & invest in clean energy. We also seek to raise public awareness of the climate emergency.

By nonviolent direct action we mean public protests like blockades, sit-ins, and strikes that are confrontational and impossible to ignore. We need to intensify pressure on fossil-fuel companies to “keep it in the ground” in order to slash carbon emissions, as scientists agree we must to avoid catastrophe.

  • In January & February 2020, we protested nonviolently at four Wells Fargo locations in Santa Clara County. Inside the branches, we recited the bank’s misdeeds and delivered our demands. Outside, we picketed, chanted and distributed leaflets.
  • In September 2019, we joined a Bay Area coalition in a daylong shutdown of SF’s Financial District. TV broadcasts featured a two-block street mural along with our blockade of “Oily Wells” Fargo HQ, which resulted in nine arrests.
  • In March 2019, we led more than 200 people in a 3-day march of 34 miles from Palo Alto to San Francisco. Our culminating rally closed the main branch at “Oily Wells” Fargo HQ for three hours.

Our Demands

What do we want the mega-banks to do? As we’ve repeatedly written to Wells Fargo’s management (read our most recent letter):

  • Wells Fargo, Chase and other mega-banks must withdraw funding from all fossil fuel infrastructure. Since they only make a tiny percentage of their total loans to the fossil fuel industry, divestment would have little effect on their overall business.
  • Wells Fargo, Chase and other mega-banks must work with communities and climate advocates to invest in clean energy alternatives and sustainable enterprises. And there’s a big competitive advantage for the first bank to go fossil-free.

Working Groups

Aside from raising a ruckus in the streets and meeting monthly, we also frequently huddle in three working groups.

Actions Working Group

Plans and executes regular street protests, and supports allies’ actions.

Outreach Working Group

Increases our base of support through recruiting, partnering, communications, media, and fundraising.

Strategy Working Group

Sets meeting agendas, performs research plus ad hoc work in line with our mission statement and group norms.

Mission Statement

We are a grassroots, nonviolent direct action, climate justice group. We are consensus-driven and open to everyone. Our direct actions, aimed at corporate enablers of the fossil fuel industry (like banks such as Wells Fargo), disrupt business as usual to persuade decision-makers to divest from dirty energy and invest in clean energy as well as raise public awareness of the climate emergency.

Our Allies

SV-CAN! sees itself as part of a coalition effort, arising from our desire to strengthen local climate activism and to reciprocate by joining the related campaigns of our allies around the Bay Area. We deeply admire and work closely with the following organizations, among others.

1000 Grandmothers logo
Diablo Rising Tide logo
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Idle No More logo