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News :: Environment
NEWS RELEASE: Students and environmental activists demand financial accountability from world's largest banks
16 Sep 2004
September 15, 2004

Toben Dilworth, Rainforest Action Network,
(415) 398-4404 x349, media (at)
Dan Firger, Rainforest Action Network,
(415) 948-7338 (mobile on-site)

Students and environmental activists demand financial accountability from world’s largest banks
Back-to-school BBQ in Boston focuses on destructive investment practices of global financial institutions

Boston – As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, from melting glaciers to relentless hurricanes, we continue to experience the effects of catastrophic climate change caused by an increase of just one degree. This Friday, Boston-area students and activists from the Rainforest Action Network will increase the pressure on the world’s largest funders of global warming by staging a rally followed by a concert in Boston Common to turn up the heat on the banks that continue to cook the planet. The actions are the latest from BBQ the Banks, Rainforest Action Network’s national summertime campaign to turn up the heat on “The Liquidators,” America’s most environmentally destructive banks. John Hancock, recently acquired by ManuLife of Toronto, is a Boston-based financial services company that still does not have an environmental policy covering its investment portfolio.

Who: Environmental activists from the Rainforest Action Network
What: Boston “Back to School” BBQ and Rally includes music from “The Foundation”, food, festivities, and speakers
When: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. (EST), Friday, September 17, 2004
Where: Boston Common Gazebo Stage, Boston, MA (nearest T stop is Park Street on the Red Line)
Visual: Festive financial activists amidst red, white and blue banners reading “It’s time for REGIME CHANGE on Wall Street”

“We’re asking students and concerned citizens everywhere to vote with their dollars by refusing to trust destructive banks with their money,” says Dan Firger, an organizer with Rainforest Action Network’s Global Finance Campaign. “Two of the world’s largest banks have introduced environmental ethics and human rights into their bottom lines as a response to consumer demand. It’s up to John Hancock to determine which side of history they will be on. From the Boston to the Bay Area, we’re turning up the heat on big banks until they turn down the heat on the Earth.”

John Hancock has been banking on forest destruction around the world. Hancock currently owns more than 200,000 acres of native forest in the Strzelecki Range in southern Australia, where logging and pesticide use threaten the rare South Gippsland Koala and other endemic species. An example of Hancock’s egregious portfolio also includes financing the OCP heavy crude oil pipeline in Ecuador, a controversial project that has destroyed pristine, intact cloudforests and affected several communities along its route. More information on John Hancock’s destructive lending can be found at

Rainforest Action Network campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through grassroots organizing, education and non-violent direct action. More information about Rainforest Action Network can be found at

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