Oct. 30, 2016
BISMARCK – Dakota Resource Council, along with local organizers, hosted a peaceful rally at the North Dakota State Capitol on Oct. 29, 2016. About 100 people showed up to voice their solidarity with the Standing Rock nation and bring attention to the negative impacts of the Dakota Access pipeline route.
Despite efforts from law enforcement and requests from Capitol staff to cancel the event, organizers decided it was imperative a message of solidarity be shown as militarized police actions were escalating by the day. For an interactive timeline on the Dakota Access Pipeline events, see: http://sacredstonecamp.org/dapl-timeline/
Speakers at the rally included a diverse group of allied voices, including:
- Karen Van Fossan, Unitarian Universalist of Bismarck-Mandan. The UU has been a vocal and visible ally to the water protectors. Learn more about their efforts on their website.
- Alice Brown Otter, youth runner who ran with a group 2,000 miles to Washington, D.C.
- JD Houle, who works to create public support for alternative fuels
- Linda Weiss, DRC past-chair and landowner from Belfield, ND
- Lisa DeVille, DRC member, Fort Berthold P.O.W.E.R. president from Mandaree, ND
- Paul Seamans, of Dakota Rural Action, who helped stop the KXL Pipeline in South Dakota
- Don Morrison, DRC Executive Director
The ongoing reality of being ignored by state government resonates with oil-impacted communities and landowners across North Dakota, who are dealing with chronic public health issues like oil spills, frack water spills, illegally dumped radioactive waste, and unending natural gas flares. DRC members have experienced firsthand dealing with the participatory process of oil industry regulation – it’s currently designed to keep people out. The people of North Dakota deserve to be respected by the people elected to serve our state.
So what can allies do?
- Contact decision-makers about Dakota Access – and let them know where you stand. See this helpful post, “How to Contact the People Who Sent Militarized Police to Standing Rock.” However, know that sometimes the most impactful conversations can happen with legislators in their hometowns.
- Donate how you can to the efforts, whether time, money, or supplies. In order to keep the most necessary and seasonal supplies are sent to camp, please consult the camp’s official needs list. There are many organizations that are making regular trips for delivery – contact our oil and gas organizers, Nicole Donaghy or Cecilia Montesdeoca, to make plans for drop off or pick up.
- Make a difference moving forward. Get involved in North Dakota’s legislative process, especially in the arena of public input. Count on numerous bills being introduced next session that aim to reduce local control, weaken needed pipeline regulations, and prevent public participation and protest. Your testimony and participation can make a difference. Check out DRC’s upcoming Nov. 19 training on all things legislative, OUR CHANCE FOR CHANGE: Demystifying the Legislative Process.
Watch our Facebook live streams of the Oct. 29, 2016, rally here: https://www.facebook.com/DakotaResourceCouncil/videos/