Following Bernie Sanders Call for President Obama to Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline, Activists Greeted Him at a $100,000 Hillary Clinton Fundraiser in Beverly Hills
Organized by Our Revolution Los Angeles and SoCal Climate Action 350, protesters are echoing the call by Bernie Sanders and four other senators, including CA senior senator Dianne Feinstein, to halt construction on the 1,700 mile pipeline, revoke the permits and conduct a full environmental and cultural impact report.
Lydia Ponce, Press and Logistics Coordinator for American Indian Movement (AIM) SoCal, said: “President Obama must intervene. The police and sheriffs must cease and desist arrests, macing, and abuse of our Water Protectors. He must order the Dakota Access Pipeline and other pipelines proposed — vetoed, halted, or a moratorium placed across America. We cannot continue down this destructive path for our environment and he must put people, the public, first and above corporate profits. After all, this will be his legacy…”
On Sunday, October 23, hundreds marched around MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, with celebrities such as actor Shailene Woodley and documentarian Josh Fox calling for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be stopped and the repression against protectors to end. On Saturday, hundreds of water protectors from different indigenous nations were met with violence by militarized police in riot gear, and approximately 141 were arrested. Four protectors locked themselves to a disabled car at an active construction site, stopping construction for approximately 7 hours. Then a peaceful procession of hundreds walked to the sacred sites intentionally destroyed by Dakota Access LLC on September 3rd.
Lauren Steiner, lead organizer of Our Revolution Los Angeles said, “We are here to amplify Bernie Sanders letter to President Obama signed by Dianne Feinstein and three other senators asking him to immediately halt construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, revoke the permits and call for a comprehensive environmental and cultural impact review. In addition to potentially poisoning the water for 18 million people when, not if, this pipeline leaks, it also has an enormous impact on global warming, the equivalent of 21.4 million new cars or 30 new coal fired plants per year.” [Our Revolution Los Angeles on Facebook and Twitter]
And Jack Eidt, Steering Committee Member for SoCal 350 Climate Action said, “Mr. Obama, more extreme fossil fuel infrastructure is the opposite solution for a livable Planet. We face a dire climate reality, with fossil-fueled carbon dioxide spiraling permanently above 400 parts per million. The wildfires and droughts will continue to worsen in California, as well as extreme weather and destructive super-storms like the latest calamity in Haiti. The next generations deserve a sustainable future through transforming our economy with energy efficiency and conservation, and power our lives with clean and renewable energy, like wind and solar.”
Obama Protest Video By Our Revolution Los Angeles – Lauren Steiner
For the past several months, thousands have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will carry fracked oil from the North Dakota Bakken fields to Illinois. The pipeline will run underneath the Missouri River, a source of drinking water to 18 million people.
The actions have been led by Native American Nations on whose land the pipeline is being built. On October 9, a federal appeals court dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request for a permanent injunction to stop to the project. Meanwhile, Obama administration officials continue to stall; one day after the court ruling, the departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army issued a joint statement refusing to authorize construction along part of the proposed route.
From Naomi Pitcairn: I am just back from #StandingRock #NoDAPL (Dakota Pipeline) camp. Please know that most of what is being reported is untrue. The native people are unarmed, in spite of what the sheriff’s office is saying. The camp will throw you out immediately if you drink, use drugs or have any kind of weapon. They don’t even want you to curse while on sacred land, which I admit I did. Nevertheless the sheriff’s office gone door to door to local white farmers telling that the Indians are heavily armed, causing the farmers to panic and arm themselves. Scary.
What appeared to be DAPL guards on an ATV burst through a wire fence took two people the day before yesterday. Only one has been arrested, for what I don’t know. He wasn’t doing anything other than walking. It’s a problem because they were too far away to be identified. There is almost no communication service so much of the information is not getting out. Hopefully that will change soon. There is a delegation to the UN right now and although I cannot confirm this for sure, a UN peace keeping force might be on the way to protect the native people.
Helicopters are flying illegally low over the camp with their tail numbers obviously changed. This is all highly illegal. The surveillance state is mind boggling. Cell phones acting strangely, batteries immediately discharging (I mean from 100% to zero in less than a minute.) I have never seen anything like that. Again, illegal.
This pipeline threatens what may be the world’s largest aquifer. It is being built with the absolute cheapest materials available. Over 300 pipelines have already caused environmental emergencies in this country alone. The water from the Missouri river sustains over 14 million people downstream. There is no way to believe that the rewards here outweigh the risk. The oil the pipeline would carry is tar sands oil that is the lowest quality oil out there. #ProtectOurWater, #WaterIsLife #LeaveItInTheGround
The Dakota Access Pipeline company has hired private security firms who sicced dogs on peaceful water protectors. And then they bulldozed sacred burial grounds. Dozens of protectors and journalists have been arrested for peacefully protesting, notably Amy Goodman from the radio program Democracy Now and actress Shailene Woodley.
Over a month ago, Bill McKibben, renowned climate change activist and 350.org’s founder, wrote an op ed in the Los Angeles Times asking Hillary Clinton to oppose the pipeline. To date, she has been silent. Environmental and social justice groups like SoCal 350 and Our Revolution Los Angeles are asking both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama to finally come out and oppose this pipeline once and for all, for indigenous peoples who say “Water is Life” and for the future of all life on this planet. We need to stop these horrific fossil fuel extraction projects and all the infrastructure that goes with them, for the sake of the environment and for human health.