[Image: Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline march past San Francisco City Hall.]
Yesterday I left home before dawn to join the San Francisco contingent of Stand with Standing Rock, a national day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline that is threatening the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. You can read an essay here about the oppression of indigenous people that is going on right now in North Dakota, and has been going on since well before this election season.
The San Francisco event was organized by Idle No More SF Bay. Unlike the anti-Trump protest I attended this weekend, Tuesday’s protest had specific, clear demands, directed to the US Army Corps of Engineers:
- Deny permit to bore under the Missouri River
- Full Environmental Impact Statement must be completed.
[Image: Protesters stand in semi-darkness with signs and banners in front of San Francisco City Hall, which has NoDAPL projected onto it.]
The plaza was already filled with people when I arrived at 6:30 a.m. Protesters held large banners in front of City Hall, while images and texts were projected above them. At 7 a. m. a sunrise ceremony was performed, including prayers and music; at the request of the participants, I have not posted any photos of it.
[Image: A protester holds aloft a sign reading “Protect the sacred”.]
[Image: A protester holds a sign reading “We can’t drink oil! #NODAPL”]
After the sunrise ceremony, we gathered in three groups to march to the office building of the US Army Corps of Engineers on Market Street, where activists blocked the entrance while protesters filled the street.
[Image: Protesters holding signs and banners fill the street.]
[Image: Young people stand in the street, holding signs reading “We stand with Standing Rock” and “Together we stand”.]
[Image: Activists holding signs block the entrance to an office building; a police officer stands nearby.]
[Image: Activists sitting with arms linked block the side entrance to an office building.]
I am glad to have attended this day of action, which had a turnout of 2000 people or more, according to news reports. The protest went on until noon, but I was overwhelmed by the crowds and left around 9:30.
I follow a number of radical people of color online, and I am sympathetic to their complaints that white folks who are protesting Trump’s election have not been turning out in great numbers for actions like this. The 59 million+ people who voted for Trump reinforced hundreds of years of white supremacy, and the ongoing oppression of indigenous people is one of the many examples of this. I plan to continue attending anti-Trump protests as well, but will be following Black Lives Matter and like-minded activists for advice on effective resistance.
Allies who want to help can contribute funds and supplies to support the water protectors at Standing Rock. I donated to help Food Not Bombs give out vegan food and supplies there, via A Well-Fed World, which is matching donations up to $10,000.
My full set of photos from the protest is available on Flickr. Some are also on Wikimedia Commons (alongside photos from other contributors). Please credit me as Pax Ahimsa Gethen if you use any of them, thanks!
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