Filed under: Action, Development, Environment, Indigenous, Midwest
“Are you with the protesters? Get out…or I’ll get the police,” Washington Street’s TD Bank branch manager said on Friday to Sina Moravej, a member of Dragonfly Climate Collective who tried to deliver a letter asking for the bank to stop funding the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.
Outside the building, approximately 125 people held signs in support of the indigenous Standing Rock Sioux members in North Dakota and members of other indigenous nations who have been putting their bodies and their horses in the way of the pipeline’s construction. Construction has already destroyed sacred burial grounds, and the pipeline could threaten the Missouri River, a major source of drinking water. Many residents say they were not consulted about the project. Private security forces have brutally attacked indigenous protesters with dogs and pepper spray.
The Washington Street crowd chanted, “TD Bank, you can’t hide! Stop funding genocide!”
“Protecting the water is why I stand up. I’m here to protect the land and to protect the cultural resources. I was raised in the Navajo Nation, and Mother Earth is who I fight for,” said Katrina Harry.
“The climate change issue will not wait and we need to keep as much fossil fuel in the ground as possible. This pipeline project completely ignores this issue,” said Sal Mangiagli.
Around the time of the protest, news arrived that the Justice Department had called for a temporary halt to a part of the pipeline’s construction. In issuing the order, the government admitted that environmental and cultural concerns had not been fully heard. Protests are expected to continue around Connecticut and around the country, in solidarity with the indigenous resistance to the pipeline.
Dragonfly Climate Collective is an all-volunteer group that takes direct action in solidarity with communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Photos and video will be posted on their website: capitalismvsclimate.org.
Photo by Katrina Harry