From Appalachia Resist!
In Columbus, Ohio hundreds of protesters marched together in solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock North Dakota. “This action is occurring simultaneously with protests across the nation and world in solidarity with the people at Standing Rock” said Madeline Fitch of Appalachia Resist!.
The peaceful protest began in front of the Columbus statehouse and ended a few blocks away outside of Chase Bank at 3rd & Broad. Issues such as Ohio’s deployment of 37 State troopers to North Dakota who have engaged in militaristic human rights abuses against peaceful NoDAPL protesters at the expense of Ohioan taxpayers, divestment by banks who have invested over $3.7 billion into Energy Transfer Partners disastrous pipeline, and a call for President Obama to end his final term in the White House with the immediate halting of the US Army Corps of Engineers permits.
“Water is life!” Shouted Peter Gibbons-Ballew- the protester who ground traffic to a halt after locking himself to a van at The intersection of Third and State Street. Police on horseback were on the scene as were multiple fire trucks, and helicopters circled overhead. “Today is not a day for business as usual – today is a day to shine a light on the human rights abuses being perpetrated on indigenous people attempting to protect their own health and welfare” said protester Lauren Goldberg. Business as usual certainly was not possible in the several hours that protesters occupied the Columbus financial district in one of the biggest protests Columbus has seen for years.
From an earlier press release:
Today, November 15, 2016, has been declared a National Day of Solidarity with the Standing Rock Water Protectors seeking the immediate halt of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC (ETCO). Today we call upon our fellow citizens, elected leaders and law enforcement to rectify the perpetuation of systemic and physical violence against the Indigenous Water Protectors and their Allies at Standing Rock as they defend the health and safety of their water systems and land.
- We demand the return of Ohio State Troopers. We do not support the use of our troopers for military action against citizens acting out of concern for their own safety.
- As of October 29, Ohio has sent 37 state troopers to North Dakota to contribute to the paramilitary and private security forces already operating. According to Appalachia Resist!, “Ohio troopers don’t belong in North Dakota. Their addition to law enforcement at Standing Rock serves to perpetuate violence against a legitimate and peaceful protest with legitimate concerns.” Protesters have been maced, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, locked in dog cages, pulled out of Sweat Lodges during prayer, and brutally assaulted–including children and elders. The group stated, “Committing Ohio state troopers to Standing Rock is an attack on human rights and a misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
- We demand that financial institutions divest from DAPL. We ask that individual citizens immediately divest from the banks funding DAPL.
- DAPL is being funded by countless banks from around the globe. Through Energy Transfer Partners, private banks have invested over $3.75 Billion in the construction of the DAPL. The list of financial institutions invested in DAPL includes Wells Fargo, Citibank/Citigroup, TD Securities, ING Bank, BBVA Securities, Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank/PNC Bank/Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, SunTrust, UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley and many others.
- We demand the President immediately halt DAPL by ordering the US Army Corps of Engineers revoke the construction permit.
- Appalachia Resist! states, “Energy Transfer Partners has violated the physical, spiritual, and financial well-being of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their Allies.”
- Because of grave concerns of human rights abuses, the United Nations and Amnesty International have deployed human rights observers to Standing Rock to monitor law enforcement and private security aggression.
- The construction of DAPL crosses the Missouri River, the sole drinking water source for thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-indigenous. Each year there are hundreds of oil spills from similar pipelines. A spill from DAPL would result in the catastrophic destruction of the Missouri River as a viable water source.
- Sacred land, ancestral burial grounds, and spiritual objects have already been devastated by this project. Halting construction cannot bring these back, but would prevent the further destruction of land, water, and humans.
Today in the heart of the Columbus financial district, across from the Governor’s office, we call for these demands to be met.