New York, NY – Around 800 people gathered at Foley Square, in lower Manhattan, Nov. 15, to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and protest against the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Brilliant signs were held by the protesters with the slogans “Water is life” and “Keep the oil in the soil.” After the initial introductions from the organizers, people chanted, “Get up! Get down! Keep fossil fuels in the ground!” and “Street by street, block by block, we stand with Standing Rock!”
Nov. 15 marked a national day of action where over 200 U.S. cities participated and demanded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny Energy Transfer Partners, the company spearheading the pipeline, access to the Standing Rock territory. A small victory was won the night of the Nov. 14, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made a concession saying that they must have further discussions with the Lakota nation before allowing further work could occur near and in Lake Oahe, a part of the Missouri River.
This concession came after weeks of militant protests, led by indigenous people, at Standing Rock.
There was a heavy police presence at the New York action as approximately squad 30 squad cars lined the square where the protest took place. When protesters tried to take the streets, the cops retaliated immediately and arrested 12 activists. The rest of the people there chanted at them, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”
However, the arrests didn't hinder the rest of the protesters and the action continued. One of the attendees, Colleen Baublitz, spoke about why it’s necessary to have actions of solidarity , “It is essential that we stand with them and speak out against growth in fossil fuel infrastructure that risks drinking water quality in the short term as well as long-term public health by exacerbating climate change.”
The crowd left in high spirits at the end of the protest, knowing that while a small concession was made, there would be more organizing to come.