Hamilton stands in solidarity with Standing Rock
Hundreds of protestors gathered in Gore Park on Nov. 7 to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline and stand in solidarity with water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a proposed, 1,886 km long underground oil pipeline project that is planned to begin in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, traveling through to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline is set to cross beneath the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and part of Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
A camp, set up at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation earlier this spring, sees several groups of environmentalists, concerned citizens and Indigenous folk from across North America protesting this project. To date, hundreds of people have been arrested and members of over two hundred Indigenous groups across North America are actively supporting the protests.
Hamilton’s rally was organized in response to these protests by Hamilton350, a local chapter of 350.org, which advocates internationally for a clean and safe climate. The main focus of the rally was to create public awareness and keep the solidarity movement growing.
“We felt it was extremely crucial that we respond to the international call-out that the Standing Rock Sioux put out,” said Robyn Sifton, social media coordinator for Hamilton350. “We have to respond. This is a matter of urgency, it’s a matter of right here, right now. It’s happening down there but it’s also up here.”
Hamilton’s protest was also organized to raise awareness of the funding that the Dakota Access Pipeline is receiving from Canadian banks. TD Securities is financing $365 million dollars toward the construction of the pipeline, while RBC and Scotiabank are investing millions of dollars respectively toward energy companies who are partial owners of the pipeline project.
“[The rally] was about creating awareness, because you know, everyone has a bank account, everyone has a job, or is trying to get a job, so it’s important to be aware of where your money is going,” said Sifton. “That transcends past banks into corporations too; where is your money going? Who is it benefiting? What inhumane activities are going on that you may or may not be aware of that your money is contributing to?”
You can find out more about what Hamilton350 is working on here.
C/O Kim Herod-Gromadzski