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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts: Masada Disenhouse masada@sandiego350.org 619-335-1265
 
Hundreds of San Diegans, including local Native American Nations rally against Dakota Access Pipeline at Army Corps of Engineers

One of over 300 events in a national day of action across the U.S.

San Diego, CA – Over five hundred people rallied, waved banners and signs, and hand-delivered individual postcards to the Army Corps of Engineers office in San Diego, calling on the Army Corps to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. This was one of several hundred actions at Army Corps locations across the country in solidarity with the Native American Water Protectors in Standing Rock who are calling for a rejection of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over 30,000 people across the country took action today calling for Obama and the Army Corps to reject the pipeline permits.

Native-led organizing has elevated the issue of the Dakota Access Pipeline significantly, and just yesterday the Obama administration delayed the decision on the pipeline until the Army Corps of Engineers holds talks with impacted Native American tribes. People participating in the actions across the country today are calling for a permanent rejection of the pipeline. Attendees at the San Diego action included members of the Kumeyaay Nation and several other Native Nations, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, and SanDiego350.

If built, the pipeline would carry toxic, fracked oil from North Dakota across four states, and under the Missouri River immediately upstream from the Standing Rock Lakota Reservation. That makes it a threat to the sacred land and water of Native communities and, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels a day, a major setback for the climate. For months, thousands of indigenous activists have set up “protector” camps along the pipeline route in a historic moment of nonviolent resistance.

Bobby Wallace from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and the Kumeyaay Nation, who has organized multiple large #NoDAPL rallies in San Diego and who has made several trips to Standing Rock to provide supplies and support, opened the event. He said “Let’s stand together in solidarity with the people at Standing Rock who are protecting the water and the planet for all people. Let’s practice our right to free speech today, and take a leap of faith together to imagine a future where our water, land, and sacred sites are protected, and where the civil rights of all Americans are respected.”

Gina Tiger-Madueno, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux / Hunkpapa Lakota who lives in Chula Vista and has travelled to Standing Rock Reservation to document the historic nonviolence resistance and deliver supplies, said “As a young mother, I know I cannot stand by and watch our planet and our way of life be destroyed. It’s time for Native Americans and all Americans to demand respect for the treaties and protection of our water and our climate.”

Aida Cruz, a Registered Nurse in Southern California and long-time member of the California Nurses Association (part of National Nurses United which represents 185,000 nationally), and whose own daughter is currently packing to travel to Standing Rock, said “Like the Keystone Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline would carry crude oil across multiple state lines. These projects pose a continual threat to public health, with many examples of oil spills from ruptured pipelines contaminating water supplies and leading to respiratory ailments and other negative health impacts.” She also said that burning fossil fuels contributes to the escalation of climate change. “It’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground and transition to clean energy – for the health of our patients and planet.”

Other moving speeches were heard, including those from Imam Taha of the San Diego Islamic Center and David Duro, Jr., a US Army Veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne 2000-2004 - both of whom have traveled to Standing Rock. After bird songs from Kupa Song n Dance, the large, peaceful crowd marched through the office building complex and filed up the narrow stairway to reach the Army Corps of Engineers office. There, each of the hundreds of participants delivered a handwritten postcard to the Army Corps, calling for a rejection of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In response to the ongoing brave and non-violent resistance led by Native Americans across the country, yesterday the Obama administration delayed the decision on the pipeline while the Army Corps of Engineers engages with impacted Native American tribes. Organizers across the country have made it clear that the fight to stop the Dakota Access pipeline will continue until President Obama rejects the pipeline, and that they will not back down under a Trump Administration.

Organizers emphasize that this action served as a further step demonstrating the strengthening intersection between resistance to fossil fuels and resistance to white supremacy and hate. Similar movements stopped the Keystone XL pipeline almost a year ago today, and the movement to stop the Dakota Access is growing ever-larger.

Masada Disenhouse, a SanDiego350 Steering Committee Member added, “After a lot of pressure from climate advocates like us around the country, the President did the right thing by shutting down the Keystone pipeline. It’s time he does the same for the Dakota Access pipeline, and that he takes steps to keep all fossil fuels in the ground”.

 
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SanDiego350 is an inclusive volunteer organization devoted to inspiring a movement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and climate injustice. We strive to create a future that supports a livable planet and just society through education and outreach, public policy advocacy, and mobilizing people to take action. We are affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.
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