A group of area residents met Sunday for the first time at Gather on Broadway. A Facebook page, “Aquidneck Island Stands with Standing Rock” was published Friday and now features an event page with updated event details and more information on the issues. The group plans a GoFundMe page for the water protectors and has set a goal of $5,000. Funds will go to collect and purchase Winter camp supplies and herbal care packages prepared by Sarah Berkman, of GATHER on Broadway. Speakers include State Representative Lauren Carson (D-77) and Professor Jordan Miller from Salve Regina University. More speakers TBA.
The 1,172-mile, $3.8 billion oil pipeline is opposed by over 300 tribal nations globally and by thousands of water protectors encamped at Standing Rock, North Dakota, land owners and others all along the pipeline route. While this issue may seem far away in North Dakota, water protection is a global and local issue; Aquidneck Islanders and people across the State face comparable threats to our waters and water supply along with related environmental and human health concerns.
Organizers welcome to all who are committed to a peaceful and civil dialogue and outward expression of support for indigenous rights, the 1st Amendment and the protection of water in the heartland, across the globe and here in Rhode Island. Organizers are already calling the White House, talking with their representative in Congress, calling upon the press for greater media attention and signing petitions. In addition, the group calls for divestment and closing of accounts with Bank of America, Citizens Bank and other banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline and its parent group, Energy Transfer Partners.
“Never before in history have so many tribal nations and peoples united in a global movement, this is epic-scale and growing every day,” said one organizer Sunday, “This is an opportunity for our community to rally and Stand with Standing Rock for water, for life and for what is right.”