By MELINDA TUHUS
About 125 people came to New Haven, CT, on Sept. 7 for an action in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which is fighting to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline from invading its historic territory. The pipeline would cross the Missouri River just outside the reservation in North Dakota, threatening the tribe’s water supply. (More from at BXE’s blog post here.) “Water is Life,” many of our signs said.
Our target was TD Bank, conveniently located across from the New Haven Green and Yale University. Dozens of students joined community members in picketing outside the bank, since it is a financial backer of the pipeline to the tune of $365 million. After awhile, most of us entered the bank to deliver a letter asking the branch manager to pass on our demand to TD Securities that it cut off its line of credit to the pipeline company. We made a lot of noise and eventually left.
We crossed back and forth on Chapel Street – a main thoroughfare in town – between the bank and the Green, where several speakers gave their perspectives on the need to support the indigenous leadership of the Sacred Stones camp and the Red Warrior camp at Standing Rock.
Many people asked me, “What’s the next action?” One said she’s ready to go to North Dakota and would like to organize others to go with her. We collected 85 names and emails. Once the federal judge issues his ruling on the tribe’s request for a restraining order to stop construction until a more thorough assessment can be done of the pipeline route, I will send an update with information from many local groups that participated in the action, including 350CT, Black Lives Matter, SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) and BXE.
(An article from the New Haven Register is here. )