This Saturday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Keep it Clean is hosting a Standing in Solidarity with Standing Rock march at the Sunken Gardens. The march will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. and will make its way down to Stearns Wharf. Organizers say the event’s goal and mission is to spread awareness to the community of Santa Barbara about the protests happening in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Reservation.
The North Dakota Access Pipeline (NAPL) is a 1,170 mile, $3.7 billion pipeline that is designed to pass underneath the Missouri River. Native American tribes say the project risks poisoning the drinking water for hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people. If completed, the pipeline would bring crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. The pipeline will also run through the Standing Rock Sioux’s sacred burial grounds.
The pipeline was originally rejected by the nearby residents of nearby Bismarck due to concerns of water poisoning.
Over 200 Native American tribes have joined together at Standing Rock to support the opposition of the pipeline. They have been standing their ground against the pipeline since April 2016. It has been the largest gathering of tribes in 100 years.
Not only has the conflict been about protecting the environment, it has also become a human rights movement as the media has reported on several incidents of North Dakota State Police spraying mace and firing rubber bullets at the pipeline protesters, who call themselves “water protectors.” Over 400 people have been arrested.
As the story has developed, multiple organizations have voiced their support for Standing Rock, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who called the project “a violation of tribal treaty rights.”
Leanna Garcia, the founder of Keep it Clean, had this to say: “As a country we cannot afford to contaminate any more of our nations natural water resources. Since Keep It Clean S.B. has been working hard to connect the community and make it a cleaner place, we feel that it is our duty to the people of North Dakota to stand up for their right to clean water! Water is life, and we believe everyone has the right to live, and the right to clean water. Please join us as we listen to multiple speakers tell the stories of what these protestors are fighting for and what they have endured so far. Make yourself more aware and join us in Solidarity with Standing Rock on November 19th!”