A group of community members gathers at the corners of Bank of America to peacefully protest. Photo credit: Marrion Charissa Cruz
A group of community members gathers at the corners of Bank of America to peacefully protest. Photo credit: Marrion Charissa Cruz

Community members stand in solidarity with Standing Rock

December 6, 2016

A weekend of solidarity has started downtown on each of the four corners of Bank of America.

The Facebook page “Chico Stands with Standing Rock-Defend the Sacred! DeFund DAPL!” calls to show support for Oceti Sakowin, The Great Sioux Nation and the Water Protectors. The post asks supporters to move their money to a credit union and continuously apply “positive pressure to end the pipeline” by calling or writing financial institutions. The page has acquired 1.9 thousand shares, 457 interests and 184 attendees.

Protester Misty Brook Steward recently returned to Chico from a three-week solidarity protest, called “action” by those participating, at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the borders of North and South Dakota. She has been to 15 action sites and witnessed a multitude of injustices on the “most peaceful people” she has met in her lifetime.

Events that took place on Nov. 20 really changed Steward’s perspective.

“I saw with my own eyes the military police starting fires by themselves,” Steward said.

She has reported that the same police force has blamed protesters for starting hostile behavior.

“When I got there until when I left after three weeks, it was depressing. It made you nauseous,” she said. “Right before I left, the veterans came and have used themselves as a human shield. As I know, they’ve taken back Turtle Island for the tribe.”

She describes the Lakota Prophesy the protesters at Standing Rock have lived by.

“The best part of the Lakota Prophecy is that it states ‘If we stay in peace and prayer, we will defeat the black snake.'”

Her objective is to organize a bigger crowd peacefully to encircle all the banks in the area. The protesters have gotten no direct response from Bank of America concerning their protest.

According to a news source, Inforum.com, Wells Fargo is the first and only of the 17 banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline who have assured a meeting of bank officials with tribal leaders.

Marrion Charissa Cruz can be reached at [email protected] or @marrion_orion on Twitter.

 

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