Protests erupt after Trump makes way for pipelines - Years Of Living Dangerously

Protests erupt after Trump makes way for pipelines

By Margaret Badore

Yesterday, President Trump signed documents calling for the completion of the North Dakota Access Pipeline and inviting TransCanada, the construction company behind the Keystone XL, to re-open its construction application.

A portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline that crosses the Missouri River is still under review by the Army Corps of Engineers. A representative from TransCanada told NPR that the company intends to resubmit their proposal, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada into the U.S.

Climate change activists responded quickly to the executive move, organizing protests around the country, including in D.C., Los Angeles and New York. Building new fossil fuel infrastructure will make it harder to transition to clean energy fast enough to prevent catastrophic climate change, and also increases the risk of leaks and spills.

Here in New York City, a group of over 100 demonstrators gathered at Columbus Circle to show opposition to the construction of the pipelines. Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, one of the organizers of the event along with 350.org, spoke alongside Jane Fonda and a number of Native American water protectors from Standing Rock. After a the speakers finished, the crowd marched to the nearby Trump Tower.

“We have peace, we have love, we have prayer, we have non-violence, we have each other, we have organizing,” Fox told the crowd. “Those are our tools.” According to Fox, there are about 500 water protectors still at Standing Rock, and some are calling for more people to join them. “We are sending a message to Donald Trump,” he said. “We are not going anywhere.”

Josh Fox and Jane Fonda speak to protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL pipelines.

Fonda dismissed the notion that protest is ineffective, and told the crowd that demonstrations can create change. After calling Trump the “Predator in Chief” she called for people to divest from companies and banks that are funding DAPL, by visiting defunddapl.org.