Thousands of demonstrators are set to convene in Lower Manhattan Tuesday to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline that could threaten the land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota.
The rally, set to be begin at 4 p.m. in Foley Square at 111 Worth St., is one of hundreds scheduled to take place across the U.S. Tuesday, which indigenous leaders have declared a national day of action as part of the #NoDAPL movement.
The day of action aims to urge the U.S. government and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the $3.7 billion pipeline project, which could damage sacred grounds and contaminate water supplies.
“The purpose is to elevate the issue and to encourage the Army Corps to exert its power to stop this pipeline,” Dallas Goldtooth of Indigenous Environment Network told Reuters. The network, which is one of the organizers of Tuesday’s day of action, will be joined by dozens of other activist groups nationwide.
The same will be true for the Foley Square event, with dozens of local groups also taking part in the rain-or-shine rally. It will feature an indigenous-led opening ceremony, performers, action training and more, including “civil disobedience,” according to the event’s Facebook page.
Speakers include Standing Rock spokeswoman Tara Houska, Roberto Mukaro Borrero of the United Confederation of Taino People, Crystal Migwans of NYC Stands with Standing Rock, Pastor Doug Cunningham of New Day Church in the Bronx, who recently went to Standing Rock, and more. More than 2,400 people have RSVPed to attend the event.
The nationwide protests come one day after the Army Corps and Department of the Interior postponed making a decision on whether to give Energy Transfer Partners an easement to tunnel under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Energy Transfer Partners is the lead company in the pipeline construction, which is 85 percent complete, a company official said. The work that remains on the pipeline involves the lake.
Energy Transfer Partners’ Kelcy Warren donated more than $100,000 to the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump, who has not addressed the Dakota Access issue, but has professed support for oil pipelines and other energy infrastructure plans.