About 30 students protested the Dakota Access Pipeline at 12:40 p.m. Thursday on the Lory Student Center plaza.
Students at the protest said they were informing bystanders not only of the environmental consequences of the pipeline, but of indigenous peoples in danger. The protesters called for bystanders to take action.
The protest was organized to get students to sign a letter opposing the pipeline to the Fort Collins City Council, said Griselda Landa-Posas a lead organizer of the event.
According to the protesters, the pipeline has created several issues with its construction, including disrupting the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the surrounding environment.
The pipeline, which is approximated to be 1,172-miles long, will transport domestically produced light sweet crude oil from fracking from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, according to the Dakota pipeline webpage.
The protesters informed bystanders of the negative outcomes the pipeline has for the indigenous community directly affected by the construction, as well as the unequal treatment of the people in the area.
Landa-Posas said that the pipeline goes through indigenous lands that were supposed to be protected under U.S. treaties, instead of going through white suburban areas. She said this depicts the capitalist motivations that ignore those who don’t directly impact the economy.
Other protesters also echoed the similar tidings of the supported discrimination that they felt the companies promoted by building through the indigenous lands.
“It isn’t a coincidence that the pipeline goes through indigenous lands,” said Michael Pipiales, an organizer of the event as well as a member of the SLICE office. “The pipeline was built through sacred burial grounds that were spiritually important to the indigenous, and (the pipeline has) the potential to endanger the water quality.”
One of the protesters told his own story of his interaction with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and fellow activists, after volunteering to bring supplies.
Adam Lovell said he brought supplies to the tribe and everyone was smiling and extremely grateful. He said when he went to the front lines of the protests, there was a warrior-like spirit, smiles and prayer.
According to the Guardian, the Table Rock Sioux protests began in April 2016, and since then people have been protesting by interfering with construction.
The on-campus protest had about 30 people in attendance, with bystanders passing and stopping to chat on occasion asking about the movement. A few students spoke about the protest, supporting the effort that the students had put forth.
Clair Andrews, a member of the SLICE office, said the protest was important since it tells students about the pipeline and shows students the importance of supporting activism.
“The protest has the ability to really go somewhere beyond just yelling on the stump since they are so actively reaching the students with signs and information,” said Kevin Ennes, a supportive student.
The protest continued into the afternoon, and multiple chants were started by the protesters.
“Water is life, water is sacred!” chanted the protesters.
“We can be the generation to change!” shouted Landa-Posas. “People over profits, earth over profits.”
The protesters hope to get several letters before the next city council meeting, as well as at least 20 speakers for the meeting, Landa-Posas said.
The letter opposing the Dakota Pipeline project can be signed at the SLiCE office, and students can learn more about the reservations being affected by the project at the Native American Cultural Center the protesters said.
Collegian reporter Logan Crizer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @logloc19.