Meet the new boss.
President Donald Trump on his fifth day of office signed an executive order reversing President Barack Obama’s efforts to block and reroute, respectively, the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipelines. In response, Seattle activists who have been fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline—better known by its acronym DAPL—are staging an “emergency mass action” tonight at Westlake Center. The protest will take place at 5:30 p.m.
According to organizers, “protesters will converge on Westlake Park in response to President Donald Trump signing an executive order to move the (pipelines) forward. This is a devastating reversal and threatens all our collective efforts to protect clear water and the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux.”
The Standing Rock Tribe has been fighting DAPL because it says it crosses sacred lands and, by going under the Missouri River directly upriver from their reservation, would imperil its drinking water. The protests have gained national attention, and many Seattleites have traveled to North Dakota to join in with the demonstrations. DAPL has also spurred a divestment movement in Seattle, with much of the focus put on Wells Fargo.
More from the activists: “Native American activists and leaders will speak, sing, and drum. This will be led by Millie Kennedy and Rachel Heaton.”
Obama had halted the Keystone project in 2015 out of concerns over climate change; more recently, he ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to find an alternative route for the DAPL to address concerns from Standing Rock. According to the Associated Press, Trump said upon making his order: “From now on we are going to start making pipelines in the United States.” But those opposed to the pipeline have vowed to fight on: “President Trump will live to regret his actions today,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told the AP. “Unwittingly he is beginning to build a wall — a wall of resistance. This fight is far from over.”
Again, deets on tonight’s protest:
Where: Westlake Center
When: 5:30 p.m.