Native Women Lead Prayer, Banner Drop in Union Station: Call on Obama to End Dakota Access Pipeline


#NODAPL National Day of Action

Published November 15, 2016

WASHINGTON – During a busy morning commute, hill staffers and DC professionals had their regular routine disrupted by a group of Native women praying in Union Station. At 8am on Tuesday Nov 15, 20 people, led by DC Standing Rock Coalition and FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, gathered in Union Station, DC to pray that President Obama to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The action was live-streamed.

 “President Obama, we fear what the future holds under Trump. If you do not stop the pipeline during your term, the blood of our relatives will be on your hands,” Hope Butler (Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland) stated.

Native women stood in front of a 20-foot banner that read, “WE ARE STILL HERE.” They each stated what violence their tribal Nation had survived as the hands of the United States government. “They kidnapped us, forced us into boarding school to assimilate into a civilized society with a kill the indian save the man mentality,” declared Jordan Marie Daniel (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe).

The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the water and safety of the citizens of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and surrounding Native Nations. Pipeline construction has already destroyed sacred burial sites, violated treaty rights and threatens the tribe’s clean drinking water by going under the Missouri River.

Commuters were given flyers illustrating how the pipeline not only threatens clean drinking water, but could also increase sexual violence against Native women. They flyer included staggering statistics such as, “4 in 5 Native women will be raped, abused or stalked in her lifetime and 9 out of 10 of these perpetrators are non-Native.” and “The oil industry in North Dakota which bring “man camps” to the outskirts of reservations has already doubled and tripled calls for service for assault in affected Native communities.”

Daniel said of the action: “We coming together in solidarity it captured the attention of bystanders. It opened the minds and hearts of minds of people who might not know fully what’s going on in North Dakota and what the pipeline means.” Three staffers for the Obama administration took flyers stating, “I will give these to my boss.”

Although rumors of the Obama administration halting construction have been spreading since September, the administration has not acted to stop the pipeline. This morning’s prayer in Union Station was part of a National Day of action calling on the Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to use their authority to rescind the permits and stop construction.

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