Approximately 300 people turned out in force at Sonoma Plaza on Tuesday night November 15 in a show of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their ongoing blockade of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). For well over an hour, hundreds of passing drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians signaled their support with horns, waves, and enthusiastic cheers. Local politicians, civic leaders, and media were prominent in the crowd, as were people young and old chanting, “What Do We Want, NO Pipeline” and “Protect the Water, You Can’t Drink Oil”.
The peaceful protest was just one among hundreds of other events held all over the world as part of an international “day of action”. The Sonoma protest was locally organized by
the Earth Care Committee of First Congregational Church, 350.org, and Transition Sonoma Valley, and co-sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network, Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club, Honor the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, Food and Water Watch, hundreds of clergy and indigenous rights advocates all over the world.
Since April, these Sioux “Water Protectors” have been on the front lines praying and blocking construction of the “black snake” through their tribal lands. Some 280 Native American tribes have joined them, and despite well documented brutality by militarized police, they have maintained their non-violent protest.
Earlier in the day, pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners went to court to block a recent decision by the Army Corp of Engineers to require “additional discussion and analysis” rather than grant construction right of way to Federal land under their jurisdiction.
Sonoma has at least six local retail banks owned by corporations that have loaned money to the DAPL project:
- Union Bank / Mitsubishi UFJ (Plaza – Broadway & Napa )
- Chase (Plaza- Broadway & Napa)
- Bank of America (1st W & Napa)
- Wells Fargo (5th W & Napa)
- US Bank (5th W & Studley)
- Citi (Maxwell Village)
Anyone holding an account at one of these banks way want to consider speaking to a branch manager about their investments in fossil fuel infrastructure. Future local protest actions may target these banks.