Student groups organize farmers’ market fundraiser in solidarity with #NoDAPL

By Hannah Depin

Police from six states have been marshalled by the state of North Dakota to attempt to shut down protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline by tribal members from across the country and their supporters. The pipeline is planned to cross the Missouri within a half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The developer of the $3.8 billion pipeline is Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas (Morton County Sheriff’s Office/TNS)
Morton County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

The Native American Student Association and Divest UMass will host a fundraiser and rally in solidarity with the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors tomorrow on Goodell Lawn, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Student Farmers’ Market.

The #NoDAPL Standing Rock Solidarity Farmers Market and Fundraiser will run from noon to 4 p.m. and feature vendors, music, speakers and educational materials about the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement.

“As an environmental justice group, we are in solidarity because this is a human rights violation,” said Mica Reel, an organizer for UMass Divest.

Reel said that a 1:30 p.m. speak-out rally will feature the voices of indigenous students and anthropology professors Sonya Atalay and Paulette Steeves .

The proceeds raised during this event will be donated to the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camps, the sites of the protests in North Dakota.

“This is a moment for everyone to come together to spread the word and show our support for the incredible front line leadership defending the right of native tribes to their water and way of life,” read a call to action on the event’s Facebook page.

In September, protestors began seeking to halt the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which was set to transport oil across four states. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other environmental activists believe the pipeline would pose a threat to safe water access and ecosystems, as well as run through sacred lands.

“The pipeline is more than an environmental issue. Native American communities have been oppressed, marginalized, and colonized throughout history,” said Reel.

The idea for this fundraiser originated a few weeks ago from Divest, who contacted the Native American Student Association to organize. “We didn’t see a lot of talk about [DAPL] on campus,” Reel said.

Hannah Depin can be reached at [email protected]