2016-11-10 / Around Town

Newport Stood Up for Standing Rock

By Olga Enger


Newporters joined protesters across the country as tensions continue to increase over the proposed 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline. Claiming the project would destroy sacred sites and threaten the water supply, the Standing Rock Sioux have sued to stop the pipeline from crossing under the Missouri River next to their reservation. Newporters joined protesters across the country as tensions continue to increase over the proposed 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline. Claiming the project would destroy sacred sites and threaten the water supply, the Standing Rock Sioux have sued to stop the pipeline from crossing under the Missouri River next to their reservation. About 100 people gathered in Washington Square on Saturday, Nov. 5, to demonstrate their support for the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“I am here because water is way more important than oil, and rights are being refused,” said Middletown resident Doreen Beattie. “They are putting people over profit.”

A controversial $3.7 billion pipeline would connect four oil-rich states from North Dakota to Illinois, where oil would be transported to refineries on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has asserted the project would destroy their burial and prayer sites and other areas of religious and cultural significance.

The rally opened with traditional Indian drumming performed by the Soaring Eagle Singers, a group from the Aquidneck Island Intertribal Indian Council. Dave Flamand then performed David Bowie and John Lennon on guitar. Several speakers took the podium, including Newport Rep. Lauren Carson and Jordan Miller, an assistant professor at Salve Regina University.

Demonstrations supporting the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s opposition have been ongoing for months in North Dakota. More than 260 people have been arrested, including Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman, who was charged with rioting while covering the demonstrations. A judge dismissed her case on Oct. 17.

Last week, one million people from across the country checked into the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to demonstrate solidarity after rumors surfaced that law enforcement was using social media to gauge the escalating protests, according to Facebook.

Locally, advocates launched a Facebook page, “Aquidneck Island Stands with Standing Rock,” which has over 200 followers.

To listen to the rally’s music, visit newportthisweek.com and click the video on the right column of the page.

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