Protesters for DAPL March Around Downtown and Block Intersection

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A group of up to 100 protesters on Tuesday afternoon gathered in front of the Army Corps of Engineers on Second Street to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline and to show solidarity with native people at Standing Rock who view their lands as threatened by the oil pipeline.

Tuesday marked a national day of action to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline being built through the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in the Dakotas.  A larger group of 600 people protested in Sacramento earlier in the day.

According to organizers, the pipeline needs one more permit – granted by the Corps – to complete construction under the Missouri River. This would endanger the tribe’s and 18 million other Americans’ source of water.

The main portion of the event dealt with the issue of indigenous sovereignty and what they are calling the ongoing environmental racism imposed on their communities by big business.  They pushed for the Obama administration to cease the construction of the pipeline, and also targeted two banks – Wells Fargo and Bank of America – that they said are financing the operation.

The protest also touched on the new Trump presidency.  One of the speakers said, “We need to stand up against (this fascist) government.”  She said, “We are not going to let this (BS) happen.  We are going to stop it.  We are going to do every single thing we can to stop white supremacy, to stop Donald Trump, to stop his supporters, to stop his regime which is trying to take over our country.”

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“The whole world is watching and we need to say, we’re not going to let this happen,” she continued, saying that “we are going to organize in the streets.”  She added, “We are going to fight this tooth and nail the entire way until he is gone.”

Francisco Dominguez told the crowd he had come from the rally in Sacramento, where he said there were 600 people.  “Both sides of J Street were packed,” he said.  “It was probably the biggest rally for indigenous rights in the history of Sacramento.

“This issue is environmental racism, straight up,” he said.  “These companies have been preying upon Indian Reservations across this land…  they’ve been doing it for years.”

He described an action that occurred in the early 1980s on another reservation, which he said they destroyed the land.  “In many places they have to truck the water in, because it’s poison,” Mr. Dominguez said.  “This movement that we had today, that should have been happening then.”

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The media, he said, did not pay attention because it was happening on an Indian Reservation, therefore “it doesn’t affect us.”  But he said, “Whatever happens on an Indian Reservation, ends up affecting society as we see it.  Now all lands have been opened up for oil exploration, extraction, fracking by our own government.  Last time I checked, I thought we had a democracy here.”

Mr. Dominguez told the crowd that the Army Corps of Engineers put out a statement that the company was not permitted to drill yet, that they had to do additional research.  “Which is good, because that company’s ready to drill,” he explained.  “Everybody needs to get busy on their phones, on their computers, sending out letters to the local politicians and legislators.”

He said that they went to the Davis City Council, which passed a resolution in support of the indigenous people.  “So if you hold the politicians accountable, they will do the right thing because they don’t want to be voted out,” he said.

After that were speakers who had recently been to Standing Rock and described conditions over there.

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There was a brief but strange encounter with an officer from the Department of Homeland Security – undoubtedly due to the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers would be under federal jurisdiction.  He rather aggressively demanded to know who the organizers of the protest were before exiting as the protesters began to march around downtown.

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The protesters headed to Wells Fargo, which they claimed was one of the main investors in the pipeline.  After chanting in front of Wells Fargo for a few minutes, they briefly considered entering the building and then decided to continue marching.

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In front of the Bank of America, on E Street, the protesters spoke and chanted.  This caused the bank to close their blinds, which only egged on the protesters more.

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The protesters then encircled the intersection of E Street and 2nd Street.  They chalked the street and blocked traffic.

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There was one incident where an angry motorist honked their horn.  Davis Police finally arrived on the scene, roughly an hour and a half after the protest began, and they mainly performed traffic diversion.  They interceded with the motorist and the motorist eventually did a u-turn and left the scene.

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For months, protesters have occupied land along the proposed path of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The pipeline would cross four states and transport roughly 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil daily at a depth that is 92 feet below the Missouri River.

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Protesters at Standing Rock have been met with police in riot gear – they have been pepper-sprayed, shot at with rubber bullets and have faced arrest.  For many, the protest has become a fight for human rights, not just environmental justice.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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56 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    They look like a bunch of spoiled brats playing with their chalk writing on the streets while disrupting downtown commerce.

    Thanks for posting the F___ Trump sign David, that is so classy.

      1. tribeUSA

        Quielo–yes, there are legions of anti-Trumpers spreading an exemplary message of unity and compassion by screaming ‘F–k Trump’ (I have heard a few such shouts late nites at UCD campus; and one loud and large, belligerent white boy near the campus gym (ARC) shouting this and glaring about; looking ready to accomodate anyone who dared to disagree, or wearing a Trump button; with a good solid beat-down.)

    1. Tia Will

      while disrupting downtown commerce.”

      About eight years ago, I was attempting to take my ill son to the doctor on a weekend. We were effectively blocked into our neighborhood by a “fun run” that blocked both ends of our exit route. I was exasperated, but recognized that these people too had the right to use of the street for their purposes although their purpose was “disruptive” to  my activities..

      Every year, we have bike races downtown in which entire blocks of downtown are cordoned off. I have yet to hear you, or anyone else complain about these activities which clearly “disrupt downtown commerce”.

      I find it very hard to believe that marking the street with chalk is any more childish than a “fun run” which could easily be done on a nearby track or bike races. Nor do I believe that our local commerce is more important than is the protection of Native American lands. These are lands that were stolen by the dominant culture by force and genocide. Now we continue to violate the rights of the survivor’s off spring for our “commerce”.  People have the right to freedom of speech and to peaceful protest both protected by our constitution. They have as much right to our public places as do others and they have my full support (although I do think that they would be more effective addressing one issue at a time).

      1. Barack Palin

        Big difference.  Those events you cited the organizers have to get a permit and are planned ahead of time with fair warning so people can plan accordingly.  Blocking streets just because some small group feels like it is against the law.  It’s getting to the point where there are too many causes where one group or another feel they have the right to disrupt people’s lives.

        1. hpierce

          The world is indeed ending… find myself agreeing almost completely with BP’s 6:18 post…

          Free speech is tempered with “time, place and manner”… the central fire station location has E and F Streets as significant response corridors… if there was no ‘permit’, no advance notice, the protesters were putting people at risk… did they not know?  or did they not care?  If the latter, they are hypocrites…

          I am a more than a bit sympathetic to the basic issue… the pipeline…

          I am not sympathetic to either the manner of the protest, nor Tia’s “rationalization”, comparing it to a planned, permitted “fun run”.

          But, apparently, some ‘notice’ was given to some, as David was on-scene, got his copyrighted pictures (OK, but a bit inconsistent with FOIA), got the story to drive up hits, comments and therefore potential advertising revenue…

          Perhaps the protesters gave notice, got permits… not evident from the “reporting”…

          Can no one see the irony that the protesters were demanding COE not issue a key permit yet no evidence they even applied for one?  Water quality concerns?  Chalking the streets where the chalk residue would go into storm drains and head downstream?  Was there an environmental assessment for that?

      2. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > I find it very hard to believe that marking the street

        > with chalk is any more childish than a “fun run”

        Most adults I know do an organized run every now and then while I don’t know any adults that play with chalk.  I’m wondering if Tia knows some Kaiser MDs that play with chalk on the street or sidewalk on a regular basis…

        1. Cindy_Pickett

          Downtown Davis hosts a Screever Chalk Fest every year. https://www.facebook.com/events/186273035143042/ Lots of adults playing with chalk. I guess the environment survived.

    2. David Greenwald

      I can never win, you realize. If I post it, then I’m being unclassy. If I don’t, then you’d go, hey how come you didn’t show that some of the protesters had F-Trump signs.

      1. Tia Will

        David

        And that doesn’t even consider that this comment came from a poster who frequently joins in with the “tell it like it is” and “whiny baby” chorus when the “bad words” are directed against groups or individuals of whom they do not approve. How many times have we heard from Frankly with the support of this poster, “its just words, they need to grow a thicker skin”. Consistency of thought ?  Not so much.

      2. Barack Palin

        I can never win, you realize. If I post it, then I’m being unclassy. If I don’t, then you’d go, hey how come you didn’t show that some of the protesters had F-Trump signs.

        You make a good point here David.  It’s just that the rhetoric is going way over the top and getting out of hand.  But I’ll give you this one, what you wrote here is correct.  I apologize.

        1. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          >  It’s just that the rhetoric is going way

          > over the top and getting out of hand.

          BP must forget that:

          Protestor saying F-Trump = Acceptable Protected Free Speech

          Trunp saying he F-d a Russian Model = Unacceptable Misogynistic Hate Speech

    3. Tia Will

      BP

      I probably dislike this sign much more than you do given my distaste for both the word and my feelings that the individual to which it was applied has been taped himself utilizing the same forms of vile communication.

      However, I am wondering how you feel about the sign “Protect the Sacred”. Might that sentiment be worth considering?

        1. darelldd

          HP – I infer that you assume “no religion” in this case. I respectfully suggest you think about the many meanings of religion before claiming that there is nothing sacred here. Religion encompasses far more than the commercial religions that employ super-star names, tithing and choir boys.

          Regardless, isn’t the point here more important than syntax (from either of us)?

        2. Matt Williams

          darell and hp, there is a huge difference between religion and Religion.

          I have long been of the belief that Religion is a whole bunch of human rules (for controlling society) mucking up perfectly good spirituality.

          A variant on that belief is that there is a huge difference in the meaning of the expression “Moral Compass” and the expression “moral compass.”

  2. Misanthrop

    You complain about the rhetoric now but the rhetoric has been declining since Trump started running for President. The winners of the election demanding civility is pretty funny. Trump let the genie of incivility out of the bottle. We will see how long it takes to put it back in. I fear we are going to see much incivility going forward.

      1. ryankelly

        I would say that Obama was civil.  The Trump campaign has definitely “normalized” uncivil rhetoric more than ever. That people are still cringing is a good sign.

  3. South of Davis

    Any evidence that blocking traffic for everyone in Davis that is against the pipeline got BP, Frankly or the other seven guys in town that want it built to change their minds?

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > Believe she’s a UCD student

        The woman in the plaid shirt with the Trump sign looks like she is pushing 40 (and has been out of college for 15 years)…

  4. Barack Palin

    Who even knew we had an Army Corps of Engineers office downtown?

    Maybe the protesters can keep pestering them so college engineer graduates will have less local job opportunities and we can free up yet another office to go with our other vacant storefronts?

    1. hpierce

      Uhhh… the office has been there over 40 years that I know of… I knew of it by 1976… known as the Hydrologic Center… where have you been?

      USDA has offices @ Fifth and G… since the building existed… surprise, surprise…

  5. David Greenwald

    You guys are kind of missing what I thought was the most interesting thing about yesterday.  The presence and conduct of DHS Police.  That was among the most creepy things I have seen in my time of coverage.

      1. David Greenwald

        The Davis Police in my view handled things well – the only arrived when the roads were blocked and then only to steer traffic away from the intersection.

        On the other hand, the DHS guy started getting into people’s faces with an aggressive stance from the start, demanded to know who the organizer was without explanation – the way he did it more than what he did it suggested that the purpose was intimidation. Some of the people he confronted were just normal townsfolk that many people on here have known for years and they came up to me after he left shrugging their shoulders in puzzlement. It was creepy.

    1. hpierce

      Presence?  C’mon…

      I guess you find Sheriff officials troubling to provide security at Elections, and/or the Courthouse… different levels of government have their security… what is troubling about that?  Was security present because they knew they were a “target”?

      Ever been to a bar or concert? A mall? You have problems with ‘rent-a-cops’?

      I’ve been in the COE offices several times (admittedly, before 9/11) and never felt ‘intimidated’… asked for my name and purpose of visit… not searched, no problem…

      The behavior part has already been asked…

      “Paranoia strikes deep… into your heart it will creep…”

      1. ryankelly

        I have a hard time believing that a small local protest march rises to the level of a national security threat.  Makes me want to know more.  Did anyone get his name?

          1. David Greenwald

            That’s a more interesting question than perhaps you think. There are a lot of differences in the two situations, the biggest one is that if you don’t want to get searched by TSA, you can turn around and leave the airport. But it does raise another point that conservatives are not fans of TSA, so it will be interesting to see what they do about that arrangement, if anything.

        1. hpierce

          David… did the HSA guy search anyone?

          I am no conservative (except somewhat, in certain matters… but would not impose those views on others, but might try to convince them).

          You are more than a bit paranoid in this event…

           

          1. David Greenwald

            No, like I said, he approached people in an aggressive manner and asked an odd set of questions.

  6. WesC

    Even the Glorious Leader thinks protests are OK.  In a recent Tweet The Donald stated  “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country”.

    Perhaps having more Sheeple is not what the country really needs.

  7. Chamber Fan

    It is concerning to see DHS Police at local protests, I think given the air of suspicion, that will have a chilling effect.

    However, I’m not a supporter on the main issue here.  Locally we have taken positions against oil trains, without trains, we need oil pipelines.  Maybe we can talk about the location, but it’s got to go through somewhere.

  8. Barack Palin

    If I get 10 people together and want to have a pro-pipeline rally downtown without a permit can we make “Build the Pipeline” and “F___ Crooked Hillary” signs and bring boxes full of chalk and expect the DPD to close off streets so we can chalk color on the pavement?  Can we do this without repercussion just as these anarchists did?

  9. hpierce

    BP… accidentally “dumb-thumbed” and hit ‘ignore commenter’, when I meant to hit ‘reply’…

    The “crooked Hilary” thing may come back to bite the president-elect in the butt, and possibly his male organ… Trump University?  His investments that are extensive, with no indication that they will be placed in a blind trust (accidentally made a pun, with the word “trust”)?

    His “suits” are already making sure he doesn’t have to appear in the TU case until after the inauguration or ever… guess you’re really OK with that…

  10. Misanthrop

    “If I get 10 people together and want to have a pro-pipeline rally downtown without a permit can we make “Build the Pipeline” and “F___ Crooked Hillary” signs and bring boxes full of chalk and expect the DPD to close off streets so we can chalk color on the pavement?  Can we do this without repercussion just as these anarchists did?”

    We would recognize it as a Tea Party rally.
     

  11. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    Protestor saying F-Trump = Acceptable Protected Free Speech

    Trunp saying he F-d a Russian Model = Unacceptable Misogynistic Hate Speech”

    A little perspective might be in order. The protestor is not running for the position of the leader of the US.

     

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