Tuesday, Jan 24 President Trump signed two executive orders with respect to the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
President Trump’s decision sparked public outcry when protests occurred nationwide. Residents of Olympia, WA gathered downtown to march the streets in protest. The protestors blocked traffic as they marched from Olympia City Hall to the 4th avenue roundabout and back. The group of about fifty members proceeded to crowd inside City Hall while a City Council meeting took place upstairs.
President Trump stated both pipeline projects would proceed once contract details are agreed upon. “We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms and if they’d like we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built.” The President’s signature regressed the former administrations’ actions to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and abolish the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.
Camp Oceti Sakowin, the protest camp of the Standing Rock Sioux, requested public action and released a statement on Tuesday, “We are putting a call out immediately for allies and people to stand up where they are, mass civil disobedience as a showing of solidarity for Standing Rock.” Oceti Sakowin later issued a formal letter which addressed the President directly.
Olympians responded Tuesday evening with the march and a vocal crowd inside City Hall. The group waved signs and chanted, “Do we stand with Standing Rock or is that a bunch of crock? City Council said so when they let the proppants go.” The chant referenced the city’s recent allowance of fracking proppants, used in pipeline construction, to be transported by the Port of Olympia. The allowance of transport opposed a City Council resolution, released last October, that claimed to support Standing Rock and opposed DAPL construction.
One attendee, who requested to remain anonymous, said “We’re here to support and protect: native lands, clean water, climate change, equal rights, you name it. Today was a sad day in history, we just took ten steps back. People were almost killed at Standing Rock, this is worth fighting for.”