NAWILIWILI —Kauai stood in solidarity with Standing Rock on Tuesday, in a worldwide call for the protection of the rights of indigenous people and for the protection of Earth.
The demonstration was one of many across North America, speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), an oil-transmission line proposed to go through North Dakota and opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as environmental activists.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the project in the Dakotas, is requesting permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dig under Lake Oahe.
“We are here to honor native sovereignty rights and to say that our communities, water and climate matter more than fossil-fuel profits,” said Michael “Kip” Goodwin, of Kauai.
Stopping the plan to drill underneath the Missouri River, demanding a full environmental impact statement on the project, and asking the U.S. Department of Justice to go to the site and witness the “injustices happening at Standing Rock” were the objectives of the demonstrations, according to a video released by the organizations Honor The Earth, and Indigenous Environmental Network.
“(We ask you) to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and all other communities fighting for the protection of Mother Earth,” the video said.
About 30 people raised signs in the midst of drums, tambourines and acknowledgement from passersby on Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Nawiliwili and Wilcox roads, across from the proposed site of a liquefied natural gas facility on Kauai.
The facility is set to hold 660,000 gallons of propane across from Pier 2 in Nawiliwili Harbor, and the proposal is before the state Department of Transportation Harbors Division.
“Standing Rock is a stand against headlong descent into climate oblivion,” Goodwin said. “Standing Rock is a stand against the ongoing genocide of native people who are made invisible by the government and media and who are being pushed to the margins of society.”
Sonia Song said she joined the demonstration to direct a message straight to those protesting DAPL in the Dakotas.
“We support indigenous people’s rights to protect the land and the water,” the Kapaa woman said.
Sandy Herndon, also of Kapaa, was demonstrating against the injustices she’s seen happen during the past few months at the standoff between tribes and activists, and the pipeline developer.
Those injustices include the use of rubber bullets, sound cannons and illegal arrests, she said.
“One thing that people really need to understand is that injustice anywhere undermines justice everywhere,” Herndon said. “Just because we’re not Dakota…we have water to protect and they’re bringing more natural gas to the island. It’s time to stand up as a people and be counted.”