"The Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation, and as a result, bulldozers are approaching Standing Rock as we speak," wrote Amy Breedon, the event organizer. "But with coordinated, massive demonstrations across the country, we’ll make it clear that this powerful movement will not allow the Obama administration or [Donald Trump] to sacrifice Indigenous rights, our water, or our climate - they must reject this pipeline."
President Obama and the Army Corps had indicated recently that other routes for the pipeline would be explored. The Army Corps announced Monday that construction would be slowed as alternatives were considered.
But that claim was rejected by Energy Transfer Partners, the DAPL owner. On Tuesday, they announced that construction would continue and that the Army Corps had made its statement in error.
"To be clear, Dakota Access Pipeline has not voluntarily agreed to halt construction of the pipeline in North Dakota," said an Energy Transfer spokesperson in a statement provided to Reuters. They said they were moving equipment and preparing to drill under Lake Oahe. They projected that construction would be completed in two weeks.
On Thursday afternoon, the Bismarck Tribune reported that the Army Corps issued a second request for Dakota Access to voluntarily cease operations for 30 days, but the company is maintaining its position.
The protest in Akron will be one of many standing in solidarity with Native Americans and environmental activists at Standing Rock, and not the first locally. Many of the Water Protectors intend to stay encamped through the winter.
"For hundreds of years, indigenous people and the United States Army have been at odds," said Tara Houska, in a video calling for the day of solidarity in response to attacks by security forces on October 27. "It's time that we step forward and begin a new chapter together, one in which indigenous rights are respects, our lands are respected, and our waters are respected by the U.S. government."
Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...