Locals Rally in Solidarity with ND Sioux
Some 150 local concerned citizens held a rally at Washington Square Park to show solidarity with those in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The event was sponsored by Mothers Out Front, a climate awareness group, the Green Party of Monroe County and a newly formed group Project Connection. While the Dakota pipeline is thousands of miles away it has local implications including explosion- prone oil trains running through our city, a gas pipeline near schools and a nuclear power plant, and dangerous gas compressor stations in neighborhoods. The groups also stressed the importance of moving away from carbon emitting fossil fuels. Continuing to build massive fossil infrastructure like the Dakota pipeline will delay that transition while continuing to fuel climate change. Presentations included mayoral and council candidates Mary Lupien and Alex White. There was a performance by Rochester's Raging Grannies.
One important matter absent from this event was the need to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP. The TPP is not simply a trade agreement as its supporters claim. It would give corporations "rights" to ignore laws passed to protect the environment, consumers and workers. Some of its most egregious provisions would enable corporations to sue governments for "lost profits" resulting from such laws.
Following the rally a large number of the protesters staged a 10 minute action in the street. Police arrived to direct traffic around the rally but did not engage the protesters. It remained peaceful.