WASHINGTON, DC (Press Shia) – Hundreds of Americans gathered along the Annapolis Harbor to show their support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota.
According to Press Shia dispatches, supporters from across Maryland marched alongside Native American residents and environmentalists from the Chesapeake Bay up to the state capitol chanting the anti-pipeline slogan, "Mni Wiconi, Water is life" and "You can't drink oil! Keep it in the soil!" as bystanders clapped in support.
A number of the marchers carried banners reading, “When you continue to plunder Native lands and suppress Natives, how dare you speak freedom and equality?” a statement made by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in his message to the youth in the West.
Tamara Michaelson, 47, of Annapolis, marched with her 13-year-old daughter, Aaralyn. She said she found out about the pipeline originally from an indigenous friend who lives in Nebraska and has been following it on Facebook ever since.
"I don't know if we can stop it at this point," Michaelson said, "But the more people who know, the more people will start to fight it."
She said the recent election of Donald Trump brought "tears and terror" to her and other activists, but she's hopeful that President Obama might be able to stop the pipeline before he leaves office.
Hundreds of activists have moved onto the site in the past weeks to fight the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline, which they fear could harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Protests supporting the Standing Rock Sioux have been ongoing for months, with more than 260 people arrested so far in North Dakota.
The pipeline is to carry oil from western North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can send it on to Midwest and Gulf Coast markets. Energy Transfer Partners has said the pipeline is nearly complete other than the work in south central North Dakota.
The protest has drawn the attention of activists and celebrities, including actress-activist Shailene Woodley and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and actor Mark Ruffalo were at the protest camp earlier. Jackson said he was there "to pray together, protest together and if necessary go to jail together."