By Madison Friend, Erica Gilman
Additional Reporting by Jennifer Johnson
Members of the Clark and WSU communities, waving signs that read “#NoDAPL” and “water is life,” joined activists across the country on Tuesday when they gathered on WSU’s campus to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Ashley Seymour, a senior at WSU, head of WSUDivest, and the organizer of Tuesday’s action, used social media to spread the word on- and off-campus. She feels that publicity was essential to the protest’s success.
“The event was publicized on Saturday and within three days over 40 people came together to stand against the pipeline,” said Seymour.
Dawn Lovejoy, another WSU senior at the protest, agreed, lamenting the way more traditional news outlets had failed to cover the event.
“Social media allowed information to filter out to many different areas and gave regular folks, like me, the chance to learn more,” Lovejoy said. “I wanted and want to support something that is important but was also being managed by real people.”
Construction of the pipeline, which was blocked by the federal government last Friday in response to the protests of the Sioux tribe and many environmental organizations, would run through a river just to the north of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s North Dakota reservation. The debate has since blossomed into a national controversy, spawning protests across the country.
“It’s so beautiful so see so many people step away from their daily life and fight for something bigger themselves,” said Seymour. “We are all in this together so one person’s fight is everyone’s fight.”