UCI students and Humanities faculty members rally in solidarity for Standing Rock

They came to the flagpoles to show support with the movement

In light of recent news from the police clash in North Dakota against oil pipeline protesters, UCI humanities faculty and students alike joined together at noon yesterday to rally for Standing Rock.

An email was forwarded from Professor Tamara Beauchamp asking students to: “Come to the flagpoles outside of Aldrich Hall at NOON TODAY to join members of the UCI American Indian Resource Program, UC-AFT Librarians and Lecturers’ union and UAW, which represents Academic Student Employees, for reports back from the Standing Rock resistance encampment, where thousands are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) including UCI faculty and students.

“This peaceful, nonviolent solidarity rally invites the UCI community to respond to the election of Donald Trump in creative, positive solidarity with indigenous peoples and voice their loud support for the Constitution, ecological sustainability and for human and civil rights. Support Standing Rock!”

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Many speakers came forward about their thoughts on the news regarding Standing Rock. An American Indian Student Association member from UCI, Tosheena Nez, spoke about her personal importance for water and how she “didn’t  have direct access to water” being on the Navajo reservation. She also stated how Uranium mining affected her community and the drinking water and why it was crucial to stand for Standing Rock.

Tosheena Nez speaking on the importance of water.

Tosheena Nez speaking on the importance of water.

When asked about what she hoped to accomplish with this rally, she stated that she wants “Community action and to have control over local government” and hopes for the North Dakota Pipeline to be shut down before Trump takes office. Nez also stated that Dr. Graham, Director of the American Indian Resource Program at UCI helped establish a connection to rally with other faculty members and students alike.

Some came forward with their reports on what they saw in North Dakota, “I went to standing rock to support native american rights.” One graduate who had been at the police clash stated that he “saw militarized policed” as well as “the national guard working as a security firm for a private oil company.” He gave his testimony about people “being sprayed with pepper spray” and “being beaten with clubs.” He also confirmed reports that “water protectors [were] being sprayed in freezing temperatures.”

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