ROCHESTER, Minn. – For months, environmentalists, Indian tribes and other activists have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being created to transport oil from North Dakota, through Iowa to Illinois.
We told you about the local organization Rochester for Justice wanting to show their support for the efforts by collecting donations the protesters were in need of. They began collecting items at the beginning of the month and last week drove up to North Dakota to deliver everything in person.
Kamau Wilkins, the president of R4J says they brought over 2,000 pounds of donated supplies; things like camping equipment, medical goods, and winter clothing. All that were donated by people in the greater Rochester area. The group was also able to collect $1,137 in donations. Wilkins says most of the financial donations were used to purchase a military-grade tent that is currently being used as a command center to house all donated clothing at the DAPL protest. Wilkins says they had a feeling that people in this area would come through in a big way to support a good cause.
“Trying to keep our water safe and our environment clean is something that I know this community takes to heart, event the more rural communities understand it because it’s their livelihood.”
Wilkins said one major thing they took away from the experience was that the tribe will need continued support, especially through the winter months. He says they need people who are willing to provide support in the form of work around the camp.
“Cutting wood, cooking, cleaning up garbage, those are the things that they need,” he explains. “The last thing they need is people that are going down there to believe that it’s some kind of party or some kind of burning man revival; its serious business to them and it’s the sanctity of their that they’re trying to save.”
He adds that R4J will likely hold another donation collection and make another trip to drop off supplies in the near future.