Protesters gathered in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday morning to demonstrate solidarity with activists in North Dakota who are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several of the protestors were arrested for trespassing.
Dozens of people, including Native American activists stood outside the Wells Fargo building chanting and singing.
Carol Surveyor is a member of the Navajo Nation and she helped organize Tuesday’s rally. Surveyor recalled the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill, which contaminated water in her community near the Four Corners region. She has gone to North Dakota twice to join protesters and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who have similar fears about the pipeline contaminating their water supply.
“We know what happens when our grounds are dug up,” She said. "When they are digging up natural resources. When they desecrate our lands. We have this tie between us.”
Protesters outside the Wells Fargo building shouted, “Water is life!” and “We can’t drink oil! Keep it in the soil!”
After noon on Monday, about nine of the protesters in Salt Lake City continued the demonstration inside the Wells Fargo building. Salt Lake City Police arrested eight of them when they refused to leave. A second protest is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Salt Lake City and County building.
More than 100 protesters were arrested in North Dakota last week. They were camping on the private property where construction is underway.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to carry nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil each day from North Dakota to just outside of Chicago. On its website project developer, Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil maintains the Dakota Access Pipeline will help the U.S. to become less dependent on unstable regions of the world for its energy needs. It also says underground pipelines are the safest mode of transporting crude oil.