Penn State

Penn State students demonstrate against Dakota Access Pipeline

In the midst of an anti-Donald Trump rally at Penn State on Tuesday also came a demonstration that generally doesn’t get much attention in central Pennsylvania — one that protests the Dakota Access pipeline.

On Tuesday, a group of people held a march on campus in conjunction with the larger national Day of Action against the DAPL.

It was spearheaded locally by Penn State students Jimmy Burridge, Kaitlyn Stocker and Leighton Young, but it couldn’t have happen without the help of other community and university groups.

Stocker said the idea to hold the rally stemmed from a conversation while at Lila Yoga Studio, whose owners advocate for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which could be affected by the pipeline.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline, is a planned 1,172-milelong underground oil pipeline that would run through parts of the Midwest and Great Plains.

The multibillion dollar project has been the center of controversy among many Native American tribes including those within the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

In attendance were also student members of the Penn State Student Society for Indigenous Knowledge.

“It can decimate land on the tribe, and it’s environmental injustice,” club President Kelli Herr said.

Stocker said the Dakota Access Pipeline “violates rights and treaties” of indigenous people and threatens their land and drinking water.

“It’s not a popular topic in State College area, but we can be a local voice against the pipeline that violates indigenous people,” she said.

Penn State junior Lauren Etcitty, of New Mexico, is a member of the Navaho Nation.

She said she and her family are advocates of indigenous activism.

“It’s giving a voice for the minority or minorities,” Etcitty said. “We want to protect our Mother Earth.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo