Nearly 150 people are planning to protest Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville to show solidarity with pipeline protesters in North Dakota, according to a Facebook event post.
Tiffany Holcomb-Pascual of Springdale organized the event on Facebook. The protest is called NWA Stand with Standing Rock and will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. near Walgreens at the intersection of Joyce Boulevard and College Avenue. The purpose is to raise awareness of the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, Holcomb-Pascual said.
The Energy Transfer Partners LP pipeline is intended to carry oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale fields to Patoka, Illinois and will also cross South Dakota and Iowa. A section of the pipeline routed to go under Lake Oahe, an ancestral site for the the Standing Rock Sioux adjacent to the tribe’s reservation. The Standing Rock Sioux oppose and filed suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia in July and protesters have been at the site for months.
“It just amazes me this has been going on for so many months, and there are are so many people who still don’t know this is going on,” she said.
Holcomb-Pascual was surprised by the number of people interested in participating, she said. So far, 145 people plan to attend and 515 have expressed interest in the event, according to the event’s Facebook page.
Olivia Morgan, president of the UA Native American Student Association, is helping with the event but is not going as a representative of the student group, she said.
“We don’t seek to represent all Native Americans on campus, but we want to come together as Native Americans and represent individually,” Morgan said.
The intersection of Joyce Boulevard and College Avenue is one of the busiest in Fayetteville and was once one of the busiest in Arkansas, said Sgt. Craig Stout of the Fayetteville Police.
Holcomb-Pascual hopes the demonstration will inspire the public to contact their government officials, she said.
“We are going to fight for the right to have clean water, and it’s something we shouldn’t have to fight for. But we will,” Holcomb-Pascual said.
Demonstrators will meet at 12:30 at Vintage Fellowship at 4083 N. Shiloh Drive.
A version of this article appeared in the Razorback Reporter.