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https://goo.gl/IVlASw  <--mp3 link, 24 min

Cherri Foytlin,  Bold Louisiana​ “The government has told them they cannot drill…they have said they have every intention of drilling underneath that water, you know why? They’ve got enough money to pay a fine, they don’t care, there’s no teeth, nobody’s holding them to task, you know? The only thing that’s going to hold them to task is you and me and everybody else, right?” 

"We as the people of the United States are being stepped on by corporations and rich people that think that we don’t matter. They don’t care. They don’t. And the worst thing they are doing is making other poor people think that it’s us, that’s it’s us that we’re doing that to them.” 

“The thing about Standing Rock, when I was there, was this hope that goes across everyone that’s there. It’s a belief that runs through everything like that river runs through that land that we will win." 

More than 300 people gathered in front of the Army Corps Office on Leake st in support of water protectors in North Dakota and Iowa who have assembled to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from transporting fracked crude oil from Bakken fields to Tx and through Louisiana. The Louisiana leg of the Dakota Access Pipeline is know as Bayou Bridge, and a portion already runs from Nederland, Tx to Lake Charles, LA. 

The Lake Charles to St James segment is proposed to destroy 600 acres of wetland and cross more than 700 water bodies, including the crawfish producing Atchafalaya Basin, and Bayou Lafourche, drinking water for over 300,000 residents of coastal Louisiana. 

Alicia Cooke of 350 Louisiana - New Orleans​, James Hartwell of Gulf Restoration Network​, Anne Rolfes of Louisiana Bucket Brigade​, and Cherri Foytlin of Bold Louisiana spoke to the racial injustice of the pipeline route, avoiding federal law for profit, the likelihood of spills and accidents, and the need for a hearing on the Bayou Bridge segment. Scierra Lagarde of NOLA Supports Standing Rock led a water ceremony with this statement:

"This is not a native issue, this is a human issue, because all of us need water to survive. All of us need a clean environment for ourselves for our children. And that's why i'm standing here, that's why our team at NOLA supports Standing Rock is. That's why we're all here, it's for a clean environment and clean water.  If it's not up at Standing Rock, it's down here in Louisiana with this Bayou Bridge." 

"I was a victim of Katrina and the BP oil spill. Two instances that would not have happened if it not for a messed up environment. Katrina would not have had the momentum if we had had our wetlands, and we wouldn't have lost our wetlands if not for these oil spills... It's a damaging cycle that keeps going on." 

"The Mississippi River, we are just nothing but a train station when you think about it. We're the last stop on that train station, and it starts up in North Dakota." 

We are all related, Mitakuye Oyasin, we are all related, and Mni Wiconi, Water is life" 

The assembly ended with water ceremonies and dances on the Mississippi River, led by Scierra Lagarde of NOLA Supports Standing Rock​, downstream of the current encampment struggles on the Missouri.

photo by Laura Borealis

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