by Leslie Layton
When Chico’s Jake Davis announced a City Plaza rally to show support for the indigenous groups trying to stop construction of a North Dakota pipeline, he feared only half a dozen people would show up.
Davis, co-founder of Chico350 – the international organization 350.org fights for clean energy and other measures to slow climate change – knows how hard it is to organize climate-justice protests outside of large cities. But what happened Sept. 13 at City Plaza was surprising and moving.
Almost 200 people showed up for the late afternoon rally, including members of tribes who live in Chico, Oroville, Corning, near the California coast and the state border with Nevada. Internationally, it was a day of protest in support of the #NoDAPL movement trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that cuts across indigenous burial grounds, tribal sacred sites and underneath the Missouri River. “This ended up becoming a chance for indigenous people to have a voice,” Davis said Tuesday. “We thought it was just about stopping a pipeline, but it’s a lot bigger than that now. It’s bigger than Native or non-Native.”