Summit County stands with Standing Rock protests by collecting donations
November 15, 2016
Summit County locals have been working to collect donations to give to protestors that have been fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Mary Fisher started by asking people for donations and picking them up from individual houses. She originally began by asking people for goggles to help protect protestors from tear gas that was being used by law enforcement against protestors. Fisher said that she normally doesn't get involved in political disputes, but that the videos coming from protestors made her want to take action.
"Having your beliefs and staying silent isn't helping," she said.
Two weeks ago Brittany Allen helped her to organize a donation drop-off in Summit Cove. The response from the community was so great, that the pair decided to continue collecting donations. Their friend Jamie Machowicz helped with a second donation collection at Walter Byron Park in Frisco on Sunday, Nov. 13. Their goal is to organize a donation drop-off every other Sunday from now until the protests stop. They have been using Facebook to advertise when and where collections will be. Machowicz has also made flyers.
They have been connecting with people in Colorado who are driving out to the protests to take Summit County's donations to the site.
Both Allen and Fisher said that they are trying to be more particular about what they send out. They said protestors have been swamped with donations that they can't use such as summer clothing items. They added that protestors also do not have the ability to get rid of unused donations. Instead, Fisher said that they will pre-sort donations they receive. Any items that can't be sent to pipeline protestors will get donated locally to places like the Family & Intercultural Resource Center.
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The DAPL is a 1,172 mile long project that would bring oil from Canada and the Northwest to Chicago. The plans have the pipeline crossing the Missouri River just shy of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, but the Army Corps of Engineers has now called for a halt to construction until further studies have been conducted — turn to page 23 for more information. Environmentalists claim that a leak or burst from the pipe near the Missouri could contaminate the water. There have also been disputes on the pipeline going through land given to the Sioux in a treaty from 1851.
Tensions between protestors and law enforcement have been high, with hundreds arrested.
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