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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Students to assist protesters at Standing Rock, bring food donations

Members of a UW-Madison student organization will travel to North Dakota to assist protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Climate Action 350, a student group that addresses climate change, along with the Sierra Student Coalition, will take food donations with them to the reservation. They began collecting food Tuesday at the John Muir Branch of the Sierra Club and will take donations until Thursday before they leave for Standing Rock Friday.

According to Lauren Peretz, a Climate Action 350 coordinator, the Standing Rock camp needs fresh food such as cheese, bread and durable fruits and vegetables because they are far from grocery stores. Any food the group collects that cannot fit into their car will be donated to Madison food pantries.

Climate Action 350 will not participate in protests, but will be assisting as much as possible around the camp.

“Students can’t take the time or money to risk [protesting],” Peretz said. “They’re winterizing the camp so they need a lot of young, strong bodies to help with a lot of that labor.”

The student organization is a branch of the international organization 350, which is against all new pipeline infrastructures. One of their main campaigns this year opposes Line 66, a tar sands pipeline that is proposed to be built about 15 miles from campus. They chose to assist DAPL as a related project.

“We're against all new pipeline infrastructure not only because of the fact that we can't continue to use fossil fuels if we want to sustain our earth, but also because of the risk association with them,” Peretz said.

Peretz said the DAPL is going to be built under the Missouri River, particularly under a lake that serves as the water source for the people of the Dakota nation. She said the chemicals used to build the pipeline are toxic to humans, and the group is in favor of green infrastructure in replacement of fossil fuel infrastructure.

Climate Action 350 will hold a No DAPL Solidarity March Friday. Other events protesting the DAPL, including a panel discussion hosted by the American Indian Studies department Monday, will occur throughout the next week.

Peretz encouraged students to participate in local events in order to show solidarity with the protesters.

“A lot of students checked in on Facebook and are posting about this but really there’s so much more we can do, especially around campus,” Peretz said. “There’s a lot going on right now and more ways for students to get involved besides just through social media. And, of course, they always need people to go out there and monetary donations.”

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