Chants echoed down Appian Way on Keene State’s campus all afternoon, Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Students gathered outside of KSC’s Student Center in an effort to form a protest for the current Standing Rock situation in North Dakota. The protest consisted of signs which portrayed words to draw attention to the situation.
For months, “water protectors” have occupied the land along the Dakota Access Pipeline to defend the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, PBS reported. The pipeline, which crosses four states, “would transport 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil daily, 92 feet below the Missouri River,” according to PBS.
KSC junior Nicole Soubosky showed up to the protest to show her support for all of the citizens in North Dakota.
When asked why she is so passionate about what is currently going on Soubosky said, “We need to think about the bigger picture and not just act in ways that satisfy our immediate needs. We need to think about the long-term and we’ve already damaged our earth so much. If we let this happen then what else are we going to let happen?”
Soubosky also expressed that we should all be “somewhat fearful” with these events continuously taking place in our country.
When voicing her concern, Soubosky said, “We’ve made so much awareness on this issue at this point and people know what the consequences are, so if they let this happen, I feel like they just don’t care.”
Newly elected New Hampshire State Representative Joseph Stallcop, who is also a junior at Keene State College, also showed his support at the protest.
Stallcop addressed why he felt being at the protest was important to stopping this issue. Stallcop said, “I’m here for the same reason that I ran for State Representative in the first place. I have always wanted to help people and do something that I know will have an impact and seeing the treatment of native people down in the Dakotas right now for the whole Dakota access pipeline is barbaric.”
Stallcop said he feels that the need to put an end to these events taking place in the North Dakota needs to be a top priority for everyone.
When expressing this concern Stallcop said, “We are seeing people put in kennels, we are seeing people being shot in the back with rounds meant to knock down doors, and if you have to stand for something, this is it.”
KSC senior Maggie Mason, was the main contributor to setting up the event and was front and center in the protest Tuesday morning.
Mason set out to setting up this protest in an effort to spread the message of what is going on and why this must not be accepted in our country, she said.
“Obviously with the whole Trump election, a lot of people are really upset,” Mason said, “I was working on the standing rock donations before the election happened … after the election a lot of people forgot about it, so I decided to take all of my negative energy towards Trump and re-juice it, redo it, and get it back into Standing Rock for something positive.”
Mason said that all people in our country should be supported and that is why she felt this protest was so important.
“It is just such an important thing because America has done nothing but screw over Native Americans for our entire time here,” Mason said.
“It is so important to start correcting the wrongs we have done and instead of doing that our government is continuing harm towards them,” she said.
Mason also touched on how crucial the environmental aspect of what is going on is and why it must be stopped.
Mason said, “Our water is completely screwed if it gets ruined by the oil pipeline.”
Kyle Kemp can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org