More than 150,000 demonstrators poured onto the streets of the nation’s capital on Saturday April 29 to sound warnings both political and planetary about the Earth’s warming climate. Led by Indigenous Peoples, the march started at the foot of the capitol and continued around the White House, surrounding the mansion while President Donald Trump was inside on his 100th day in office.
Thousands of indigenous people from across the hemisphere shouted “Mni Wiconi” and other slogans that reminded onlookers that the Standing Rock battle against pipelines is not over. Many of the leaders of Standing Rock traveled two days to attend the event. NoDAPL leaders including Dallas Goldtooth, LaDonna Allard and Chief Arvol Looking Horse led the demonstrators, along with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The march also brought hundreds of indigenous leaders from around the world who were in New York City for the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. The New York City bus left at 1 a.m. so that visitors would be able to attend the scheduled sunrise ceremony at 7 a.m.
“Trump’s aggression toward Native Nations is unacceptable,” said Dallas Goldtooth, Keep it in the Ground Campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network, in a statement. “We are here leading the People’s Climate March because we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground if we are going to stop climate change.”
The peaceful march had almost no police interaction except for a lone Trump supporter who continued to walk across the front of the march displaying a large Trump Make American Great Again banner. Local police eventually removed her without incident. The march ended on the lawn in front of the Washington Monument, where the crowds were treated to songs by Earth, Wind and Fire, plus other notable performers.
The march came just two days after Trump signed his 30th Executive Order, this one aimed at expanding offshore oil and gas drilling in the Artic and Atlantic oceans and possibly the Pacific Ocean as well.