Filipinos in Oakland protest DAPL construction, citing environmental issues

by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News


OAKLAND, CA — Protesters took to the streets of Oakland, in response to what they call the on-going attacks on the environment by the Donald Trump administration.

The advancement of the Dakota Access Pipeline has been an issue for environmentalists across the country, who say that the promotion of fossil fuel continues to undermine not only Native American communities, but also counters the push for clean, renewable energy.

These protesters are calling on the banks to listen to the people and stop funding the pipeline.

“Citibank, Wells Fargo — those are banks that have stake-holds within the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the reason why we stopped there was to get them to divest in the funding they’re sending to the DAPL,” said Patrick Racela, a protestor.

The protest also focused on a local businessman, Phil Tagami, who they say is trying to hurt the environment.

“Tagami is actually a developer who is trying to export coal through the port of Oakland,” said protestor Megan Zapanta, from Anakbayan East Bay. “[He] is actually suing the city of Oakland right now…to be able to do that, even the project was shut down.”

Tagami’s lawyers declined to comment due to the pending litigation.

Shina Robinson was at standing rock back in November, with a group of Filipinos protesting the pipeline and she connects the struggle to the people in the Philippines — facing what she calls similar environmental injustice.

“Their ways of life not only looked down upon, but really devastated by the industrial economy… so that the so-called progress or civilization can move forward,” said Robinson. “But it’s the cost that we actually can’t bear, that the earth can’t bear and we’re ruining the resources for future generations.”

Bay Area local governments are also working to fight the pipeline.

The San Francisco board of supervisors will vote on a resolution to screen out any DAPL investments.

Meanwhile, Oakland’s city council passed a resolution calling for the state retirement fund to divest from DAPL.


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  • Mario
    15 March 2017 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Trump signed Exec.order on DAPL, when completed the $4B pipeline made only on American Steel pipeline will transport Bakken Crude oil into the US market, it will generate $156M in sales and $55M in property tax annually.Another exec order signed by Trump is to repeal the Obama-era Coal mining regulation on Fed and government land.Coal energy is enough to run infrastructures in America for 650 years, now we will not be dependent to Saudi oil anymore. California has one of the biggest coal reserve in America.Several banks are interested on funding the pipeline, so our Kababayan are wasting their time protesting, but I don’t blame them as long as they get paid well for joining the rally.