For Immediate Release
Indigenous Groups Protest Outside Trump Gala Sponsored by Kochs and Phillips 66
** To schedule an interview with indigenous leaders protesting the Trump Inauguration in Washington, DC please contact Diane May at 317-292-2922 **
WASHINGTON - On the eve of the 58th presidential inauguration, indigenous leaders of the Indigenous Environmental Network and youth of the International Indigenous Youth Council led a march and a flash round dance to send a message to Trump and Big Oil.
At 7PM EST nearly one hundred people gathered on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery, then at 8PM EST began to march to Hotel Monaco where the Oklahoma State Society was hosting a Trump inauguration gala, sponsored by Phillips 66 and Koch Industries.
The Indigenous group brought messages from Standing Rock, ND as Phillips 66 has investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. In addition, the Koch Brothers are long time supporters of fracking which has negatively impacted Indigenous communities across the nation and especially in Oklahoma.
The following statement was made by Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network:
“I invite everyone inside this building, at this Oklahoma State Society Gala, to come to North Dakota, where I’m from, in the heart of the Bakken Shale Formation and to see for yourself what it looks like to be on the frontline. Because it’s not like coming to a fancy event in D.C. The oil industry is literally killing my people. The community that I grew up in is no longer safe. When the oil and gas came, the violence against women increased by 168%. As they dig into the earth and violently extract, they are also raping and oppressing our communities.”
The mobilization ended at 9PM EST after three Indigenous leaders and youth spoke and after a few rounds of the round dance. Traffic was directed to other routes by marshalls. No arrests were made.
A video of the round dance can be watched here: https://www.facebook.com/Indigenousrisingmedia/videos/1601335066549980/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.