NZ Rally against American $3.8bil pipeline

By Heeni Brown

New Zealand rallies are being held where Racial Equity Aotearoa challenges all New Zealand organisations to join Standing Rock Sioux tribe's battle to stop a $3.8 billion oil pipeline being run under the Missouri River, in America.

Canadian Chesa Abma who is of Esquimalt descent can be seen protesting at the Auckland rally. The 24-year-old has been in New Zealand for more than a month and wants to show clear support for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Abma says, "It's really meaningful to me because when we stand together as indigenous people all around the world we have so much strength as someone who is from North America to see the indigenous people and non-indigenous allies here today standing up with the Standing Rock Sioux it means a lot."

Racial Equity Aotearoa want political parties, the government and the US consulate and embassy along with Iwi, urban Māori groups, Māori organisations and the Kīngitanga to issue proclamations of support to issue public proclamations of support.

Racial Equity Aotearoa’s Ricardo Menendez March says, "It's about getting the leaders of Aotearoa on board and seeing the on-going colonialism in the US, but it's also about acknowledging people in Aotearoa that there is also an on-going struggle against colonial institutions here."

In America the pipeline itself would be 1,172 miles long and would carry around 500,000 gallons of oil per day between North Dakota and Illinois.

The developments were supposed to begin three weeks ago, but work was stopped by more than 2500 peaceful protesters occupying the work site.

Menendez March says, "This is an ongoing kōrero and this is not the end of it, we will hold other actions if necessary."

Support here in New Zealand continues and in America a court decision will determine if protesters can continue occupation of the drilling site.