Milwaukee protesters rally against Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 19:47:54-05

MILWAUKEE -- Protesters were in downtown Milwaukee Tuesday rallying against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Dozens lined the front entrance of the downtown Wells Fargo building to demand the bank pulls its funding for the project.

"There are people of all races, all colors all backgrounds all religions that believe in the protection of our water and our soil," said protester Siobhan Marks.

Construction of the pipeline is nearly done. It runs more than 1,100 miles through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. It's built to carry crude oil to refineries on the Gulf and East Coast.

"An entire community is going to be poisoned," said protester Tracie Brannan.

The biggest concern for protesters and environmentalists is the pipeline could pollute water supplies and destroy sacred Native American sites.

"It impacts us right here in Milwaukee, it impacts everyone in the U.S.,” said protester George Martin of Milwaukee. “The use of fossil fuels."  

This Milwaukee protest was just one of dozens across the country Tuesday. The rallies are calling on national banks including Wells Fargo to defund the project.

Wells Fargo countered protesters with this statement:

"We do business only with companies that have demonstrated a strong, ongoing commitment to complying with all laws and regulations. Beyond that, we do not comment on specific customer relationships."

Some of the work left to be done on the pipeline includes digging under rivers and lakes. While the federal government has said ‘slow down’, protesters beg them to stop altogether.

"We need to support those efforts there, but also to stop the pipelines right here in Wisconsin," Martin said.  

There was also a vigil Tuesday night at the Milwaukee lakefront, calling on President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits for the pipeline project.