About 70 people, most bearing signs, gathered outside the Wells Fargo Capitol Center building in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
It was part of a day of protests planned in every state against construction of the pipeline, which would carry oil from upper North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe strongly opposes the pipeline, which it says would destroy sacred and culturally significant native grounds.
“We Stand with Standing Rock!” the Raleigh protesters chanted.
Ashley Claw, a Duke University student and member of the Native American Student Alliance at Duke, was one of those speaking to those gathered. She said she would like people to know Native Americans are struggling with this issue.
“It hurts as a native person to see ... grave sites being desecrated, sovereignty not being protected,” said Claw, who is from Phoenix. “It hurts.”
Nationwide, some of the protests targeted banks, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, that are helping to fund the pipeline. Among the signs at the gathering were “People Not Pipelines,” “Friends of the Earth” and “Defend the Sacred.”