Last week, tens of thousands joined over 300 rallies across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and internationally to defend the rights of Indigenous peoples and to urge President Obama to permanently reject the Dakota Access Pipeline while he still can.

Rallies began at sunrise in San Francisco, where more than 5,000 people gathered at City Hall for a morning prayer and speeches from Pennie Opal Plan, Pat St. Onge, Brianna Ruiz, and various faith leaders. The group then converged on the Army Corps of Engineers office. A crowd of at least 1,500 people rallied at the Army Corps office in Los Angeles, while another 1,000 people gathered at the Army Corps office in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In New York City, more than 2,000 people marched in solidarity through Lower Manhattan and 39 people were arrested. In Maine, nearly 300 people joined two of the seven actions hosted across the state. Sherri Mitchell, a native woman from the Penobscot nation, led a Bangor March filled with prayer, drummers and song to the federal building, while protectors chanted “water is life” outside the Army Corps office in Manchester. The night culminated with vigils across the state.  In Chicago, more than 1,000 people and Frank Waln marched through the streets, while hundreds more rallied in Portland, Oregon.

In Washington, D.C., a crowd that swelled to more than 3,000 people rallied at the Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, blocking the entrances to the building, and was joined by an Army Corps representative. Following the rally, Ladonna Allard of the Sacred Stone Camp and Indigenous youth leader Eryn Wise led a march to the White House, where Bernie Sanders addressed the crowd. “We say to President Obama reject this pipeline,” said Senator Sanders. “Declare Standing Rock a national monument.”

In Cannon Ball, North Dakota, 500 Water Protectors, led by the Indigenous Youth Council, marched through the Oceti Sakowin Camp. The crowd created a “human mural” of a medicine wheel. “The medicine wheel represents the coming together of the four directions”, explained one Water Protector. In addition, the Spiritual Leaders of the Oceti Sakowin, otherwise known as the Seven Council Fires, led a ceremony near the Dakota Access drill pad. To hold this ceremony on Army Corps land, the Elders, including Arvol Lookinghorse, protectors evoked Executive Order 13007, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

Throughout the country, protectors rallied at President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers offices and other locations demanding that the agency reject the permit for the pipeline. On Monday, the Army Corps announced a delay on the project to allow for further consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe but did not revoke all the permits for Dakota Access.

To see more highlights from the Day of Action, check out the full photo album here. 

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