February 3, 2017
Two hundred voices rang through the streets of Del Mar Saturday January 28th, accompanied by the pounding of footsteps and the ruffling of signs being hoisted into the air.
“Water is life” was one of the more prominent chants, showing support for the Standing Rock Sioux people. This indigenous tribe has been protesting for nearly a year to protect not only contractors from building over sacred land, but also to help save their reservations main water source.
Although tensions had seemed to settle down in North Dakota after President Obama halted construction on the pipelines, the signing of an executive order by new President Trump to resume construction catalyzed the protests to continue. For this reason, Team Zissou and other San Clemente activist groups such as the Mission Band of Indians gathered together, coordinating a march consisting of people of all ages and backgrounds that began at San Clemente Community Center Park at 10:30 am that continued on to circle Del Mar.
Finishing the Dakota Access pipeline no longer only applies to the people whose water source and sacred land are threatened by construction; it is now an issue concerning all Americans for threatening the rights and freedoms of citizens.
As junior Team Zissou leader Jackson Hinkle puts it: “The fight for standing rock is not one of indigenous rights, but one of human rights.”
Breakfast goers who anticipated a normal, calm Saturday morning on Del Mar Street were surprised to find hundreds of protesters. However their sentiment was not one of annoyance, rather they were intrigued by the subject, and many even stopped to be educated on the situation at Standing Rock.
“The intent of our protest was not only to fight for the rights of the people at Standing Rock, but to send a message to our elected officials that we must commit to a renewable future,” said Jackson Hinkle, explaining his reason for planning the protest.
English teacher Mrs. Westling attended the protest with her daughter, saying “I was so inspired that Team Zissou chose to protest the pipeline, as it is an issue that is close to my heart. I feel like it’s just another instance of Native Americans getting the short end of the stick, and any support we can show for them means a lot.”
The point of marching was not to cause an unruly scene, but it was to educate and show that the people of San Clemente, all though so far removed from North Dakota, care about the actions of the government, the future, and the rights of all Americans.