In North Dakota, protesters against the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline began crowdsourcing to raise a measly $5,000 to aid in their movement to block the construction. However, the funds and streams of crowdsourcing have toppled past $1 million raised. In fact, around $3 million has been raised to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those against the 1,200-mile pipeline. With this unexpected amount of funds, what would’ve been a few more weeks of protests can now be prolonged into months.
Between last Thursday and Friday alone, they crowd sourced more than $200,000. “It still feels unreal sometimes because it is such an astronomical figure to me,” said Ho Waste Wakiya Wicasa. Wicasa is the protester responsible for setting up the successful GoFundMe account to cover expenses at the protest sites.
“The money goes as quickly as it comes, but without it having been as much as it is, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to be as productive as we have been in the fight,” he said.
The controversy of the pipeline continues to rage on as Texas-based company Energy Transfer Partners, the builders of the pipeline, insist the project is safe. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe believe the opposite, stating the construction of the pipeline will disrupt cultural artifacts and hurt drinking water sources. So far, around 400 people have been arrested or detained for the protests, including presidential candidate Jill Stein and actress Shailene Woodley.
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