Carmen Bitzer with Stand with Standing Rock Jefferson speaks at a rally in September against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Carmen Bitzer with Stand with Standing Rock Jefferson speaks at a rally in September against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

March to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline canceled in Port Townsend

The gathering had been scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This event has been canceled due to weather, according to organizers. They have not provided a new date.

PORT TOWNSEND — Local activists and representatives from area tribes will march through Port Townsend on Saturday to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, organizers say.

The march begins at 1 p.m. and heads down Water Street to Pope Marine Park, where there will be a peaceful rally. Organizers, tribal members and local activists returning from the protests in North Dakota will speak and distribute information.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and get people to come to the rally,” said Carman Bitzer, one of the organizers of Stand with Standing Rock Jefferson County.

“We just want to raise awareness against big oil and what is basically a cultural genocide, and just the lack of respect oil companies have for native peoples.”

As many as 70 people are expected to march based on online interest, according to Bitzer, and representatives from the Yaqui and Warm Springs tribes also will attend.

The four activists returning from protests in North Dakota also will speak at the rally but declined to give their names because they plan on returning to those protests.

Saturday evening, there will also be a benefit concert at the Highway Twenty Roadhouse in Port Townsend to raise money for the legal fees and winter fund for the protesters in North Dakota.

According to Bitzer, local musicians including Bobbie Nolen, Knothead and The Sunshine Wall will perform, and there will be a raffle for a variety of prizes, including an electric guitar.

This is the group’s second organized rally for the Stand with Standing Rock movement. They also hosted a rally in Pope Marine Park in early September.

The group is one of many locally and across the county protesting an oil pipeline in North Dakota that has sparked protests over concerns about the environment and lands sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page, “Stand with Standing Rock Jefferson County.”

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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