Just 4 days after her father left the White House, 18-year-old Malia Obama took a stand against President Donald Trump by joining a Sundance Film Festival protest against the illegal Dakota Access Pipeline.
On his just his 5th day in office, Trump signed an executive order to advance construction of both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
According to reports, Malia was one of about a hundred people that braved the cold in front of the Chase Sapphire Bank in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The protest took place in front of a Chase branch because they are one of the banks that extended a multi-billion credit line to Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access. Chase Bank is also a corporate sponsor of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Although he has since sold it, Trump held Energy Transfer Partners stock as recently as the summer of 2016. Signs reading ‘Exist. Resist. Rise.’ and ‘Impeach Corporate Control.’ were seen at the protest. The crowd then marched from the Chase bank down Main Street, chanting “Water is Life!”
Malia also attended the Standing Rock X Sundance Institute event later in the evening. David Archambault, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, was a speaker, along with actress and activist Shailene Woodley. The event was billed as follows:
Please join us at the Sundance Film Festival to learn from Standing Rock leadership about the movement – the fight to protect the water, the battle to protect sacred land, and the challenges that lie ahead.
The event welcomes Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Fellow Cody Lucich and his film team with the project Oceti Sakowin (working title) currently in production from the Standing Rock #NoDAPL movement.
The event is hosted in collaboration with the Sundance Institute and the Redford Center.
On Democracy Now, Shailene Woodley praised Malia Obama, saying:
It was amazing to see Malia. I saw her last night when we did the event with Chairman Dave Archambault. And it was incredible to see her there. Also, to witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to, because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.
If we are to survive the Trump administration, America will need more young people like Malia who are willing to take a stand against illegal corporate and government behaviors.