Ukraine rally – and call for Russian trust freezes – scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday in downtown Sioux Falls park – The South Dakota Standard
A rally to show support for Ukraine — and to demand that South Dakota lawmakers freeze Russian confidence in the state — will begin at 1 p.m. today (Friday, March 4) in Lyon Park, 600 S. Phillips Avenue.
Organizer Andy Sivertson, a retired social worker who lives in Sioux Falls, said it was a timely effort to get the attention of state lawmakers.
“The Legislature is only in session for a few more days,” Sivertson said. “It can be a window to get things done. Of course, the story of Ukraine is going to end one way or another, so we won’t get the attention.
Furthermore, he said that if the supporters waited until the 2023 session, the trust fund lobbyists would organize and kill him, in his view.
Seeking to tighten financial pressure on Russia in its war against Ukraine, governors and lawmakers in many U.S. states took steps on Monday to withdraw state investment from Russian companies while encouraging private entities to do the same.
If the United States government can do it … the new attorney general is forming a task force to do it,” Sivertson said. “Other countries are doing it.”
“Together with our federal and international partners, we will spare no effort in our efforts to investigate, arrest and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war against Ukraine,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. said Thursday during a speech at the American Bar Institute’s National Institute on White Collar Crime.
Are there Russian trusts held in South Dakota? The secrecy surrounding the billions of dollars in trusts held in this statecalled Switzerland or the Cayman Islands of the United States, was created and encouraged by our legislature, rally organizers say.
Joan McMillin of Sioux Falls helps organize the rally (like the one above in Trafalgar Square in London, photographed by Andy Rain and published in the Mallorca Daily Bulletin). McMillin said South Dakota should follow the lead of other states in freezing Russian trusts.
“It’s happening all over the country in other states,” she said.
The existence of these trusts, the value of the assets they contain, and the location where they are held are not public – they are legally protected from public scrutiny – is a matter of policy subject to change as the legislature. This is why this gathering is taking place.
As Ukrainians flee or die at home, South Dakota lawmakers will soon return home. This rally will ask them, what have you done to help Ukrainians resist Putin’s murderous war?
The event was supposed to start in front of the federal courthouse, but a permit could not be obtained in such a short time. Instead, it will be held two blocks away at Lyon Park, where there is no limit on crowd size.
Sivertson said he would talk, and others might as well.
For more information, contact Andy Sivertson at 605-231-1413 or
Tom Lawrence has written for several South Dakota and other state newspapers and websites and has contributed to NPR, The London Telegraph, The Daily Beast and other outlets.