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You know what? Fuck you. It's the tribes' drinking water today, it could be yours tomorrow.
Sometimes when the city council votes on some issue that seemingly doesn't directly effect Seattlites, it may seem like an empty gesture. But protests agains NC's HB2 is a perfect example of how these gestures are not entirely empty, and can have concrete effects on other cities, states, and countries.
"This thing has no immediate, direct impact on my life, therefore it is irrelevant to me, and should be to everyone else, too."
And "signaling" is the term for communication you're aware of but won't listen to.