On Thursday, nonviolent protesters outside North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux reservation entered their second day of confrontation with private security and local law enforcement. Armed with drums, tribal flags, and cell phones, demonstrators moved to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion dollar crude-oil conduit slated to cut just 1,000 feet from the perimeter of native land. Confrontations began on Wednesday, August 10, when construction crews and private security hired by Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based developers overseeing the pipeline, arrived to break ground. Arrests were made beginning Thursday, as 14 protesters were charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing, while dozens more remained defiantly on site.
Thursday’s arrests represented a sharp break after months of quiet occupation on the site. Organizers, led by Standing Rock Sioux, established Camp of the Sacred Stones in April, after learning of the impending project. Concerned that the pipeline would wreak havoc on the sacred sites and delicate wildlife in the area, a group of about 30 indigenous tribal members and allies moved to occupy the proposed construction site. “This is a prayer camp movement to save our sacred land and water and has been entirely supported by the people and the campers,” the group wrote online. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a tribal historian and organizer, was confident as she spoke to reporters in April. “We will stop it. We have prayer with us.”
Central to the group’s concern is the potential contamination of local water, as the path of the pipeline cuts under the Missouri River, just shy of its confluence with the Cannonball River. “Water is life” — or “mni Wiconi” in Dakota/Lakota — has become one of their rallying cries. As the summer progressed, organizers appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, to conduct more thorough assessments of the project’s potential impact. They argued that the pipeline, which would pump as much as 570,000 barrels daily of fracked Bakken crude under the Missouri River, represents a major ecological threat as well as public health risk.
Rather than comply with these requests, the USACE announced on July 26 that it had approved permits requested by Energy Transfer Partners to begin work on the pipeline. A coalition of lawyers and advocates issued a statement of protest on August 5, arguing that both tribal and environmental concerns were being disregarded. The statement said, “We call for a full halt to all construction activities and repeal of all USACE permits until formal tribal consultation and environmental review are properly and adequately conducted.”
Further efforts have been spearheaded by the younger generation. Standing Rock Youth launched an online petition in the spring and gathered 166,140 signatories. To draw further attention to their cause, a group of runners from the community, along with non-native allies, mounted a 500-mile “spiritual relay,” running from Cannonball, North Dakota to the USACE district office in Omaha, Nebraska. When the USACE failed to respond, the group extended their run to Washington D.C. and New York City, traversing 2,000 miles to deliver the petition.
On Monday, the residents of spirit camp received a 48-hour notice that construction of the pipeline in their area would begin August 10. Brave Bull Allard described the news as “a blow to the people of Standing Rock.” Her defiant tone was shot through with frustration as she wrote, “We keep praying for the water and land. We are searching for every avenue through prayer to defeat this Black Snake. Please remember water is life.”
Protesters held out on the scene through the first night, but on August 11, local news sources reported arrests had begun. Meanwhile, Bismarck Times reprinted an emailed statement from Energy Transfer Partners that said, “We will press charges against anyone who interferes in the construction of the pipeline. Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline will continue across all four states along the route.”
Activists posted videos online of civilians blocking the path to the construction site, some being forcibly removed by law enforcement. Others appealed online for supporters to join them on site, sending their message through Twitter with hashtags like #NoDAPL and #RezpectOurWater. According to Brave Bull Allard, the crowd had grown to approximately 200 protesters by Thursday evening, including members of other Native tribes, non-Native allies, and even actress Shailene Woodley.
While videos circulating online yesterday showed bulldozers breaking ground, the movement remains steadfast. A representative from Camp of the Sacred Stones said supporters have continued to pour into the site, and they “expect more today.” Emboldened by solidarity and prayer, they will continue to stand their ground.
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Corporate America has been doing this all over the world for a very long time. Let’s put an end to it, as our soil is much more important than the oil. Without the soil, we don’t eat. Without oil, we don’t go to war.
Attention seekers otherwise bored
these big corporations keep getting bigger and bigger, so big that the law enforcement won’t fight them, so big that they don’t pay but a minimum wage for slave labor, so big that the lawyers walk in the door and make a great paycheck to lie to others.
The Native American people were here on this land first, then these white people put them on reservations and restricted them so they are constantly poor, now the white people want to use their land for FREE.
Do the white people not have enough land ?????
Or are these corporations writing checks to the right people so the can do criminal activity ????????
This has been done to the Hawaiians as well, the people that own these big corporations own and run the government as well thx to greed.
I’m a “white guy” Power to the (First) people!! Don’t let these corporations trample anymore of your rights or land.
How do we help support the souix cause?
Native people must never back down ever again to big money…we all know the results…we must all join the protest…thousands of people must join…please keep us posted…I’m happy for the young people who are doing this…warriors
Please don’t let your greed take another part of this country! Don’t do your fracking at all especially running along water ways and sacred ground.. In the name of the father the son and the Holy Ghost .. Amen
We need to BAN fracking. We are in a state of emergency !!! ~tm 🙂
We are non-Native allies and will depart for the site from Minnesota tomorrow. Water is Life. We stand with our brothers and sisters of Standing Rock.
Haven’t they taken enough from our people?!! Greedy! Greedy! Greedy Fat Takers! It all comes down to the almighty dollar! Without water there is no life!
Looking for share to Facebook button. Cannt find it.
Solidarity with the native people and campers standing up to Energy Transfer Partners! My wishes of the heart are with you. Yay to the young people making signs and being there on the line!
Stand Tall… stand in the power of the your ancestors… water is life.. prayers, love and light..
We are with you all to stop this fracking and other meanspiritedness to Mother Earth.
We are sharing, praying, and rallying for your success. Thank you for your love of land, earth, sky, water, and people’s and critters and other living things and spirits!
wonder… are the people ruining the earth even human?? don’t they breath the air we breath? eat the food we eat, drink the water we drink? don’t they want a clean healthy earth for their children’s future too. it is hard now to even Thrive. What do they think is going to happen? you can’t eat money so what is their purpose.”He Who Dies With The Most Toys, Wins”? Green is the right thing to do for the earth and all the peopleღೋƸƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷƷೋღ☼
I don’t know about their humanness or not. But all throughout history, mankind has always sought a way to escape or buy their way out of a mess they create. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins. The water table in that area is very shallow. It does not go down really deep. It will be easily contaminated. What does the entire Great Plains do for water? My father prophesied that one day our home territory in NE Kansas would be a desert. At the time, I just listened. Now, I can see how that can be a reality.
Our Native Americans have suffered far more injustice than is imaginable. This is just one more. Don’t let it happen.
If the people in Omaha, Nebraska aren’t doing anything then it sets a precedence for the TRANS-CANADIAN pipeline to come through Nebraska. They fought on the exact same grounds to stop the pipeline coming through. Its the same thing except for the fact that they are discriminating against Native Americans again.
Send the information to TRANS-CANADIAN pipeline to show them that Nebraska changed its mind. They don’t care about people or the land so they should use this information to be able to lay the pipeline. All other states were on board except them. What an obvious move of discrimination of Native Americans. Even after the EPA and everyone said no.
It worked for Nebraska. This is more than the same situation with Native American sacred ground. That’s like big oil saying we don’t care about the Statue of Liberty, we want the oil underneath it.
We lose our God given rights and those afforded by the constitution every day.
They got rough with the Native Americans to protect their lands but the BLM (black lives matter) protesters do what they want, inciting hatred and violence. Look at the police officers that lost their lives. Yet they can’t let Native Americans protect their lands. Don’t see them drilling in the National Forests do you. The reservation belongs to the Native Americans and are supposed to be protected by the Federal Government.
You don’t have any god given rights, you have legal rights in America, so knock it off you ignorant fools.
We are not ignorant. Read the constitution. Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness came from the decision of God given rights. It became American rights. Ignorance is not knowing, therefore you are ignorant. Check your facts before spouting names. I was a professor at a University and also worked for an oil and gas company. I’m fully aware of government both US and Native American. I will not waste my time any further you need to do your research. Then again you appear to be an atheist.
I am just making sure they have accurate knowledge to win. Being Native American myself I understand.
Here we go the pot calling the kettle black, always some ignorant person posting stuff like this.
Never give up #nativestrong
Are we talking about WTF being ignorant? Just making sure of which one you are calling ignorant.
Are we talking about WTF being ignorant? Just making sure of who you were referring to.
I took care of pipelines in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. I know the process. I also know the circumstances in which they can’t lay pipelines.
This was indian land before it was america. What indians werent killed or died from disease brought here from europe entered into treaties. The treaties have all been broken. Indian culture was nearly destroyed. They tried to erase the spiritual worship of the land and all it provides for sustaining life. The land is mother earth. Land passed down by generations. Indians do have their god given right to this land and absolutely that land by treaty.
I am adding my energy and support in prayer.
May all prayers be heard immediately, and may you all be blessed for your work.
We must protect our mother, Mother Earth.
Love, Light and Blessings.
And so it is!
I pray for your land to be saved. Mother Earth is suffering the 600 poison chemicals they pump into her through fracking. The spilled oil from the sub-par pipes used in the pipelines that blacken the land for days at a time before anyone ever discovers it. The pollution pumped into the water and air. They have no respect for the earth that gives them life. I guess no one needs to use it after they are gone. Nothing is more important than the greed of money. They are sick demented souls that thinks money is God. I pray our God to save the land and our earth from the likes of greed that put money over the rights of others.
Dakota Pipeline needs to stop the land is sacred
medicine turtle cherokee
Thank you brave youth for standing against corporate greed. May your efforts be successful, may you prevail in protecting your land
I hope that somewhere in past treaties, there is language that can prevent further rape of the land; that legal manipulation can work for you, as it does for corporations.
Drop this stupid pipeline, honor our natives and our land, our planet. Use solar, wind, water for energy! I waa born in n.d. and it was pristine at that time. This pipeline is a blasphemy.
These people think they can do whatever they want. They dont understand our culture and our connection to Mother Earth. As Natives we must keep fighting, dont ever give up. Our people before had to fight for this land for our own lands..now its our turn to fight. Water is Life!
You should inform worldwide news agencies to report about it. You need more press this will make more pressure.
I thought President Obama had recently signed a ban to expropriating the sacred land…
what can we do to help?
What is there about wanting clean earth and ever flowing water so hard to understand? Who cannot be concerned about the possible danger to life as we know it, as it was meant to be? I stand with Wolves…stand with Grizzlies, Coyotes, Fox, Mountain Lions, all animals belonging to our Creator….I especially stand for our First Nations People/Native American People.
That’s exactly how it is. Well said!
These people are willing to put everything on the line for this cause! I’m sure none of them can afford to be arrested! They are not asking much, just a closer look at the situation by the authorities! They have been right many times before! I don’t think they are asking too much!
you need to do a change.org petition
Please show some humanity and leave this alone. The Native Americans have been through enough and put up with enough. Your greed is going to destroy you but unfortunately it will destroy the earth, the only home we will ever know first. You are throwing this beautiful gift of mother earth back in the face of our creator who gave us everything to live abundantly. How do you suppose our Creator sees this situation?
I admire the courage to do the right thing for all the people. Im behind there intelligence!
Let’s PROVE non-violence and caring win over hate and violence.
This project based in greed disrespects the Sioux lands & people, risk the Missouri River (a massive tributary to the Mississippi) and is a waste or money that should be going into clean energy, not dirty water. Stand with them!
Blessings on these brave people,standing up for what is right and true, for the land, for the animals , for the sacredness of mother earth. Wish I could be there with them, it is indigenous peoples worldwide fighting to stop the onslaught of corporate profits willing to endanger and pillage our environment.
I agree. Well said!
I was prepared to stand with the native people of northern wisconsin when a mine was threatening their wetlands. I want to stand with the native people now. Other than going there what else can be done. Is there a sight to donate for their legal defense?
I am not a full blooded Indian but my dad is he Blackfoot & my mom is polish & German so let’s all stand up for are rights and don’t the low life government run us we have our rights also as Native Americans also let’s all stand firm & fight for what is right for us as Brothers and Sisters 08/17/2016. Thank you and God bless you Cheif feather Head Rollins
It is time for all to stand as one. Not as white nor natives but as people stopping another genocide…not just culturally but for all of humanity who relies on gods one most sacred gift…water..This is an opportunity for all water rights fighters who have some corporation or political demon taking away our life blood for the almighty dollar. From the klamath river..land of tbe karuk and of the legendary salmon…prayers to standing rock
Hello, I’m looking for a way to donate, but cant find a reliable link. Can you help me out?