On December 4, 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to pass through the land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Many rejoiced upon hearing the news, with those at camp dancing the day through. But as son as the victory came, it quickly went.
The corporations behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, released a statement shortly after the Army Corps contacted the tribe. Both businesses, “fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.”
It is far from shocking that a corporation would dismiss such a direct order, considering the exact circumstances of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Those in charge of mapping the pipeline found conditions to be “unsafe” for the well populated city of Bismarck, ND, yet they felt nothing by rerouting it through land owned and populated by Native peoples.
Another less than surprising circumstance from the weekends events was the lack of mainstream news coverage of Standing Rock. CNN and MSNBC news trucks have been sited at Standing Rock, and yet one of the greatest gatherings of veterans in the history of this country hardly made headlines.
Over 2,000 veterans traveled to Standing Rock the same weekend the easement went through in order to form a “human shield” around water protectors. This event was organized weeks in advance, and vets from around the country went to stand in true solidarity. So why is it that this did not receive more attention? Why wasn’t the easement the running headline on every news station for hours, as opposed to the President Elect’s latest tweets?
Regardless of the recent events, Water Protectors are standing their ground and refusing to leave camp. They have vowed to stay put until the pipeline is truly dead, making their cause more than worthy of front page news.
Photos: High Country News and Stephanie Keith Photography