In the past few months, Standing Rock North Dakota has become the center for international news after the Dakota Access Pipeline threatened to run a 1,172 mile long crude oil pipeline in 2014. If installed, the Dakota Access Pipeline would run under the Missouri River, carrying 470,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, threatening the Sioux Tribes water supply and damaging sacred burial land. But carrying the crude oil under the Missouri River was not the original plan. The Pipelines original route was supposed to be north of the reservation near Bismarck, but was denied because of its close proximity to the city’s drinking water. Instead the second route, running through the Standing Rock Reservation, was approved with obvious neglect for the health and safety of the Native Americans.
What is now considered one of the biggest Native American movements in recent history, Stand with Standing Rock has garnered support from millions of people across the globe, including notable celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, Pharrell Williams, and Shailene Woodley who was recently arrested while at Standing Rock. The movement has even gone viral with the hashtag #noDAPL or #standwithstandingrock.
On July 26, 2016, the U.S Army Corps. of Engineers illegally approved the running of the pipeline, leading to the Sioux Tribe to file a federal injunction to stop the construction, which has since been halted by orders of the president.
In reaction to the pipeline, millions of Native Americans across the country have pledged their allegiance to the Sioux Tribe in protecting sacred land. They are known as water protectors.
The water protectors’ peaceful protests have been met with violence and civil rights infringements posed by law enforcement. Tactics include officers dressing up in riot gear, firing non-lethal rubber bullets into crowds, and using attack dogs and pepper spray to keep the water protectors away from construction sites. Law enforcement is now resorting to arresting innocent people for protecting their homeland.
Who exactly is behind the pipeline? A multi-billion dollar enterprise known as the Energy Transfer Brothers. This $3 billion project is being backed by major banks, such as Chase, US bank, Bank of America and many more.
Despite the halt of the construction ordered by President Obama, it’s not enough. The Energy Transfer Brothers are using their wealth to hire private security companies and sway government officials towards their side. But the water protectors refuse to be silenced or back down. The Sioux Tribe is asking the president to do more than just halt the project, but to put a complete stop to it altogether.
To pledge your allegiance to the Sioux Tribe and to learn more about the cause, sign the petition to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline here.
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