Native activists and supporters have been facing off with authorities as they battle the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project in North Dakota.
(ActivistPost) On Wednesday and Thursday, protesters were arrested while attempting to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project near Cannonball, North Dakota. The protesters have come from all around the country in support of the Sacred Stone Camp, which formed in response to the Army Corps of Engineers granting approval permits for construction.
The DAPL, alternatively known as the Bakken Pipeline, is owned by Houston, Texas based corporation Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., which created the subsidiary Dakota Access LLC. The pipeline will stretch 1,172 miles upon completion and transport crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.
Several activists were arrested on Wednesday and again on Thursday after attempting to stop pipeline employees from beginning construction. According to KFYR, at least twenty-five police cars arrived on Thursday morning to maintain the peace. By the end of the day five protesters were arrested.
“Native Americans were separated from workers by dozens of law enforcement officers officers and temporary fencing, but some demonstrators ignored police barriers,” KFYR wrote. The local police told KFYR there were “just in peace keeping mode.” Dakota Access Pipeline said they are working with local law enforcement to keep their employees safe and will press charges against anyone who interferes with construction of the project.
Videos of the protests show members of the Sacred Stone Camp and supporters singing songs and playing drums while challenging the police protection of the pipeline construction.
A federal injunction that could potentially prevent digging for the creation of the underground pipeline will be heard on August 24 in Washington D.C.. Despite the injunction hearing, pipeline employees are continuing to build access roads for the project.
Last Saturday, Native activists sang and marched in front of the White House after concluding a 2,000-mile relay run from North Dakota to Washington D.C. “Thirty Native youth from the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) traveled to the U.S. Capitol seeking to stop construction of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline,” reported Indian Country Today.
“This has been happening for over 250 years, it’s continued transgression against our people,” Joye Braun, a Sacred Stone Camp Spokesperson, told KXNET.
According to the Sacred Stone Camp website:
On April 1st, 2016, tribal citizens of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and ally Lakota, Nakota, & Dakota citizens, under the group name “Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po” founded a Spirit Camp along the proposed route of the bakken oil pipeline, Dakota Access.
This Spirit Camp is called Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí, translated as Sacred Rock, the original name of the Cannonball area. The Spirit Camp is dedicated to stopping and raising awareness the Dakota Access pipeline, the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river. We reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands. The word Dakota means “the People” in the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language and was never intended to be used in a project which violates traditional ceremonial areas.
Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po is a grassroots group with the following mission statement: “They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.” – Chief Sitting Bull. His way of life is our way of life–standing in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is our duty. Group: Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po translates as People, Stand with a Strong Heart!
The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has promised to increase domestic output of oil for the United States and Canada, but at what cost? Should Americans, Native and immigrant Europeans, stand by and watch the destruction of Native communities and the Earth, simply because it will bring cheaper gas? Is it truly responsible to support such a project when so many alternatives to oil-dependency exist?
For the sake of our Mother Earth we must begin to stand up and defend against invasive, destructive and dangerous projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline. May the Great Spirit bless all those fighting the fight in defense of this planet.
This article (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe & Activists Block Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline) by Derrick Broze originally appeared on ActivistPost.com and is licensed Creative Commons. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.