Standing Rock and the Battle Beyond

An insight into the battle for Native American land rights as protests continue against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Staff |  Dec 27, 2016

For months, Native Americans have been protesting against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, a multibillion-dollar construction project that tribal leaders say is threatening sacred sites, as well as the tribe’s source of drinking water.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the federal government failed to properly consult with them before issuing permits for the pipeline.

All the women and children were along the line crying, they had just gone through pepper spraying everybody… people then started pushing as the [attack] dogs were coming. – Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, founder, Sacred Stone Camp

Protests against the project have been growing since April and began when a handful of people set up camp, just south of the proposed pipeline on the land of Ladonna Brave Bull Allard.

When the Army Corps approved the first major permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Allard received a 48-hour heads up, warning her of work commencing on the pipeline. It was then that the Sioux took the Army Corps to federal court – Allard called in for reinforcements using a social media video, calling people to stand with the cause.

Since then, thousands of people, including tribes across the US, have joined historic demonstrations in support of the Sioux.

In December, the Obama administration handed them a victory, denying a final permit the company needed and saying different routes for the pipeline would be sought.

But the election of Donald Trump has cast doubt on that decision, and the company in charge of constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline says it isn’t backing down.

Fault Lines examines the case against the pipeline, connecting it to other fights being waged by US tribes that have helped build the growing movement at Standing Rock.

Editor’s note: We have used archive footage in this Fault Lines episode from Democracy Now! and Unicorn Riot.

Source: Al Jazeera

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