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Dakota Access Pipeline

Facing The Storm: An Interview With Mazaska Talks

I recently sat down with Rachel Heaton and Matt Remle as part of the Facing the Storm series focused on the Indigenous response to the climate crisis. The first question I asked Matt, Wakinyan Waanatan (his Lakota name), Hunkpapa Lakota was how he came to the direct action of divesting money from financial institutions to stop their funneling of funds into fossil fuel projects. Specifically, as a way to combat against the companies many abuses against our Indigenous nations, our Mother Earth, and the detrimental loss they cause of our finite resources in the current climate crisis. Matt said for him it actually began before the Dakota Access Pipeline and on a smaller scale during the early fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

After Infiltrating Standing Rock, TigerSwan Pitched Its Playbook

A new business model for breaking down environmental movements was being hatched in real time. On Labor Day weekend of 2016, private security dogs in North Dakota attacked pipeline opponents led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they approached earth-moving equipment. The tribal members considered the land sacred, and the heavy equipment was breaking ground to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. With a major public relations crisis on its hands, the pipeline’s parent company, Energy Transfer, hired the firm TigerSwan to revamp its security strategy.  By October, TigerSwan, founded by James Reese, a retired commander of the elite special operations Army unit Delta Force, had established a military-style pipeline security strategy. 

Climate Activists And Water Protectors Honor Pipeline Resister Joye Braun

There was still snow on the ground on April 1, 2016, when Joye Braun set up the lodge that would serve as her temporary home for almost a year. It was on land near the convergence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Braun’s structure was the first erected in the famous Sacred Stone Camp — the original encampment at Standing Rock established to protest construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. She remained an important presence throughout the duration of the protests, serving as a key leader and an inspiration to thousands of people who came to join the resistance to the pipeline. When the camp finally dispersed in February 2017, Braun’s temporary home was one of the last structures to come down. Braun passed away on Nov. 13, 2022, at age 53.

Report Reveals How The Dakota Access Pipeline Is Breaking The Law

The federal government and the Dakota Access Pipeline’s parent company, Energy Transfer, misled the public, used substandard science, utilized poor technology, and broke the law by not cooperating with impacted Indigenous Nations. That’s according to a new report that also criticizes the Army Corp of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency for not completing a realistic analysis of the environmental damage the pipeline could cause. The report, written by NDN Collective, an Indigenous nonprofit, provides the first comprehensive timeline of the controversial pipeline’s legal and environmental violations. Working with a team of engineers, the report’s authors included new information about oil quality, spills, leakage, and faulty infrastructure that NDN Collective says could be pivotal in the ongoing battle to stop the pipeline.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Calls On Biden To Shut Down DAPL

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier sent a letter on Wednesday to President Joe Biden that requests the end of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). Citing the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, Frazier tells the president that the United States agreed “that no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any portion of the same; or without the consent of the Indians first had and obtained, to pass through the same.” “The Dakota Access Pipeline continues to trespass on the territory of the Great Sioux Nation and endanger the lives of our people with the possibility of polluting land and water. This Project has been operating without a permit for a very long time and is in violation of your laws and our treaties.

US Supreme Court Declines To Hear Case On Dakota Access Pipeline

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not take up a case brought by Energy Transfer, operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline operator sought to challenge a legal victory won by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, invalidating a key federal permit and requiring a complete environmental review. “The litigation concerning the pipeline is over, but the fight continues,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. Earthjustice has represented the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in litigation against the Dakota Access Pipeline since 2016.“We call on the administration to close the pipeline until a full safety and environmental review is complete. DAPL never should have been authorized in the first place, and this administration is failing to address the persistent illegality of this pipeline.”

Judge Rules Thousands Of Disputed DAPL Documents Are Public Records

A state judge has ruled that thousands of documents related to security during the construction in North Dakota of the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline are public and subject to the state's open records law. The Friday ruling by South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland is a victory for The Intercept news organization, which sued in November 2020 to get access to the documents for investigative journalism on the topics of "environmental justice, the treatment of Indigenous peoples and workers, and government efforts to suppress First Amendment-protected activities."

Ruby Montoya Seeks To Withdraw Guilty Plea

On August 26, admitted Dakota Access Pipeline saboteur Ruby Montoya filed a motion in federal court seeking to withdraw her guilty plea, claiming she was coerced into signing it by her previous attorneys, movement “leaders”, and her abusive father. The motion also claims that government agents may have taught Montoya to use a welder and encouraged her to use it for pipeline sabotage, indicating a possible entrapment defense.

Standing Rock Lakota Youth Call For Biden To Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

Standing Rock - Today, Lakota youth from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River tribal nations announced a plan to run over 93 miles back to the Oceti Sakowin Camp site to call on President Biden to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The youth are asking for everyone who stood with Standing Rock four years ago to participate by uploading their own #NoDAPL The oil pipeline poses a grave threat to the safety and sanctity of the tribes’ water, hunting and fishing rights, and cultural and religious practices. Federal courts have sided with the tribes on the years-long litigation and have revoked DAPL’s federal easement required by the Mineral Leasing Act.

‘People Are Still Putting Their Bodies On The Line To Stop This Pipeline’

Bias lived in the anti-pipeline camps for five months and got sev­en state mis­de­meanor charges of their own. Bias has been deal­ing with the gen­er­al legal after­math of Stand­ing Rock ever since, fight­ing their own charges and sup­port­ing the fed­er­al felony defendants. As peo­ple cel­e­brate the court rul­ing against the pipeline, Bias wants to remind them that the phys­i­cal part of the strug­gle is not over. “We’re still fight­ing this pipeline, because we still have peo­ple incar­cer­at­ed for the work we did in camp,” Bias says. ​“Peo­ple have got to rec­og­nize that peo­ple are still putting their bod­ies on the line in prison to stop this pipeline.”

DAPL Shutdown? ‘We Have Not Yet Taken Any Steps’

The owner of the Dakota Access oil pipeline is accepting shipments for next month despite a judge’s ruling ordering it to shut down and remove all oil by Aug. 5, according to media reports. In a statement, the Lakota People’s Law Project’s lead attorney, Chase Iron Eyes, and chief counsel, Daniel Sheehan, called Energy Transfer Partners’ declaration that it would not shut down the flow of oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline “unacceptable.” “ETP has asserted that they believe Judge Boasberg exceeded his authority in ordering the emptying of Dakota Access,” they said in a statement. “However, Judge Boasberg’s scope of authority is not something ETP has the discretion to interpret.”

Federal Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down

The Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and emptied of oil within 30 days while a lengthy environmental review of the project is conducted, a federal judge ruled Monday. The move was requested earlier this year by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas who fear environmental harm from the pipeline and have spent four years in court fighting the project. Thousands of pipeline opponents from around the world who took up their cause flocked to southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to protest the project, raising the profile of the tribes' fight. Some clashed with police, resulting in more than 760 arrests. "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and millions of others who fought against the Dakota Access Pipeline showed us the power of standing together against injustice," Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Monday. Standing Rock leaders, meanwhile, are looking ahead to the next steps in fighting the pipeline.

Two Women Face 110 Years In Prison For Attempting To Sabotage The Dakota Access Pipeline

Two Catholic worker activists have been indicted on charges for their efforts to try and stop the Dakota Access pipeline. If found guilty, the women face up to 110 years in prison as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Two years ago Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek confessed to acts of sabotage on the Dakota Access pipeline, including damaging pipeline vale sites using a welding torch. The women claimed that the actions were necessary to protect the rivers and waterways that the pipline’s construction threatened. According to The Intercept, the woman reported that they had “no choice but to act.”

Infrared Aerial Surveillance Used At Standing Rock To Monitor And Track Protesters

For months, the North Dakota Highway Patrol flew daily surveillance flights over the protesters’ camps and used forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras to gather real-time geo-spatial intelligence (GEOINT). These thermographic cameras sense infrared radiation emitted by heat sources which give law enforcement the ability to perceive thermal radiation and monitor their area of land operations at night.

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Is Abusing The Judicial System To Silence Dissent

In a win for free speech, a federal court in North Dakota recently dismissed a baseless $900 million lawsuit brought by the Dakota Access Pipeline company against Greenpeace and a number of individual protesters. The company should have learned its lesson. Instead, it refiled the case in state court. These meritless cases are textbook examples of “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” or SLAPPs. This tactic is increasingly used by corporations to silence critics with expensive legal actions. Protesters and advocacy groups have the right to freely and vigorously criticize their opponents, even when their speech threatens to subvert corporate interests.
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