Standing Rock Spawned A Generation Of Water Protectors. Now They’re On The Move.

Water protectors holding a ceremony on the banks of the Cannon Ball River were met by riot police who shot rubber bullets at point-blank range on Nov. 2, 2016. Photo by Robert Wilson

By Joseph Bullington for In These Times – BISMARCK, N.D.—Forty miles north of where the Standing Rock resistance camps once stood, Matt Lone Bear and Carter Gunderson crouch on the curb, changing the brakes on a Chevy Blazer. As they wrestle a worn rotor off the axle, they discuss their plans. They’ll stick around until their court dates later in June, then hit the road for a tour of the Standing Rock diaspora—camps that have sprung up across the country to oppose fossil fuel projects, living on after the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). To the east, in Huntingdon County, Penn., the Gerhart family and their supporters have formed Camp White Pine on family property, which lies in the path of the Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline. The pipeline’s owner, Energy Transfer Partners—the same company behind DAPL—hasinvoked eminent domain to cross the property, but construction faces resistance in the form of tree sits and other direct actions. Farther east, in Mahwah, N.J., the Native-led Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp stands in the way of the Pilgrim pipeline. The camp’s Facebook page declares “solidarity with Standing Rock & all who resist the black snake worldwide.”

Victory For Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds Approval Of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated Law

Flags fly at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in 2016, near Cannonball, North Dakota.

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By Jan Hasselman and Phillip Ellis for Earth Justice – The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline. A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects. In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week. “This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a recent statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline…

Dakota Pipeline Is Ready for Oil, Without Spill Response Plan For Standing Rock

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By Phil Mckenna for Inside Climate News – Without a complete emergency plan or equipment, a spill at the Missouri River crossing could cause tremendous damage to the environment and the tribe’s water. Oil is set to flow through the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, but there is still no oil spill response plan in place for the section of pipe that crosses the Missouri River just upstream from the Standing Rock reservation. The company won’t be required to have emergency response cleanup equipment stored near the river crossing for another year, either. The lack of rigorous safety measures for the crude oil pipeline is raising concerns from lawyers and pipeline consultants for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose protests and legal fight against the Dakota Access pipeline became a flashpoint for environmental justice and indigenous rights last year. Despite the prolonged resistance, the pipeline is scheduled to begin operating on June 1 after President Donald Trump issued an order expediting its approval. Dakota Access LLC, the company building the pipeline, is required by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to submit a general emergency plan for the entire half-million-barrel-a-day project before oil shipments begin.

Settler State Repression: Standing Rock Battles Continue In The Courts

Indigenous rights activists at a tipi camp set up to protest the Dakota Access pipeline, on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2017. (Photo: Al Drago / The New York Times)

By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – As a means of making bombing, sanctioning or invading other countries palatable to the general population, the US government has consistently used the actions of other governments against their own people as an excuse. Those actions have included the use of chemical weapons, torture, setting dogs against people, beatings, surveillance, forcibly removing people from their land, jailing them unjustly, holding staged trials, and issuing verbal and physical threats, among many others. Yet, these same actions have been carried out by the US government, state governments and private security forces working on behalf of a private pipeline company (with the full backing of the US government) against Native people at Standing Rock. This story is not new. “The settler state arrives as an armed white man intent on staying,” said Nick Estes, who is Kul Wicasa from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, in an interview with Truthout.

What Standing Rock Teaches Us About Environmental Racism And Justice

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By Ramon Jacobs-Shaw for Health Affairs Blog – Access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water is not just a concern of developing countries but of communities in our own backyard. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota, for instance, relies on Lake Oahe, a 231-mile reservoir along the Missouri River, as its primary water source. In July 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers approved the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,172-mile duct that will carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois when completed, which will run underneath the Missouri River less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, including through the tribe’s sacred, ancestral lands. Given concerns about having oil-related infrastructure near major water sources, especially after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 (the largest oil spill in US waters), members of the tribe have been vigorously defending their rights to safe, clean water. Their struggle has caught the attention of major advocacy organizations around the world and indigenous tribes in other nations. After a brief reprieve in December 2016 when the Obama administration blocked further construction of the DAPL…

Sustaining Fires Of Standing Rock: A Movement Grows

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By Roy Eidelson for Counter Punch – Over the past year, a remote area of North Dakota has been the improbable and prophetic site of a struggle with profound ramifications for us all. The confrontation has pitted the Water Protectors — the Standing Rock Sioux, other Native American tribes, and their allies — against the oil profiteers of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. The source of conflict is completion of the $3.8 billion, thousand-mile Dakota Access Pipeline — the Black Snake — that Energy Transfer Partners has built to carry fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The current planned route for the pipeline takes it beneath the Missouri River treacherously close to the Standing Rock and other Sioux reservations.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised… But It Will Be Livestreamed

PHOTO BY MICHAEL NIGRO. On February 22, 2017, various law enforcement agencies blocked access to the media staging area and threatened all who remained on the road, including journalists, with arrest.

By Michael Negro for The Huffington Post – Everyone knew that in less than 24 hours the camp was scheduled to be raided by a militarized force, which consisted of local, state and federal police departments, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and, reportedly, the NSA, among other law enforcement agencies. For days, few corporate media outlets had been seen near the camp making it all the more important for the independent and citizen journalists to report and document and witness what was an eventuality: the violent destruction of the camp. In a mere 10 months, Standing Rock came to symbolize so much more than a pipeline fight.

Dakota Oil Pipeline Opponents Fail Again To Halt Project

A demonstrator dances in front of the White House during a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

By Andrew M Harri for Bloomberg – Energy Transfer Partners LP cleared another legal hurdle with oil soon to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington rejected a Native American tribe’s request to put the project on pause while it asks an appeals court to block it. Last week, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the tribe waited too long to argue that the conduit threatened to make lake water impure and unsuitable for their religious practices. Attorneys for the ETP-led Dakota Access LLC consortium building the pipeline told the court Monday that oil could be introduced as soon as March 20. The 1,172-mile pipe will carry crude from shale oil-rich northwestern North Dakota to a terminal in Patoka, Illinois.

A Closing Prayer For Standing Rock’s Oceti Sakowin

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By Jihan Hafiz for The Intercept – IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL closing prayer in front of the sacred fire at Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, ground zero of the movement to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. For hundreds of people who lived here, Oceti Sakowin had become home. Equipped with medical facilities, kitchens, security posts, prayer lodges, a building supply depot, a school, and a town hall, Oceti was a Native-led community built by the NoDAPL movement. On Wednesday, as many walked out of Oceti for the last time, smoke filled the air. Spiritual leaders chose to burn Native religious structures instead of allowing the police to bulldoze them. The North Dakota police had given water protectors a 2 p.m. deadline to leave the camp. But more than 100 stayed behind, refusing to leave land they consider theirs. At 4 p.m., the police advanced, targeting both water protectors and journalists.

Standing Rock Lives On As A Model For Peaceful Resistance

Protesters watch as structures are burned around them at the Oceti Sakowin protest camp before a 2 pm deadline to vacate in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, February 22, 2017. (Photo: Nick Cote / The New York Times)

By Four Arrows for Truthout – Oppressive legislation is aimed at ending grassroots resistance, the bedrock requirement for sustaining democracy. In an op-ed in the Guardian, Douglas Williams writes that it is not just the media, judiciary or electoral systems that are being undermined: “What is ignored is the effect that the Trump administration will have on the social movements, which serve as pillars of the resistance. If these fall, our democracy will be irreparably harmed.” In response to the “water is life” spiritual movement in Standing Rock, lawmakers in 10 states have proposed oppressive legislation. In North Dakota, a bill was proposed to let someone get away with running over a protester, after a cop on a snowmobile ran over a Water Protector. Earlier this month, the North Dakota State Senate passed a bill 33-12, making it illegal for a protester to wear a mask, whether to protect the face from cold or pepper spray.

The Eviction Of The No DAPL Camp, So Far

From unicornriot.ninja

By Staff of Unicorn Riot – We spoke with an Indigenous elder in the late morning who talked about passively resisting the scheduled eviction, saying, We have no intentions on leaving, we are standing on our 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty rights, we are taking an 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty stance and we are legitimate 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty representatives. For my people out there, we stand for you, and water.” He further stated, This is a sacred site and we are protected by federal statutes … forcefully removing us from treaty territories is another violation. Again, we are here in peace and prayer, we are supposed to be protected and we’re not. We’re going to resist, and it’s passive resistance, we’re not going to fight them. At the same time, we’re going to be praying for them and their families for this water, that they need, that we all need.” With less than an hour before the set eviction time of 2 p.m., many water protectors marched south out of camp towards the Cannonball bridge as more fires burned.

Indigenous Women Of Standing Rock Issue Heartbreaking Plea For Help Ahead Of Evacuation

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By Claire Lampen for News Mic – With just over a day to go before the evacuation deadline arrives at North Dakota’s Oceti Sakowin camp, protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have issued a plea: Come help — now. In a viral video shared by social justice journalist Shaun King on Monday, a group of indigenous women remind viewers that demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline are about much more than a single issue. They’re about clean water, police brutality, treaty rights and the rights of future generations, “In the history of colonization, they’ve always given us two options: Give up our land or go to jail. Give up our rights or go to jail,” one woman says in the video. “And now, give up our water or go to jail. We are not criminals.”

Construction Near Standing Rock Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across U.S.

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By Alleen Brown for The Intercept – UNDER ORDERS FROM President Donald Trump, the Army Corps of Engineers on February 7 approved a final easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Construction has restarted, and lawyers for the company say it could take as little as 30 days for oil to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. While the Standing Rock Sioux and neighboring tribes attempt to halt the project in court, other opponents of the pipeline have launched what they’re calling a “last stand,” holding protests and disruptive actions across the U.S. In North Dakota, where it all began, a few hundred people continue to live at camps on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, using them as bases for prayer and for direct actions to block construction.

February 22 At Standing Rock: A Last Beginning

Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

By Four Arrows for Truthout – Maybe something positive will result from the dangerously brazen antics of the Trump administration. Perhaps an awakening of consciousness is occuring that would not have happened without the obviousness of Trump’s inadequacies. We may be realizing just how wrong we are in how we are treating our planet and its creatures, including ourselves. It is no coincidence that the first showdown is going to be at Standing Rock. Indigenous people are on the front lines around the world, standing against those corporations coming into the last pristine places on Earth to mine or drill. Standing Rock, however, has captured public attention. What happens there might define the kind of resistance that will continue against the Trump administration’s wrong-headed policies. If the Corp, the BIA, DAPL security and the state militia do as they say on Feb 22, whatever happens, this could be our last beginning for a movement that can stop the destruction of Mother Earth.

Federal Judge Denies Request To Block DAPL Pipeline Construction

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By Staff of Associated Press. A U.S. federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline, the controversial project that has sparked months of protests by activists aimed at stopping the 1,170-mile line. At a hearing, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who argued that the project would prevent them from practicing religious ceremonies at a lake they contend is surrounded by sacred ground. With this decision, legal options for the tribes continue to narrow, as construction on the final uncompleted stretch is currently proceeding. Another hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27, as the tribes seek an injunction ordering the Army Corps to withdraw the easement. Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order on the grounds that the pipeline would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices. “We’re disappointed with today’s ruling denying a temporary restraining order against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but we are not surprised,” said Chase Iron Eye.