By Andy Campbell for Huffington Post. Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous. The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months. A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.
By Dan Aymar-Blair for Truth Dig – The rerouting of the Dakota Access pipeline was a much-needed victory for the rights of indigenous peoples and the sanctity of the environment. The stand at Standing Rock also proved to be a victory for a human right we don’t hear much about: the freedom of peaceful assembly. Peaceful assembly is the presence of individuals in a public forum as an expression of opinion. Often confused with free speech or other expressive human rights, assembly is expressed through presence, what I call the “body as voice.” Thus, when, where and how we make our presence known to others is fundamental to the expression of assembly.
By Stephanie Lacambra for EFF – One of the biggest protests of 2016 is still underway at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where Water Protectors and their allies are fighting Energy Transfer Partners’ plans to drill beneath contested Treaty land to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the world has been watching law enforcement’s growing use of force to disrupt the protests, EFF has been tracking the effects of its surveillance technologies on water protectors’ communications and movement. Following several reports of potentially unlawful surveillance, EFF sent technologists and lawyers to North Dakota to investigate.
By Staff of Echo En LA – After so many days of preparation, and then the real thing, the aftermath of #NODAPLRoseParade is something overwhelming, something epic, something comforting, and something exhausting. Today Water Protectors held true to their commitments and buckled down for the long haul waking up before sunrise, some pulling all nighters to prep the float, others coordinating logistics, and when the time came for us all to march, march in solidarity we did. I have to say that the venue of the #RoseParade is probably the largest audience this group has seen. And for the most part, in the protests I’ve been a part of, they like to keep us away from the mainstream population
By Kevin Basl for Other Words – At Standing Rock, for the first time, I felt like I was finally serving the people. I lay among friends, huddled and cold in our sleeping bags. We listened to the lashing wind and the drums and prayer chants coming from the sacred fire, and we reflected on why we, four Iraq War veterans, were here. Police floodlights shone from the drill site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, scheduled to cross under the Missouri River, the water source for millions of people. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux, concerned not only about polluted water but also the desecration of sacred sites, began resisting the pipeline in 2014. In mid-2016, finally…
By Winona LaDuke and John Foran for Resilience – It’s 2016 and the weight of American corporate interests has come to the Missouri River, the Mother River. This time, instead of the Seventh Cavalry or the Indian police dispatched to assassinate Sitting Bull, it is Enbridge and Dakota Access Pipeline. In mid-August, Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II was arrested by state police, along with 27 others, for opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the meantime, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple called for more police support. Every major pipeline project in North America must cross indigenous lands, Indian Country. That is a problem.
By Staff of Sustainable Nations – Standing Rock Youth carried the message of MNI WICONI/Water is Life to Washington DC, in August of 2016, beginning a movement that has brought together thousands of Indigenous led Water Protectors and Earth Warriors in profound ways to support the just transition to locally based and truly renewable energy sources while protecting our Water, Land, and future. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has created the Vision 2030 Decree, which states that “as Original Peoples of the Earth…it is our duty to guide the world back into balance in a manner that provides for our life needs without destroying the source – Our Mother Earth.
By Adam Linehan for Task Purpose – On the morning of Dec. 5, Wesley Clark Jr., the leader of a loosely formed protest group, Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, woke up to the buzz of his cell phone in a hotel room in the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. It was 6:30 a.m. The caller had some troubling news. Just before dawn, one of the veterans down in the protest camp, where members of the group had bedded down for the night, had apparently disappeared. He was last seen walking in the direction of the Missouri River. There was a suicide note. So we do have his name, social security number, and emergency contact info?” Clark said into the phone, his voice hoarse after just a few hours of sleep.
By David Pitt for Associated Press – DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Native American tribe’s fight over its water source has grown into an international cause, with all attention focused on the Dakota Access pipeline’s route in southern North Dakota. But contractors on the project, which passes through three other states, have been drilling under and through rivers that are equally critical water sources for hundreds of thousands of people. One city managed to avoid the situation – Bismarck, North Dakota, the center of government in the oil-rich state and home to 67,000 people. Others, including Des Moines, Iowa, didn’t, despite protests that led to arrests.
By Ragina Johnson for Socialist Worker – Ragina Johnson explains what was won and what still has to be fought for with the decision of federal authorities that blocks construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. DECEMBER 4 brought a significant and badly needed victory for the water protectors at Standing Rock confronting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The determination of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Hunkpapa Lakota) to stop the “black snake” and the sheer number of supporters who traveled to the remote Lakota territory to stand in solidarity won out against a fossil fuel industry used to getting its way, backed up by the state of North Dakota and its armed-to-the-teeth police forces.
By Amanda Froelich for True Activist – A few weeks ago, actress and activist Susan Sarandon made headlines when she asked supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe – who are protesting the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – to pull their money out of the banks which are invested in its development. “Water protectors”, who have been camped out near Cannon Ball, ND, since April, argue that the controversial DAPL will uproot sacred burial ground and potentially contaminate the Missouri River. In addition, they maintain that the land is rightfully theirs due to an 1851 treaty which was never revoked.
By Phil Mckenna And Cassi Alexandra for Inside Climate News – CANNON BALL, N.D.—Many of the people who halted their lives to join the movement to fight the Dakota Access pipeline are vowing to stay at the protest camp through brutal winter conditions despite the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision on Dec. 4 to halt the pipeline. Standing Rock Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II pleaded that they go home after a powerful blizzard blasted the camp last Monday, sending temperatures plunging well below zero. About 2,000 people remain in the camp, down from the nearly 5,000 who were there when the Army Corps announcement came.
By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – We, living now, in the time before, have choices. We can remember what it is to be animals on this planet and remember and understand what it is to live and die such that our lives and deaths help make the world stronger. We can live and die such that we make possible a time after where life flourishes, where buffalo can come home, and the same for salmon and prairie dogs and prairies and forests and carbon and rivers and mountains. – Derrick Jensen, 2016, environmental activist and writer, April 6, 2016. It was late December 4, when news came down that the Dakota Access pipeline had been denied…
By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–A cold snap did not stop hundreds from marching to the Capitol with Standing Rock Sioux and allied tribe members of the Pontiac and Piscataway Nations on Sunday. Elders embraced allies as “relatives” to continue building on a growing bond of solidarity, and thanked them for their support in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline project over the last year. Resistance camps at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota protesting the pipeline has galvanized environmental movement enthusiasm against fossil fuel projects, which could contaminate the water supply of millions of people downstream.
By Susan Abulhawa, via Ian Greenhalgh of Veterans Today. North Dakota – At Standing Rock, so much was not what it seemed from the distance of news headlines and reports. Up close, one could see the ideological tension in romanticized groups where some are driven by moral imperatives and others by personal glory. A hidden truth about the rank and file of the U.S. military was also laid bare. There are many untold contradictions behind the drama that unfolded at Standing Rock. Although this remains a people’s struggle against the capitalist interests of a corporate military state, there are moral inconsistencies that bear telling.