Standing Rock Camp and the Dakota Access Pipeline

An indigenous activist from ‘Idle No More’, the movement started by three First Nations women and one non-native ally in Canada.

The threat from climate change to human existence and wellbeing is even more urgent than we thought, argues an article in New Republic. Data from a Norwegian energy consultant, Rystad (and they’ll sell you the details for a mere $54,000) shows that to have even a two thirds chance of staying below the catastrophic increase of 2 degrees of global warming, ALL FOSSIL FUELS MUST BE LEFT IN THE GROUND – NOW. All of them. (Of course, this view is not shared by the cheerful advert for investors to ‘free the US from dependence on OPEC’.)

  • Meanwhile, a 1,200 mile pipeline is under construction to carry fracked oil from the Bakken (a massive source rock for oil underlying parts of the states of Montana and North Dakota in the US, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada), in North Dakota, down to Illinois. Indigenous peoples of many tribes, and non-native allies, are gathering in Standing Rock camp and preparing to bed down for a cold winter. Their claim:
  • they were not consulted, simply informed, about the pipe line
  • its construction has already violated sacred sites, although a map of these was provided
  • it is likely to contaminate the Missouri river, source of the water supply for the local impoverished Sioux community.
Photo by Kate Bubacz – the camp at Standing Rock in opposition to the Dakota pipeline

Amy Goodman is a reporter for the excellent website Democracy Now. She was arrested, despite being a journalist currently working on the story, as she reported security guard brutality and videoed the guards setting dogs on peaceful protestors. An initially correct response from the authorities has given way to a clear display of determined power, and false accusations by the state governor of pipe bombs in the camp and violence by the protesters.

“All they see is dollar signs and greed”. Dave Archambault.

The Missouri provides water to 10 million people: 

The Standing Rock camp, Vogue, Sept 14th 2016, Getty images
“This isn’t just about the pipeline. It’s about the water. It’s about having the right to live our lives. It’s about being able to make sure my grandchildren have clean water. To me, it’s just common sense. And so we must, we must stop this.” Ladonna Brave Bull Allard,

A representative of the Sioux nation spoke to the UN on Sept. 20th. He said:

Published on Sep 20, 2016 David Archambault II, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, today to garner international opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the reservation.

Dave Archambault speaking to the UN last week. Tell the world!

Our tribal nation is a sovereign nation, located in the United States. Our sovereignty is recognized by the United States through the legally binding treaties of 1851 and 1868, signed by our traditional Lakota government, the Oceti Sakowin, then passed by the United States Senate and proclaimed by the president of the United States. I’m here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials. Dakota Access Pipeline wants to build a pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation’s drinking water. This pipeline threatens our communities, the river and the earth. Our nation is working to protect our waters and sacred places for the benefit of our children not yet born. But the oil companies and the government of the United States have failed to respect our sovereign rights. Today the pipeline construction continues although it has temporarily stopped near our nation. This company has knowingly destroyed sacred sites and our ancestral graves with bulldozers. This company has also used attack dogs to harm individuals who tried to protect our water and sacred sites. I condemn all violence, including the use of guard dogs. While we have gone to the court in the United States, our courts have failed to protect our sovereign rights, our sacred places and our water. We call upon the human rights council and all member states to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation’s efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect our environment and our nation’s future, our culture and our way of life.”

Things are going well. Indigenous peoples from different parts of North America are increasingly uniting. Huge numbers of non-native allies are supporting them, financially or in person. Black Lives Matter has offered its support. Indigenous movements in others parts of the world are working in solidarity. The struggle over the pipeline continues, but for the moment construction has been halted. More and more people can see the sheer idiocy of extracting this dirty oil in the first place, and causing further environmental and human damage by piping it through forests and under rivers to allow the cities of Illinois to continue an unsustainable way of life.

6 thoughts on “Standing Rock Camp and the Dakota Access Pipeline

  1. Brilliant posting about this – thanks Caroline! S x

    From: New Green To: Sent: Saturday, 24 September 2016, 9:26 Subject: [New post] Standing Rock Camp and the Dakota Access Pipeline #yiv7888263451 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7888263451 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7888263451 a.yiv7888263451primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7888263451 a.yiv7888263451primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7888263451 a.yiv7888263451primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7888263451 a.yiv7888263451primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7888263451 | carolinefnew posted: “The threat from climate change to human existence and wellbeing is even more urgent than we thought, argues an article in New Republic. Data from a Norwegian energy consultant, Rystad (and they’ll sell you the details for a mere $54,000) shows that to h” | |

  2. Thank you Caroline. We need to have this information, as we hear more or less nothing about this battle in the mainstream media. Thanks for all your efforts on this blog.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information about the Dakota pipeline, it’s good to know that so many are supporting the battle against it.

  4. Thanks Caroline, I have been following this a bit on social media. Your post, with the links, adds to my picture (of how the dependence on fossil fuels, and the resulting costs are being disproportionately carried by indigenous populations around the world.) It’s a big thing that the First Nations people are leading this important campaign.

  5. Treaty Truck House Against Alton Gas has been fighting Alton Gas for over 2 years near Stewiacke Nova Scotia. We are also keenly following what is going on regarding the Dakota pipeline and other first nations lead climate change actions across North America. Thanks for sharing the Dakota info.

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