Here’s what the DAPL site says about the pipeline: “The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new approximate 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the rapidly expanding Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.” According to the company, this pipeline will reduce the number of trucks/trains needed to transport oil. (Keep in mind that trucks/trains limit the amount of damage to the environment if there is an accident or leak.)
The pipeline is scheduled to go through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North/South Dakota, and under the Missouri River. That is the problem. According to experts, pipelines leak. They always leak. If there is a leak under the river, it will adulterate the water table, affecting drinking water for millions of people.
The Native Americans who are camped in the path of construction consider themselves protectors of the water. They are trying to make sure our children and grandchildren will still have potable drinking water.
On top of the danger of water contamination, there is the fact that construction is tearing up sacred burial sites and other other places that are culturally significant to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I guarantee that there would be a public outcry if this pipeline was tearing up Arlington National Cemetery
Since April, the camp of the protectors has been constantly manned. But confrontations with law enforcement and private security forces have become increasingly violent. Rubber bullets, pepper spray and sound cannons are being used against men, women, children and elders. People who are unarmed and are carrying out a peaceful, prayerful protest.
Two days ago there was a massive arrest at the site. Security forces marked arrested protectors with numbers, and locked them in dog kennels. Seriously. In the United States of American in the year 2016.
This comes down to what’s right. For centuries we have forced indigenous people to move wherever we want. We have taken their lands, their culture, their language. It’s time to STOP and actually hold to the treaties we signed years ago. This is Sioux land, and they should have the final say about who or what uses their traditional sites.
As Sitting Bull said, so many years ago “They want us to give up another chunk of our tribal land. This is not the first time or the last time”.
It’s time to say “no” to big oil and the millionaires, and “yes” to the environment and native rights.