How You Can Stand with Standing Rock Activists to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted by Martin Vainstein — 12 October 2016 at 4:27pm - Comments

Right now, hundreds of Indigenous activists are peacefully protesting the construction of a crude oil pipeline on ancestral lands, and they need your support.

Between 10 and 12 of October, people in the Americas commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day. They mark this day instead of celebrating ‘Columbus Day’ and the man who led colonisation of their ancestral land. Today, more than 500 years on from Columbus’s arrival, Indigenous Peoples are still resisting theft of vital natural resources — often taking on huge fossil fuels companies that are desperate to make a profit. And right now, the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is one of the most prominent fights.

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies have been peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline project. If it goes ahead, the pipeline will carry more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day across ancestral lands and under the Missouri River. And if the pipe leaks or spills, it could dump hundreds of thousands barrels of crude oil in the Missouri River, less than a half mile downstream from the tribe’s water supply.

As more tribes and allies have joined the protests at Standing Rock Camp, construction crews have reacted with aggression and violence.

Despite this, a coalition of 1,200 archaeologists, museum directors and historians denounced the destruction of Native American artifacts during the construction of the $3.8bn Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Water protectors are being arrested in a daily basis. And in total, 96 people have been arrested — with three confirmed arrests on Monday morning including actress Shailene Woodley who was live-streaming to over 49,000 viewers from the #NoDAPL protection prayer site.

Last month a federal judge denied the tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline near its reservation. Then, various media outlets reported that three federal agencies asked the pipeline company to “voluntarily pause” construction on a stretch that included sacred tribal lands.

In a statement, the Departments of Justice, the army, and the US Interior Department said the legal case against the pipeline “highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.”

It’s not only US-based oil and gas firms the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting against. British banks such as Barclays, HSBC Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and ICBC London are involved in providing $10.25 billion in loans and credit facilities directly supporting the companies building the pipeline. As this article from Food & Water Watch explains: “These banks expect to be paid back over the coming decades. By locking in widespread drilling and fracking in the false name of U.S. energy independence and security, the banks are increasing our disastrous dependence on fossil fuels.”

IB Image

This is a critical moment in the fight to halt the pipeline’s construction. We don’t know yet if the company will comply with the government request, and if they do, how long the pause will be. What we do know is that they’re listening — and right now we have a chance to stop this project for good.

Standing Rock and Red Warrior Camps have reached out to Greenpeace — and people like you — for support.

How you can help


The US federal government has finally weighed in, but President Obama can stop this project in its tracks by revoking the construction company’s permits. Demand that President Obama take action and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, or add your voice by signing here.

The pipeline was approved without adequate environmental reviews or consultation from the community — and any spill is a direct threat to water supplies for the Standing Rock Sioux. President Obama can make this “pause” a stop, but he’ll only take action if we put the pressure on him.

To get involved directly with Standing Rock Sioux organisers or to donate to their cause, please visit their website.

Mní Wičhóni

 Water is Life

Original entry by Rachael Prokop, Online Campaigner with Greenpeace USA.

Edited and updated by Martin Vainstein community & climate justice organiser currently working in the Online Mobilisation Department at Greenpeace UK

About Martin Vainstein

'History is ours, and it's made by the people' - Salvador Allende, 1973

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