A protest occured that many people are not aware about. Native Americans have inhabited the Americas long before there were “Americans” to deconstruct everything they built. Now a new threat has caused a reaction from tribes across America.
A $3.7 billion, 1.1 1,100 mile long pipeline in North Dakota has halted construction after a progressive retaliation from the Native Americans that live on the land. There has been “resistance against what they (Native Americans) say is a seemingly endless number of pipelines, export terminals and rail lines that would transport fossil fuels across or near tribal reservations, risking pollution to air, water and land.” The protests have caused arrests of Native Americans, and endangered their lives as they fight for them.
The protests started out as a prayer camp, which gained attention from celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Susan Sarandon who joined in. The prayer camp was established after Native Americans claimed the construction violated the National Historic Preservation Act and caused “damage to ancestral sites of the Standing Rock Sioux and put the tribe’s water supply at risk,” according to the Portland Press Herald.
The next step for Native Americans was contacting President Obama, with a little help. Three dozen environmental groups wrote to the president stating the Corps of Engineers doing the construction fast tracked the project by using inadequate numbers or taking into significance the land they were destroying. The Corps went to court to argue against such a claim, and a ruling was due out by Sept. 9.
“We are pleased that we had our day in court today, and we look forward to a ruling soon,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archaumbault II. “I believe that everyone who attended the hearing today will understand that the tribe is seeking fundamental justice here.”
That should have been the end of it. But the protests have taken an ugly turn. It is not just injuries for the Native American, but the police that are attempting to stop the protests.
Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters confronted construction crews at the site just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. One of the security officers was taken to a Bismarck hospital for undisclosed injuries. The two guard dogs were taken to a Bismarck veterinary clinic, according to Fox News. But police officials were not the only ones injured. Six people were reportedly bitten by K-9s, including one child; and 30 people were injured by pepper spray. But law enforcement filed no such reports, leaving one to wonder if any official wants anyone to know what is happening.
Some news sources are not reporting on the damage pipelines cause, nor are they reporting on Native Americans protesting. The protests have gained attention recently, but not to gain support for Native Americans, but instead to only display the recent violent incident.
Why wouldn’t American officials want citizens to know the Native American of the country are protesting what wrong is being done? Maybe because officials want to keep pretending they don’t exist. Or to maybe cover up how they lied to get construction done. Or to hide how they took advantage of a group of human beings and are potentially destroying their means of life.
On Sept 9, President Obama listened to the people’s needs, and halted any developments of the pipeline. At least until the government decides what impact the pipeline would have on the land. It seems for now someone is finally listening to the people. Right now everyone who lives on the land is responding with jubilation on a win for the land and their people.
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