As you many know from my previous posts, the Black Lives Matter movement advocates for injustices not only in the African-American community but also in other minority communities. With that being said, BLM stands in support with the protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Known as #NoDAPL on social media, the protesters want to prevent The Dakota Access Pipeline Project; “ The Dakota Access Pipeline is a new approximate 1,172-mile, the pipeline will connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand (Dakota Access Pipeline).”
Even though the pipeline can result in millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of job opportunities for the people in the communities that will be affected during the construction, the Indigenous people of Standing Rock do not want the pipeline to happen because it will threaten their drinking water source. The protesters are fighting the big oil company for their collective human right to access water and to protect their tribally significant land.
The Standing Rock Sioux have been working to block the construction of the pipeline for over a year now but after the approval to build the pipeline was granted in late July the situation has become belligerent with reports of violent attacks by security dogs and police deploying water hoses and tear gas on the protesters. With the help of social media, the protesters share videos and pictures of the awful treatment they receive from the authorities and shed some light on what is happen at the pipeline protest site.
On October 13, 2016 “Bernie Sanders and four Senate Democrats issued a letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to suspend construction permits and compel the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact statement for the entire pipeline proposal (Sammon,2016).” On December 4th, with the help of the Obama Administration, the secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers turned down a permit for the pipeline especially halting the construction. This a win for the pipeline protesters, however, they are worried that once the Trump Administration gets into office he will reverse Obama’s decision since he has expressed support for the construction of the pipeline in the past. The oil company has retreated for now but this fight is not over and “this is not a fight that is specific only to Native peoples– this is a fight for all of us and we must stand with our family at Standing Rock (Black Lives Matter).”
“Dakota Access Pipeline.” Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
Sammon, Alexander. “A History of Native Americans Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.” Mother Jones. Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress, 9 Sept. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.
“Black Lives Matter Stands In Solidarity with Water Protectors at Standing Rock.” Black Lives Matter. #BlackLivesMatter Organization, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.