Native Americans and their allies are coming from across the country to support the Standing Rock Reservation’s efforts to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172 mile long pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields to Illinois for processing.
As tensions rise, they are asking for more help, from church people to the United Nations.
One of the key issues is that the pipeline will run under the Missouri River just one mile from Standing Rock Reservation’s drinking water intake. The pipeline threatens their drinking water and also will run through sacred sites, opponents say. (The reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border towards the west.)
Several thousand people are estimated to have joined the growing protest at Standing Rock, called the “Camp of the Sacred Stones.” The gathering has triggered a strong reaction by the state. According to the Bismarck Tribune, in a story headlined: “State pulls relief resources from swelling Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp,”
North Dakota’s homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of unlawful activity …
… the loss of their main drinking water supply came as a blow and sent local officials scrambling to find an alternative water source.
Those organizing the protests maintain they are peaceful.
The Indigenous Environmental Network has appealed for national and international human rights observers and church leaders to come and witness. Continue reading →