Actions were held in hundreds of cities worldwide Tuesday to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which would carry crude from the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, representatives of more than 200 Indigenous nations from across the Americas, as well as thousands of non-Native allies—all fearing a pipeline spill could contaminate the Missouri River, the drinking source for millions. On Tuesday, protesters rallied from Vermont to California. Dozens were arrested across the country. In Mandan, North Dakota, at least 25 people were arrested as hundreds blockaded a highway and access to one of the pipeline company’s construction yards. Massive rallies were held in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in Washington, D.C., where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “The idea that at this moment in history, when the scientific community is crystal clear that we need to transform our energy system, that at this moment we have the fossil fuel industry pushing for more pipelines, for more dependency on fossil fuel, is totally insane.”
Many of Tuesday’s actions targeted the offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has so far refused to grant Energy Transfer Partners the final permit to drill underneath the Missouri River. In a joint statement by the Army and the Interior Department released Monday, the Army announced, “The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands.” This is Army veteran Nicole Goodwin.
Nicole Goodwin: “Today, six members of Iraq Veterans Against the War went to office of the Army Corps of Engineers in New York City asking them to stand down and stand with Standing Rock. Water is life. And the fact that this is happening to the Sioux people and other indigenous peoples around the world is a tragedy. And when will it end? It must be stopped.”