The proposed Dakota Access pipeline will transport light, sweet crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. If completed, the pipeline will carry about 500,000 barrels of crude per day.
North Dakota Native Americans oppose this project on the grounds of its potential harm to the environment, and its impact on climate change. Experts suggest that a small earthquake could potentially break the pipeline, causing a catastrophe in the area. If that ever happens, a large amount of oil may be spilled into several rivers, poisoning them. In such a context, the relevant authorities from the affected states would be forced to set up water consumption restrictions that could affect millions of U.S. citizens. Drinkable water scarcity, and the families’ inability to pay the additional cost of it may provoke epidemic diseases in several cities.
Energy Transfer Partners (the owner of the pipeline) has ensured that the pipeline will positively impact people’s lives in the area.
The company has announced that it will use new technology in order to ensure the viability and safety of the project. However, experts from all around the country suggest that the completion of the project will cause an irreparable environmental catastrophe. There is clear evidence that the construction of the pipeline is already damaging the environment.
Neither the North Dakota government nor Energy Transfer Partners negotiated with Native Americans over the terms of the pipeline’s construction, to avoid harsh conflicts between them. They adopted this unilateral decision, ignoring thousands of warming from experts’- and locals. (this project costs several billions of dollars)
In this context, thousands of Native Americans Tribes from the U.S. and Canada have united to try to halt the project. For that reason, they have sat up “resistance camps” blocking the pipeline’s path.
They claim that hundreds of new activists from all across the country are joining them daily.
Energy Transfer Partners and the government have sent the police to repress all defenseless protesters. The police are using controversial methods to oppress all protesters including [tear] gas, tasers, and dogs. According to the police department, they are acting proportionally against the protesters.
The North Dakota police are also repressing journalists, who are trying to cover the protests, by fabricating evidence and charges against them. In some cases, they are arrested and threatened with imprisonment.
Deia Schlosberg was charged earlier this month with three felonies for filming an act of civil disobedience in which climate activists manually turned off the safety valves to stop the flow of tar sands oil through pipelines spanning the U.S. and Canada.
She was there covering the protest as a reporter when she was arrested and charged with a Class A felony and two Class C felonies—which combined carry a 45-year maximum sentence.
Unfortunately, she was covering the protest as a freelancer, which means that she does not have any important support from any TV station. The police confiscated her camera and destroyed the content. It’s been suggested that they fabricated evidence against her.There have been other police abuses.
Amy Goodman, reporter from the Democracy Now, is a popular journalist who has won several awards for her work in journalism.
Amy went to North Dakota to cover the protests against the pipeline. During one protest she filmed security guards unleashing dogs against defenseless protesters, who were bit by them, and needed urgent medical attention.
After the North Dakota coverage, the relevant authorities from the state presented riot charges against her. However, the judge refused to authorize that indictment, alleging that she did not commit any crime.
Watch Goodman’s report that led to charges against her below:
(Judge for yourself if she committed any crime)
Actor Shailene Woodley was arrested during the Standoff at Standing Rock on October 10th, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while attempting to blockade the Dakota Access pipeline construction at two separate worksites. Her detention was streamed live to roughly 40,000 viewers on her Facebook page.
She was officially arrested for criminal trespassing, though the reality is that she was peacefully protesting, with a large number of Native Americans. The judge dropped all charges.
Here is the video, judge for yourself if she committed any crime:
Unfortunately, the U.S. media are not reporting these protests, leaving thousands of activists defenseless. In doing such, they are indirectly supporting the police oppression against/over thousands of protesters.
Energy Transfer Partners and the North Dakota government are focusing on arresting all freelance journalists that are covering the protests. They do it intentionally in order to hide what is happening from U.S. citizens. They think that the journalistic coverage of these protests may attract thousands of new activists.
There is clear evidence that Energy Transfer Partners and the North Dakota government will make a big business when the pipeline will be operative and will transport millions of crude oil barrels. In doing such, they are risking millions of lives that will be affected as soon as the pipeline is operative.
Everything indicates that no one will be able to halt this project. However, there is a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel, since thousands of people around the country have suggested that they will join the protests in order to sabotage the pipeline project.
It is a project that concerns a large number of communities across several states because this project is risking many peoples’ lives, and it’s unacceptable.
Hopefully, the U.S. media will decide to cover it……