The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile conduit slated to carry crude oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois when it’s completed by the end of this year. Since its approval in late July, the project has sparked outrage. Last weekend, protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota reached a boiling point, with reports of violent attacks on protesters by security dogs and numerous instances of macing.
After a video of presidential candidate Jill Stein spray-painting a Dakota Access bulldozer went up online on September 6, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department in North Dakota issued a warrant for her arrest. Though Stein is perhaps the most high-profile activist involved in these protests, many others have been sounding the alarm for more than a year. The Standing Rock Sioux, a Native group whose source of drinking water will be crossed multiple times by the pipeline, filed a lawsuit to block construction. Below is a timeline of how the enormous crude-oil pipeline and its opposition came to be.
On September 3rd, Dakota Access bulldozers plow a two-mile-long, 150-foot-wide path through what the Standing Rock Sioux say is a sacred tribal burial ground. The Sioux had contested the permits for that land in its lawsuit. “We’re days away from getting a resolution on the legal issues, and they came in on a holiday weekend and destroyed the site,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux. According to EcoWatch, the ancient site was discovered “only days before its destruction was awaiting review by the state historic preservation office.”
Protests continue on the anniversary of the Whitestone massacre, a day in 1863 when the US Army killed more than 300 members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Video surfaces of private security attacking Native protesters with dogs and mace. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed and six people, including a child, were bitten by dogs, according to tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear.
On September 6th, US District Judge James Boasberg agrees to temporarily halt construction on a portion of the pipeline—too late to save the Standing Rock Sioux burial ground, but enough to stop the bulldozers ahead of a more final ruling, expected September 9, as to whether construction will be allowed to continue. With members of more than 100 tribes represented, the protest is considered by some to be one of the largest Native American protests ever.
Yesterday, Morton County, North Dakota, issues an arrest warrant for presidential candidate Jill Stein for her role in the protests, after a video of her spray-painting a Dakota Access bulldozer is posted online. The warrant charges her with two counts, one of criminal mischief and the other of criminal trespassing.
District Judge James Boasberg denies the Standing Rock Sioux’s injunction request, allowing for construction to continue.
In the wake of the decision, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior issue a joint statement, acknowledging the district court’s opinion but refusing to authorize construction in the Lake Oahe area, near the protests. The departments asks Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily cease all construction within 20 miles of the region until it can be determined whether the construction is in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.
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#nodapl #istandwithstandingrock #rezpectourwater. Thank you!
Photo Credit: CNN, US NEWS, NBC NEWS