By Elizabeth Hoo, Staff Writer
The night before I was left for the rally in Philadelphia to oppose the DAPL, I called my mom.
“Wasn’t this issue based off a movie from a while back?” she asked. I was shocked to hear that she didn’t know what was happening, but with the election and everything else going on in the political realm, it can be hard to keep up.
This article provides some information about the North Dakota Pipeline and the ongoing protests in Standing Rock and around the nation.
What is the DAPL?
The DAPL is the Dakota Access Pipe Line which extends 1,172 miles through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The pipeline will cost about $3.7 billion and will transport about 470,000 barrels of oil a day from North Dakota to a storage facility in Illinois. The Dakota Access Pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas oil company.
The Sioux Tribe, located in Standing Rock, North Dakota, has lived in Standing Rock since 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. This land which the North Dakota Pipeline seeks to pass through is sacred land and belongs to the tribe by treaty which the US made with the Native people. The oil companies did not consult the Sioux Tribe about the Pipeline.
As of now, the Tribe has been fighting oil companies for about two years to get the legal rights to remove big oil from their land. The Pipeline not only affects the way of life for the Tribe but it could affect water supplies for millions of people: if the pipeline were to leak, both drinking water and water for crops would see widespread impacts.
At the same time, oil is a crucial natural resource and having this Pipeline could reduce America’s dependence on international oil. One possible solution for the oil pipeline would be to put it into a different location, but finding a new location is difficult as no community would likely want the Pipeline running through its backyard. So who decides who is given the short end of the stick?
What is happening now?
Peaceful protests at Standing Rock, ND, are being met with force. There is so much support around the nation for the struggle of the Sioux Nation. In many cities, individuals are coming out and protesting the institutions which seek to implant the Pipeline. Nov. 15 was National Day of Solidarity for Standing Rock. I went to an organized rally with a friend in Philadelphia, where between two and three hundred people showed up to voice their opinions.
The protest began at 8 a.m., with the majority of people holding signs and many chanting “Philly stands with Standing Rock”, “Hey hey Ho the DAPL has got to go” and “Water is Life.” The group walked to several Philadelphia venues significant in the construction of the Pipeline. Our first stop was the Army Corps, where protesters lay down for 11 minutes – one minute for each 1000 kilometers of the Pipeline. From there the protest headed over the Wells Fargo then TD Banks, which are two of the big funders for the project.
With Trump elected, the future for the Sioux Tribe seems very rocky but hopefully with enough support, the DAPL will be stopped.