Police marking numbers on bodies of protesters detained in dog kennels has been a last straw for many Americans, including some police officers, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers, who are stepping down, and others, all demanding that President Barack Obama intervene in the $3.8 billion Dakota Pipeline Access construction, now the site of daily atrocities. Tuesday proved that the world is not only watching the corporate versus the people battle. People in over 300 cities across the globe rallied in solidarity with Americans being inhumanely abused for their attempt to secure their human right to water and Standing Rock Sioux sacred cultural sites.
“Police have taken shocking and inhumane measures against Indigenous protectors in Standing Rock as they peacefully defend their land and water,” reads an email sent throughout the Los Angeles area earlier this week to rally solidarity with indigenous water keepers at Standing Rock and others straight across the nation and the planet, all demanding the Dakota Access Pipeline project be scratched.
Tuesday, demonstrators across North America locked arm-in-arm demanding that the U.S. government halt or reroute Dakota Access pipeline. Companies behind the project asked a federal court on Tuesday for permission to complete it.
“They’ve used tear gas, sound cannons, concussion grenades, armored vehicles, and rubber bullets. They’ve shot horses. They’ve detained people in dog kennels and marked them with numbers on their bodies,” LA protest organizers said. “We cannot stand for that.”
Tuesday saw one of the largest protests, all standing with Standing Rock where thousands have been gathered for months to protest what they say is yet another fossil fuel disaster in the making because all pipelines become disastrous sooner or later, poisoning drinking water.
Protesters Face Chilling Nazi-like Inhumane, Degrading Conditions
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, founder and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, said the Dakota Access pipeline was an “environmental crime.”
“There’s real victims,” Kennedy told reporters at the Cannon Ball protest Tuesday.
Tuesday, amid the global protests, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on rights of freedom of association and peaceful assembly released a condemning statement, naming U.S. security forces for using violence against protesters peacefully opposing the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota and “inhuman and degrading conditions” of those arrested in detention.
The Army Corps of Engineers, part of the Obama administration, has power to approve or deny the final permit needed to complete the pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners wants the court to order that Energy Transfer Partners already has the right to build the pipeline without any further actions or permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.
“That’s why it’s crucial the Army Corps of Engineers hears from us: if this permit doesn’t go through, it could mean the end of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” protest organizers said.
Thousands rallied outside Army Corps of Engineers offices, banks and energy companies Tuesday, the day after the Obama administration delayed granting a permit needed to finish the project. Arrests were again made in North Dakota, where the most heated protests took place.
“Their job is to protect us, but instead they’re protecting corporate interests and profits and money,” said Cannon Ball protester Fumi Tosu, 38, of San Jose, California, adding that police used mace on demonstrators. Tosu, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth, helped organize the call for Tuesday’s day of action.
The $3.7 billion Dakota Access project has drawn opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as well as environmental activists who say it could pollute water supplies and destroy sacred historic tribal sites.
“Dakota Access is so desperate to get this project in the ground that it is now suing the federal government on the novel theory that it doesn’t need an easement to cross federal lands,” Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement.
The Army Corps said it plans to get more input from Standing Rock Sioux in light of the tribe repeatedly “dispossessed” from its lands in the past.
Tuesday’s protests came as Dakota Access was expected to win support of President-elect Donald Trump, who has given strong verbal backing for such projects. Energy Transfer Partners is the main company behind the pipeline. Kelcy Warren, Energy Transfer’s chief executive officer, donated more than $100,000 to Trump’s presidential campaign.
Sources: #NODAPL, Reuters, Washington Post, San Antonio Express News, LA Times
Feature photo credit: Kin Man Hui / San Antonio Express-News
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