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Thu Aug 25, 2016, 10:55 PM

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Recall America’s Historical Shame

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Recall America’s Historical Shame

Posted on Aug 24, 2016
By Sonali Kolhatkar


Until a few years ago, the word “occupation” was synonymous with power, imperialism and foreign invasion. Today, in the post-Occupy Wall Street era, more and more activists are using their physical presence to make demands. From Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to Tahrir Square in Cairo, occupation has become a powerful method of organizing.

One of the most dramatic such occupations is occurring in the form of a growing encampment at the Cannonball River in North Dakota, where indigenous tribes are leading a coalition of environmental activists in protest over the building of a new crude oil pipeline.

The Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) has stolen more than a name from American Indians (“dakota” means “friendly” or “allied”). If built, it would pass under the Missouri River twice. The pipeline, which could leak, as many pipelines do, threatens to contaminate the drinking water, crops and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Federal regulatory agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, quietly approved DAPL, which will transport Bakkan crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

Last November, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The rejection was the result of a years-long, hard-fought battle by thousands of activists, many of whom made personal sacrifices, traveled long distances and were even arrested for their acts of civil disobedience.

More:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_the_dakota_access_pipeline_dispute_rings_a_bell_20160824

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