Denver, CO – On the evening of Thursday, September 8th, 2016, thousands of supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe marched from the four directions and converged at the State Capitol.
The event was organized by the Four Winds American Indian Council, along with supporting groups.
People marching from the north wore red, people marching from the east wore yellow, people marching from the south wore white, and people marching from the west wore black.
Many were wearing traditional dress, burning sage and copal, and before the speakers began, there was a vibrant performance with dancing and drumming.
The speakers included local residents who had been to Standing Rock, local indigenous activists, as well as, Democratic State Representative Joe Salazar.
Even with the anticipation of the delayed injunction leveled against the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe happening the following day on Friday, September 9th, spirits were high and the atmosphere was celebratory.
“I would like to acknowledge some prayers that are coming overseas at this very moment. I spoke with some loved ones in Australia and up until a couple of days ago they did not know what is happening here in our home. And I wanted to acknowledge that we have people from Australia praying for us, praying for Standing Rock…These prayers are coming over the pacific ocean as we speak, over the Rocky Mountains joining our prayers here in Denver and joining other prayers in Standing Rock.” – Rachel of the Ho-Chunk Nation of the Thunder Clan
Here is a video showing the diversity of #NoDAPL supporters who attended the Four Directions Walk and Rally.
The encampments along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline, “Dakota Access Pipeline [DAPL]” in opposition of the pipeline and to protect the land, water, and people began on April 1st, 2016 with tribal citizens of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and ally Lakota, Nakota, & Dakota citizens.
The DAPL, owned by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., is proposed to transport 450,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil from the lands of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline’s construction comes despite the recent downturn of oil prices which caused North Dakota’s oil boom to bust plunging the state into a billion dollar deficit. The downturn in oil prices has caused oil companies focused on fracking in North Dakota to file for bankruptcy and calls to question the viability of fracked Bakken Oil in the future.
The threats this pipeline poses to the environment, human health and human rights are strikingly similar to those posed by the Keystone XL. The DAPL will cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world) and under the Missouri River twice (the longest river in the United States). The probable contamination of these water sources makes the DAPL a latent environmental hazard even before the oil is burned as fuel.
On September 9th, 2016, the injunction against the DAPL was denied, however the U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of Justice and Army Corps of Engineers issued a joint statement that, in effect, temporarily halts all construction bordering Lake Oahe on the Missouri River.
This joint statement has been a minor victory to some, but to others it seems more like a short-lived political move.
Let’s reflect on that for a moment: A company that recently sicced dogs on Water Protectors, including families, who stepped onto a sacred site to prevent its destruction, is being asked to voluntarily do the right thing.
But the thing is, they probably will. For a moment. Because what’s being asked of them isn’t an actual reroute. Right now, all that’s being asked is that they play their part in a short term political performance aimed at letting the air out of a movement’s tires.”
Below is our livestream footage from the State Capitol:
Below is our livestream footage from the march starting in the West:
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