As the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues after fresh battles in North Dakota, where police injured over 300 unarmed water protectors, land defenders and water protectors are momentously standing firm in the face of corporate fossil fuel extraction across ‘Turtle Island’. [‘Turtle Island’ is an original naming of ‘North America’ by the Native inhabitants of this land.]
Solidarity actions with Standing Rock have taken place across the Turtle Island, and even the globe, consistently throughout the last few months. Soft actions such as banner drops, like the “Stand With Standing Rock, Protect Our Water” banner pictured below in Minneapolis, are continually seen in major cities.
South side stands with Standing Rock. Chicago Ave pic.twitter.com/Trn3oszlyt
— Rafael Gonzalez (@TUFAWON) November 17, 2016
Direct actions stopping the flow of capital have directly impacted business as usual for the corporations and companies fueling the oil and gas industry. An action in Columbus, Ohio entailed a person locked down to a van in a busy intersection, clogging up traffic in the financial district for hours. In other direct actions, people have blockaded train tracks or locked down on equipment and/or pipelines themselves.
A couple weeks ago in Atlanta, a broad coalition of community members blocked the main freight train tracks that route from Florida to Georgia, blocking pipeline construction equipment.
— ATL NoDAPL (@ATLNoDAPL) November 4, 2016
The group that gathered occupied the space on the tracks for over six hours, eventually setting fire to barricades to slow the advance of the police and the ability for the tracks to be cleared. Two people who had been arrested for their involvement with the action face charges of trespassing, criminal damage to property (2nd degree), and arson (2nd degree).
Other direct actions in defense of the earth by land defenders and water protectors have been occurring in spurts across the country. For instance, in Olympia, Washington, a group called Olympia Stand had set up a camp on November 11th, blocking train tracks carrying fracking equipment intended for the Bakken Oil Fields.
Below is a video detailing why the blockade was created.
A statement from the camp released the day of starting the blockade reads:
“We are here to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock as a response to their call for support as the indigenous peoples there are being terrorized by police on a daily basis, as well as to protest centuries of neo-colonialism and environmental racism. Furthermore, our goal is to stop the transportation of more fracking materials to North Dakota. Come join us!” – Olympia Stand statement
Early Friday morning, one week after the blockade encampment was set up, riot police showed up to break up the encampment and to escort the train through the town. Police said they had to use “pepperballs” and “flash bangs” to stop a large masked-up group that was resisting the police pressure.
Below is some video from Olympia from the morning of the 18th of November.
Fires were lit throughout the night and people continued to block the tracks with debris. By the end of the night, twelve people had been arrested.
In Oka, Québec, on November 18th, a group of women who drew inspiration from the water protectors of Standing Rock locked down to the Trans-Northern Pipeline to demand an immediate closure of the pipeline to protect the lands and water that the pipeline runs over.
After demanding the pipeline be shut down, a spokesperson for the group, Jeanne Beauchamp, stated the importance of the demand:
“The Trans-Northern pipeline crosses multiple crucial waterways, including the Ottawa River, and threatens the security of over three million people in greater Montréal.” – Jeanne Beauchamp
In New Jersey, as the struggle against Spectra pipelines in the northeast intensifies, the Water Warrior Collective has been forged. Spectra is in the process of trying to complete a new project called the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project.
— WtrWarriorCollective (@WtrWarriors) November 17, 2016
According to Spectra’s website, “the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project is bringing diverse domestic natural gas supplies into the Northeast to provide homes and businesses with an affordable, environmentally friendly energy source to meet regional demand.” They were aiming to have the project completed by November of this year.
As lawsuits over the project’s approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission await their day in court, New York congressman Eliot Engel asked President Obama “to intervene in a pipeline project under construction in the Hudson Valley and require an independent risk assessment.”
At Split Rock Camp, where water protectors have erected tipis three weeks ago, the community gathered recently after a ceremony and shared songs.
— WtrWarriorCollective (@WtrWarriors) November 15, 2016
Other under-reported report-backs from other actions across the country can be found at It’s Going Down.
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Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle #NoDAPL from early summer 2016 to present:
March – May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the “Toxic Tour,” Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple’s email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People’s Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, “No More Stolen Sisters” Demonstration Blockades DAPL Man Camp; 25+ Arrests
- November 16, Despite Army Corps Statement, DAPL Moves Horizontal Drill to Missouri River Crossing
- November 17, Demonstration in Bismarck-Mandan, Cass County Deputies Beat Man Bloody
- November 20, Police Attack Unarmed Water Protectors w/ Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons; 160+ injured