Big Oil has redoubled its efforts to convince America that the Bakken Pipeline is safe and inevitable (they just launched a new front group). Yet signs are everywhere that pipeline fighters are scoring more and more kinks in Big Oil’s armor.
The epicenter of Bakken pipeline resistance recently has been the Standing Rock Sioux Spirit Camp near Cannonball, North Dakota. The Camp took root in April with thirty people, and now has grown to 1,200 pipeline warriors, with more coming from over 30 tribal nations, and non-tribal allies joining as well.
I spoke with Mekasi Horinek with Bold Oklahoma, a Ponca and one of the Camp’s leaders.
“What’s happening is unprecedented,” said Mekasi. “We haven’t seen anything like this in over 100 years, where Indigenous People from the seven council fires have come together and erected the sacred council lodge. The last time that happened was Custer’s last stand. Well, we’re putting the pipeline company on notice that this is their last stand.”
The Camp is indeed having an impact. Just this week, Dakota Access announced it was halting construction there indefinitely. And in a desperate move to stem the flow of fighters to the Camp, local law enforcement actually closed the roads! (Watch the video here.)
One argument given is that there were threats of pipe bombs being planted. “That’s totally false,” Mekasi told me. “We’ve had tv cameras and news crews here all the time. The only pipe we have here is our sacred pipe. This is a peaceful camp. We’re here in prayer, and all arrests have been non-violent.”
Indeed, there have been 28 arrests so far, and not a single incident of anyone resisting arrest.
For an important summary of the link between the pipeline resistance in North Dakota and the historic deadly flooding downstream in Louisiana, check out this piece by Bill McKibben (and meet Mekasi, who’s quoted in the second video).
So, what can YOU do to help?
1. Go to the Camp of the Sacred Stones. And if you can’t do that, support the Legal Defense Fund for those risking arrest.
2. We’re next, Iowa! Yes, non-violent direct action will begin here soon, sorry to say. Please sign the Pledge of Resistance and/or circulate it to your networks.
3. Write to President Obama. He needs to step forward, stop sitting on the sidelines, break his silence and reject Bakken like he did Keystone. Write to him directly and/or sign this petition.
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Thanks! – Ed Fallon