The Dakota Access Pipeline has been heavily debated and contested by countless protestors and social media onlookers alike. The pipeline, which is slated to be placed in Sioux Native American sacred territory, is just another example of greedy corporate America attempting to assert its dominance over minorities. Celebrities, like Shailene Woodley and Jane Fonda, have advocated for the complete removal of the pipeline as it not only physically endangers the lives of the Native American people of the area - a pipeline 150 miles away from the protest site recently leaked over 150,000 gallons of diesel oil - but it stands for so much more.
This pipeline is representative of the years of abuse and lack of empathy that we have subjected Native Americans to. We are intruding on their sacred land and regarding their religious beliefs, and physical safety secondary to our own. Although President Obama passed an ordinance to protect the Sioux land, Trump (I still will not refer to him as my president - sorry), recently ordered that the Access Pipeline construction should continue.
Protestors were warned to evacuate the area, and in a show of defiance, burned down their protest camp before the authorities were able to reach them first. I cannot express enough just how significant that display of resistance truly was. We have pushed around Native Americans for too long, and forcing them to leave their homes was truly the last straw. Instead of succumbing to this never-ending systemic cycle of racism and greed, protestors instead told the government that they were not for sale. Although the DAPL will be forcibly constructed on sacred Native American land (against Native American protests), their small act of defiance proves just how important fighting for justice can be.
We are a nation of immigrants which runs upon the promise of freedom of speech and the ability to protest (even though Mr. Tiny Hands tries to make it seem otherwise), something we must never forget.