Standing Rock. Yet another example of an issue repeating itself in history when minorities are being oppressed and taken advantage of in favour of the interest of white supremacists.
On November 20th, 400 protectors - as they should be identified - assembled near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline, planned to span across four states, would transport almost 600,000 barrels of fracked crude oil; each day. This action would not only be forcing the utilisation of Native American land without consultation or consent, but it would simultaneously endanger the inhabitants’ primary supply of drinking water and cultural resources.
The authorities have failed to acknowledge the importance of protecting and enforcing indigenous rights, and has so far instructed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a limited review of the area in which the pipeline is to be built, concerning the availability of the permits needing to be obtained in order to commence construction. They have neglected to properly consider the environmental impacts, which include the danger of a pipeline break or other malfunction in the extraction industry, and what kind of threat this would pose to the communities residing in the region.
During Sunday’s protests, protectors were targeted with tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and water hoses in -3℃ temperature. All because they stood up for their rights, just like so many other minorities have to do today.
At this point, the issue has ceased to be about political and ideological views, and now concerns the survival of the indigenous peoples in a country attempting to exploit what small fragment of their territory they were allowed to maintain.