North Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
About the Protest
As the struggle continues to put on hold the North Dakota Access Pipeline (No DAPL) from constructing the oil pipeline passing through the Dakota state, protest and the protesters has no option but to continue with the struggle. Maybe the reason for the constant struggle is because of what the pipeline company said, something that was echoed by the Grist.org staff, Aura Bogado whose focus is in the environment racism. The company’s sentiments that the climate change is not up for debate for various indigenous people does the project to raise questions whether it is of good faith or just another case of racism (Goodman & Gonzalez, 2016). The project is a real phenomenon that could mean the difference between life and death. That is why the protestors and allied tribes should surge forward with their quest for justice.
The major component of the Dakota access pipeline protests could be the reality surrounding it that the pipeline is not just a question of an environmental hazard, rather it is something under construction with no much respect for the Standing Rock Sioux. In this context, the tribal sovereignty is under threat, which is as much important as the environmental hazard, is being lost in the pipeline saga.
Consequently, a protest should be the way forward for the residents as it will make their voices heard. That is a fact because until recently, the term occupation was identical with power, imperialism, and foreign invasion. Currently, in the post-occupy, the Wall Street era, more and more activists have resorted to using their physical presence to demand their rights. From Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to Tahirih square in Cairo, the occupation has become a predominant method of establishing human democratic and social rights (Goodman & Gonzalez, 2016).
If anything is to go by, then that is the way forward for such occupations which is happening in the way of increasing encampment at the Cannonball River of the North Dakota, in which the indigenous tribes are leading a coalition of environmentalists and other activists in protesting the building of an oil pipeline.
The only fundamental issue in play at the construction is the race and the importance to recognize the indigenous tribes’ rights to the self-determinations. If someone thinks it in that perspective, then the individual is thinking the Walter Echo-Hawk’s way. Walter believes that by correcting such injustices and other various deficits in the federal Indian law could determine the work of a generation since most of their local deficiencies raise sets of complex issues which proves difficult to rectify. Such matters include protecting their intellectual properties rights that belong to their communities, preserving the indigenous rights and protecting their holy places among others (Echo-Hawk, 2010).
What Walter observed is what the protestors are doing. Their waters at the Missouri river, their sacred areas and other principle parts of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation are under threat of the proposed pipeline construction. He argued that even the movements of the 1960s, the civil rights were characterized by the push to reclaim the tribal lands from the federal government, they protested in the face of poverty and poor education structures and restoration of the native culture and literature. What is witnessed in the protest against the No DAPL is what Walter may referee to the “Red power” of the native Indians struggle (Echo-Hawk, 2010).
Echo-hawks asserted that since the 1980s, the hard-fought gains had faced a slow infiltration through the federal courts (Echo-Hawk, 2010). Maybe that is why even the federal regulatory agencies that include the Army Corps of Engineers, without anybody’s knowledge consented the DAPL construction. That leaves the community to fend for themselves as many corporation’s interests become prioritized over the mother nature. Walter argues that the American history displays a violent history of denying the native groups their sovereign power over their self-lives.
Echo-Hawk, W. (2010). In the courts of the conqueror (pp. page 428, p. 429). Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Pub.
Goodman, A. & Gonzalez, J. (2016). Developing: 100+ Militarized Police Raiding #NoDAPL Resistance Camp Blocking Pipeline’s Path. Democracy Now!. Retrieved 27 October 2016, from https://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/27/developing_100_militarized_police_demolishing_nodapl