Celebrations abound in the Oceti Sakowin camp near Standing Rock after the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers refused to grant an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to go under Lake Oahe.
The decision was celebrated by the thousands of protesters gathered at the Standing Rock site, and continued through out the night as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that they would not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and would instead “explore alternate routes.”
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works Darcy said Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The announcement was celebrated throughout the protest sites, days following the arrival of more then 2,000 U.S. military veterans who started joining the protests on December 2nd to protect them from the authorities; in recent weeks, altercations between protestors and law enforcement have escalated.
Tons of people were still arriving long into the night.
Mandy Froelich Live with Rob Greenfield at Standing Rock for True Activist.
Moment of the announcement as seen by the lens of veteran DAPL journalists Unicorn Riot who have been on location at standing rock throughout the entire protests and occupation.
Prior to Sunday’s decision, federal officials had given protesters, who have reiterated that the pipeline would threaten the water supply and damage sacred sites, until Monday to leave the protest site.
U.S. Secretary for the Interior Sally Jewell added in a statement that Sunday’s decision “ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts” and “underscores that tribal rights reserved in treaties and federal law, as well as Nation-to-Nation consultation with tribal leaders, are essential components of the analysis to be undertaken in the environmental impact statement going forward,” the Washington Post reports.
In a statement that followed the Army’s announcement that they would not approve the construction permits on the $3.7 billion project, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said,
“We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.”
Archambault II added that he hoped the incoming Trump administration and any other challengers “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”
Here’s an excerpt from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s statement:
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama administration for this historic decision.
We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.”
Might want to store this iconic photograph before Getty gets their greedy hands on it.
“As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” – Energy Transfer Partners
Fireworks are going off above Oceti Sakowin as the celebration continues into the night. Some important things to remember:
– The U.S. Army Corp may have denied the permit for the easement at Lake Oahe, but the pipeline will be rerouted. Where exactly it will be moved and how it will affect that community remains to be seen. What I am curious to see is whether the fight against DAPL will maintain such large support even if it is not a threat to indigenous communities. It still remains a threat to nature.
– The police are still going to want people off the land sooner or later. My guess is that once numbers die down law enforcement will warn people to begin vacating or face arrest.
– This small victory has come because of mass opposition and awareness. This was achieved through social media and the independent media. This is yet another example of the power we hold.
– Finally, all of our fighting, donations, and efforts are ultimately wasted if we do not change our own individual actions. The evolution is in the conversations, it’s in the day to day actions we take. We can end the oilgarchy, statism, and environmental destruction once we change our thinking and ultimately our habits. First, we become conscious on an individual level and then we create empowered communities. ~ Derrick Broze