Tribal Activists Defy Lawsuit, Vow Continued Resistance Against Dakota Pipeline

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Common Dreams | 16 August, 2016

Tribal women on Monday stormed the Dakota Access Pipeline site and halted construction. The pipeline company's lawsuit has not deterred the ongoing civil disobedience campaign. (Photo: Unicorn Riot)
Tribal women on Monday stormed the Dakota Access Pipeline site and halted construction. The pipeline company’s lawsuit has not deterred the ongoing civil disobedience campaign. (Photo: Unicorn Riot)

An epic battle over land rights is being waged in the Dakotas, as a local Indigenous community, facing arrests and litigation, is standing firm in its resistance to a massive Bakken crude pipeline project.

Developers of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access (also known as the Bakken) Pipeline filed suit in federal court on Monday against members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose days-long civil disobedience campaign last week stalled construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline.

Dakota Access LLC is “seeking restraining orders and unspecified monetary damages,” theAssociated Press reports. In court papers, the companies argues that the tribal activists “have created and will continue to create a risk of bodily injury and harm to Dakota Access employees and contractors, as well as to law enforcement personnel and other individuals at the construction site.”

are standing up and standing with the land and water. We have to be here. It is instructions that the Creator has given us. We have to be here. We have to stand to protect ourselves and those cannot speak for themselves.

When the President of the United States came to Cannonball, I did not ask him for anything. I tried to let his wife, Michelle and him, see for themselves a little of our reality. They saw our people in our happiest times, singing and dancing, but they also heard the tough reality of life for so many of our youth.

I believe both were impacted but knowing what I know now, I wish I would have asked President Obama to help us in this struggle.

I will pass away someday, which is all part of the Creator’s plan, but I have a son and daughter. I have no doubt that they will give me grandchildren. What will we leave for our grandchildren? Poisoned water? The substance of Life! In my language, we describe water as the source of Life. We say Mni Wiconi!

My Tribe asks how can we live with ourselves if we don’t respect the rights and needs of our future generations?

Today I realize that everything happens for a reason. Although I didn’t ask the President for a dime, I see our people are peacefully speaking out in a good way now. This is hugely important to my Tribe and all of our Tribal Nations. This peaceful demonstration is a cry to stop the desecration of land and water.

I pray that the powers that be, hear our prayer because all this behavior we are exhibiting is a prayer on our part.

Thank you for listening and enjoy your families, your children and grandchildren.

Dave Archambault II, Chairman Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

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