While most North Americans are watching award shows and getting together for Thanksgiving, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, along with many other people who have gathered at the site, are trying to protect their water from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As Clair Bernish writes for The Free Thought Project, the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement “isn’t environmental activism; it’s preservation of life, protection of a living entity — the Missouri River and Lake Oahe reservoir — as real as flesh, or plant, or animal. Opposing a potential threat of oil contamination to that water would never be a question — the Missouri has sustained generations and must sustain those to come.”
It’s common knowledge that oil pipelines break constantly and that most of these spills aren’t covered by mainstream media. A simple review of the statistics will show you that. Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., the company that’s gunning to acquire Energy Transfer Partners (the company that’s building the DAPL), has experienced approximately 200 known pipeline spills since 2010.
This was also the sentiment of Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who we recently interviewed at Standing Rock. He noted matter-of-factly that these pipelines will break and that’s just what they do. However, his main focus is on the illegal process that allowed the oil company to proceed with building a pipeline through sacred, private land in the first place.
One of the primary concerns is now the safety of the water protectors. They’ve been bombarded and assaulted for simply standing peacefully and protecting the water. The police force has been militarized and concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray, and more were used on the water protectors, often resulting in terrible injuries. A young woman was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, suffering from what could be permanent damage. One gentleman had a grand mal seizure and some were vomiting blood after taking rubber bullets to the stomach.
And a young woman named Sophia Wilansky might actually might lose her arm after a concussion grenade tore through flesh all the way to the bone.
Below is a video from Young Turks who were, and still are, on site. In the video, the reporter interviews a medic from the front lines as she describes what she’s experienced so far, offering some great insights into what is really going on…
Dozens of people have been hospitalized and hundreds injured. It’s a terrible situation and heartbreaking to think that this kind of force can be used on peaceful people who are simply standing, praying, and exercising their rights. Somehow, these peaceful protestors can be “legally” attacked in such a brutal manner.
Why can’t both sides be peaceful?
What Are They Spraying?
This is precisely why the video below doesn’t come as a surprise. We heard these rumors during our stay there, although we were never actually in the camp overnight, so we did not experience it ourselves.
“We have had aircraft flying over our camp for several days . . . [and] they mostly come at night and have their lights off . . . they are using this space illegally. . . . Last night . . . there was an aircraft flying over camp from approximately 1:40am until about 2:20am this morning. [They are] spraying what we believe to be chemical agents down on top of us.”