September 01, 2016

National SDS stands against the Dakota Access Pipeline

National SDS supports the actions of the Standing Rock Sioux people and the thousands of protesters who stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline and its attacks on indigenous land, water, and sovereignty. With support from indigenous communities across the continent, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota continues to protest against the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline currently under construction. Protest camps that began in April have steadily grown in strength to massive occupations thousands strong, as individuals from nearly 90 tribes, as well as official statements of support from more than a hundred, have poured in to support the people of Standing Rock. Construction of the pipeline has been periodically halted by protest and inspiring examples of direct action against construction sites, while a federal court reviews the pipeline’s construction permits.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.78 billion project by Dakota Access LLC, which belongs to the natural gas and propane company Energy Transfer Partners. The proposed pipeline is 1172 miles long and will connect oil production areas in North Dakota and Illinois. The pipeline was approved with no meaningful consultation with the tribe, in violation of treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. Only a few miles north of the Standing Rock reservation, the pipeline crosses the Missouri river—the reservation's primary source of water—and the potential of spills thus poses an unacceptable threat not only to sacred land along its path of construction, but to the water rights of the Standing Rock people.

We recognize the presence of state police, highway patrol, and the county sheriff’s office as state-sanctioned violence in support of corporate greed. The North Dakota governor’s declaration of a state of emergency, the unsubstantiated accusations of violence—including the ridiculous and false allegation of the use of pipe bombs by the Morton County Sheriff’s Office and local media—and the pending court injunction ordering the halt of the protests are, likewise, blatant and insulting examples of the US government using fear mongering and repression against protesters, and clear violations of protesters’ rights to assemble, protest, and organize. We call on the pipeline’s construction permits to be revoked in recognition of the Standing Rock people’s sovereignty and treaty rights, and encourage individuals to directly support the Native resistance through donations to the protest camps.

Protect Sacred Water!