5 Things You Need to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

dakota-access-pipeline-protestsBy Nick Bernabe

A small Standing Rock Sioux site in North Dakota called the Sacred Stone Camp has been propelled into the national news narrative following their stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Due in part to independent media coverage of the ongoing standoff, the Sacred Stone camp has grown into a formidable opposition against the $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile long pipeline.

Due to misinformation coming from law-enforcement, political favoritism toward the pipeline builders, and the media’s blatant reluctance to report on the pipeline, it’s hard to tell truth from fiction. Anti-Media, along with our partners in the independent media and our embedded journalist at the opposition encampment, have been covering the unfolding standoff continuously. Here are five things you need to know.

1. Who is opposing the pipeline — and why

Dakota Access Pipeline

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is leading the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. They have been joined by the largest tribal coalition in over 100 years in their stand against the pipeline. The coalition is also comprised of activists, allies, and environmentalists, collectively known as “water protectors,” at the Sacred Stone Camp, an encampment close to the location where the pipeline is planned to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota. According to the Sacred Stone camp website, they are opposing the pipeline because “[t]he Dakota Access threatens everything from farming and drinking water to entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources surrounding the Missouri.”

The Standing Rock Sioux also say the pipeline is violating treaty land, Sioux territory that was established many years ago by the federal government. “We will not allow Dakota Access to trespass on our treaty territory and destroy our medicines and our culture.”

The opposition to the pipeline spreads across several states and is not opposed solely by Native Americans. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners are also opposed to the pipeline. Many of them have had their land taken from them against their will and given to the pipeline via eminent domain.

2. The U.S. government and the pipeline corporation are continuing a long tradition of disrespecting Native Americans

dakota access pipeline

The United States has a very bad reputation for treating Native Americans, the original inhabitants of this land, as less than human. In many instances in the past, the land where Native Americans lived was deemed to be of higher value than the Natives’ lives.

Such has been the case in North Dakota — not only now, but in the past as well. According to The Atlantic:

The land beneath the pipeline was accorded to Sioux peoples by the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. Eleven years later, the U.S. government incited and won the Great Sioux War, and ‘renegotiated’ a new treaty with the Sioux under threat of starvation. In that document, the tribe ceded much of the Laramie land, including the Black Hills of South Dakota, where many whites believed there to be gold.

After the federal government relegated the Sioux people to the “Great Sioux Reservation” in 1851, the treaty was re-written and “renegotiated” by force whenever resources were discovered or when the U.S. government wanted land. Essentially, the Sioux people were victims of U.S.-sanctioned murder, and their land was stolen because gold was discovered on it.

Fast forward to 2016 and the Sioux people are once again making a stand on land that was once — and still is, according to the tribe — theirs. How is the government reacting to this stand? By brutally arresting the Native American water protectors for trespassing. If that is not a miscarriage of justice, I don’t know what is.

Further, Energy Transfer Partners, the company pulling the strings behind the DAPL, has deep pockets, and its lobbyists have cozied up to federal, state, and local governments with jurisdiction over the pipeline route. This could explain why the company began its construction of the pipeline on Army Corps of Engineers land without even securing an easement, which is required by law. Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, has also used the strong-arm of government to force farmers and landowners to hand over their land to the pipeline against their will.

3. Violent acts are being carried out in North Dakota, but not by the water protectors

dakota access pipelineViolence is breaking out at the Dakota Access Protest site, but the protesters have nothing to do with it. Pipeline police, bolstered by the North Dakota National Guard and sheriffs imported from around the country, have turned the standoff into a war zone. Water protectors are regularly pepper sprayed, tear gassed, and violently arrested. Over the weekend, 127 people were detained in the biggest mass arrest to date.

Militarized police at the Dakota Access Pipeline site are decked out in riot gear, armed with military grade weapons, use armored cars or MRAPs with snipers on top of them, and have regularly used LRADs, a type of mass crowd dispersal weapon that uses a high-pitched noise to hurt people’s ears —sometimes permanently.

Early reports of protesters being armed and violent have proven to be instances of misinformation spread by law enforcement apparently seeking to demonize the opposition. No credible reports of violence by the protesters have been confirmed or prosecuted. Nearly all arrests stem from trespassing charges or crimes of journalism.

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When protesters initially began using civil disobedience to physically shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline site, they were confronted violently by security guards from British mercenary firm G4S. The mercs sicced dogs and used pepper spray on the protesters in an assault that went viral and helped catalyze even more support for the water protectors.

4. Independent media is under attack at the Dakota Access Pipeline — and the corporate media is ignoring it


Independent media’s broadcasts over the Internet are basically the only reason people around the country and the world now know about the struggle at Standing Rock. Unfortunately, journalists are not immune to the police crackdowns in North Dakota. Dozens of journalists have now been arrested, and an arrest warrant was issued for high-profile journalist Amy Goodman. One independent media outlet, Unicorn Riot, saw four of their journalists arrested in one day in North Dakota. One filmmaker is facing up to 45 years in prison for filming acts of civil disobedience against the pipeline.

Anti-Media’s journalist on the ground, Derrick Broze, was tased by law enforcement while covering the protests on Thursday as this article was being written.

Meanwhile, the national corporate media ignored the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline as long as they could. For months, despite the DAPL emergence into the national narrative, ABC and NBC refused to air any coverage about it. A woman was arrested for protesting the pipeline on her own farm after Dakota Access LLC gained access to it against her will via eminent domain — yet there was still no corporate media coverage on the incident.

5. How you can help the opposition

Now that you see what water protectors are up against in North Dakota, here’s what you can do to help.

  • Get yourself to the Sacred Stone Camp. The water protectors need reinforcements as people are regularly arrested. The bigger the stand, the more likely the pipeline’s construction will be halted. Here’s how to get there.
  • Send supplies or donations. Water protectors need your help with supplies and funding. Go to this link to send supplies. Go to this link to donate to the cause.
  • Support independent journalists that risk arrest to bring you the news from the front lines. Follow Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook. Share this article.
  • For 10 more ways to get involved, click here.

This article (5 Things You Need to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. 

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16 Comments on "5 Things You Need to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests"

  1. Great and needed article. Both Stein and Sanders have been involved and visited the protesters to show support: Stein was arrested.

    Clinton has been silent; Trump has been silent. Silence is death.

  2. What is not being addressed is 1. Why the oil is not being processed first for easier distribution in North America …and 2. this is due to the fact that the Texas refineries will be shipping it ALL to china ! It is yet another instance of America being RAPED for resources as the internationalists destroy us all…if we allow it.

  3. Treaties? The only signed piece of paper the US gov has ever honoured is the dollar bill.

    • & that’s starting to circle the drain as well

    • Ummm, they dishonored that in 1913. Is there a different example?

      • Fair point.
        Nothing else springs to mind, either.
        Ah, well.

        • I didn’t expect hope, but I had hoped for it.

          • I feel bad – like I’ve let you down, now. 🙁
            But you speak of hope – hope is different. As long as those tomorrows keep lining up for us, there is always hope.
            Even the situation in Dakota has already birthed positive things. We now see a coalition of peoples not seen before – esp. when you include the ‘non-native’ supporters. This is a fantastic and inspiring thing.
            Even if, (spirits forbid) the pipeline ultimately does go ahead, the shortsighted, corporate greed-mongers have unwittingly bonded a huge number of ordinary people together who will be even more united, savvy and prepared next time they butt heads.
            Every action like this wakes x number of people up – people who won’t ever snooze again. I’m not one for polls, but the recent poll showing that only 6% trust the MS media is, to me, a sign of hope.

            Look at the impact that truly independent media has had on this current (s)election cycle. The usual scripted BS just hasn’t been working quite like the ‘elites’ expected this time around and they’ve had to pull out all the stops to just to keep the whole farcical soap opera grinding along. If the consequences weren’t so serious, it would be comical.
            This, too, is a good sign.
            This shows, to me, that, with every event like this, where the steamroller of corporatism is stalled-up and exposed for what it is by real, courageous human beings with metaphorical spades and trenches, more and more people wake up.
            We see more and more light being shone into the shadows every day and the dedicated alt-media and truth-seekers are handing out free torches.
            I ‘hope’ that generates some more hope for you.

          • nochipforme | October 29, 2016 at 7:53 am |

            I am much more of a realist, than I am optimistic or pessimistic. The fact is that we are living in the last generation that has been prophesied from ancient times. I believe that there is strong evidence that the Indian people are the descendants of the seed of Abraham, believing in the One True God and the promise of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Authorized King James Bible is the perfect Word of the Lord handed down through centuries in script among the Hebrews, never being changed. The accuracy of the scientific, historical, literal and prophetic words that are written therein, have been divinely kept throughout the generations.

            This one world dominion is going to have power over every nation, tribe and tongue and if you read Matthew 24, Mark, 13, Luke 21, Revelation, you will see and know for certain how things will progress until the end. Every Word of God is pure.

            They will shut down the communications and systematically conquer all dissenters.
            The only real hope that anyone can have, is the hope of the promise of His return, when He will put an end to the wickedness that abounds, and set up His everlasting Kingdom where He will reign over all the nations in righteousness.

          • In this, we differ in our approaches but it would seem that, as you believe these things, I would say, respectfully, that your reasons to hope are essentially a matter of inevitability aren’t they? Would it not be fair to say that hope, on the basis of what you tell me, is actually a matter of keeping your faith and being patient.
            And, while I don’t follow your beliefs, you do have the advantage of a sense of certainty in the future.

          • Inevitable? Yes. I suggest that you read the Authorized King James Bible for yourself. Only He that dwells outside of the bounds of time can tell the future before it happens with such precision using men from all walks of life that were separated by thousands of years.

            The prophecies are being fulfilled exactly as they were written.

            The Truth cannot be changed by a person’s personal opinions or views. The truth remains steadfast and immovable. It is better to believe the truth than to believe our hearts or perspectives. The Words of the Lord are pure words, for sure. You cannot trust corrupt men or corrupt religious institutions of men, but you can trust Him.

            I testify as one that has known Him and His power, and faithfulness to His Word, not just “believed”

          • Thank you for that.
            Having been raised in a christian household, I have actually read KJB and many of the other bibles, gospels and Nag Hammadi texts, too.
            While we might diverge on our individual interpretations of these many and varied authors, I admire the strength your conviction.
            With all sincerity, I hope your knowledge of your truth brings you solace.

          • Thank you. It does. I hope your knowledge of Jesus Christ brings you to salvation. It is appointed unto man once to die and them the judgment. Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Differing opinions never change the truth. Eternity is a long time to be wrong. Please do consider these things and seek the Lord and live:)

            I do not proclaim the true gospel of Jesus Christ for any personal gain, church affiliation, or any other advantage, but that I might save some from the wrath that is certainly to come upon the entire world and He shall return in our generation. Check out my channel and feel free to comment on any of my discussions. I try to make sure that all comments are open for people to add to the discussions.

            In the end the only thing that is going to matter is having an advocate with the Father, because we have all become an unclean thing according to our own works and our conscience bears witness against us, yet He is faithful and just to forgive us all sins, if we confess them unto Him. Jesus came into the world to pay for the sins of many.

  4. Now Americans are seeing first hand just what so many peoples of other countries have had to deal with regularly, American armed forces brutally putting down legal and Constitutionally protected defense of their own land,s from interlopers and those only interested in profiting from the destruction of the people’s lands. Think of the peoples of Iran (where in 1953 their democracy was destroyed by the US and UK), Libya (where the wealthiest country per capita, was bombed back to the stone age by the US and NATO), Iraq (where a secular society where women could work and intermingle with men, was turned into charnel house by the US), Syria (where another secular state is being bombed by the US in concert with terrorists), Ukraine (where a nascent democracy was destroyed by the US with Victoria Nuland’s assistance and the country divided and made into a failed state), Honduras (where a democratic government was overthrown by the military with the approval of the US). This little demonstration of America’s disdain of the lives and property of ordinary people in North Dakota and its willingness to destroy them and their land is nothing compared to what the US does in other countries!

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