Since March of this year, thousands of indigenous people have gathered in solidarity to stop this unwelcome pipeline. Prayer camps have been set up and miraculously it looks like those prayers are being answered from the four corners.
The pipeline itself may be in a remote location but the consequences will be felt locally all across the world. We are all one. To show that connection, on September 13th, many cities across the US will be hosting events to encourage President Obama to not just delay the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline but end the project altogether.
The action in Austin (sponsored and organized by the Sierra Club) will take place in front of the Energy Transfer Partners office building. Energy Transfer Partners is the main company behind not only this pipeline but another causing a great deal of controversy and anguish in west Texas.
Perhaps it is not surprising that a direct link to fossil fuel extraction could be found in a state like Texas. But how about in a city like Chicago? In Chicago people will be meeting at the Kwagulth Totem Pole. I know someone who lives there. That totem pole is a place associated with many treasured childhood memories but the pole itself has meaning: the base totem is a sea monster, the middle is a warrior riding a whale holding an arrow outward, the top totem is the Thunderbird. When he revisits the area perhaps he will see symbols of our need to be brave protectors of land, water and air.
If there are some good reasons for this pipeline I haven’t encountered them. Here’s why I’ll be joining the protectors:
- Our atmosphere cannot tolerate the burning of fuel that has already been extracted so we must leave the rest in the ground. A new pipeline is simply not needed.
- That land is in the care of the Sioux nation. Those caretakers should have the final say in what happens and they have spoken clearly: the pipeline is not welcome.
- All pipelines eventually fail. All. Pipeline leaks and accidents are routine but typically go unreported. This proposed pipeline would cross the only source of water for people and wildlife not only in the immediate area but for many more communities downstream. We can live without fossil fuels but without water human life ceases after three days.
- The company is not dealing in good faith. When the courts called for a work halt they not only continued but deliberately chose to desecrate sacred areas. Attack dogs were used to terrorize and hurt the protectors.
- The companies involved have invoked the concept of eminent domain. I do not think this is appropriate. This pipeline is not a public utility or a project designed to benefit the many. The pipeline is being built for private profit.
If you are interested in participating, click here to see if someone has organized an event for your city.