The 2016 Presidential election has been over for almost a month now and since that time people of all persuasions and most political backgrounds have been left demoralized and depressed. With the swamp monsters emerging to lead this country, despair has been everywhere. Today finally a piece of uplifting news.
On Sunday, December 3rd – President Barack Obama via the Army Corps of Engineers suspended the application of the North Dakota Access Pipeline This is a huge victory for the Native American water protectors and all those who fought against the pipeline. Although the pipeline itself has not been stopped, an environmental study will be made to see where it can be rerouted.
The heroic and historic struggle that has taken place over the past several months came to a head this weekend with thousands of veterans converging at Standing Rock to act as a shield to protect and assist the Native Americans. In the snow and cold and with all of the brutal conditions at the camps, the light has finally shone through. And a horrible injustice was defeated.
The suspension of the application did not just happen because of the protests. It happened because as Bernie Sanders said, “When millions of people stand up and fight…they win.” We fought hard even here in Rhode Island. There were FANG’s (Fighting Against Natural Gas) actions at TD Bank where people linked together and were arrested bringing to light the financing of the pipeline. There were gatherings, vigils, fundraisers throughout the state. Some from Rhode Island even made their way to Standing Rock to assist and support the protectors. This was repeated in every state.
Congressional leadership against the pipeline and for the Standing Rock water protectors became fierce. It started with Bernie Sanders on September 14th – and his appearance at a White House rally which was inspiring and defining. His and Jane Sanders tweets were relentless. Soon there was widespread support. On September 30th a letter was sent to Obama signed by 19 Congressional members requesting a halt to the pipeline.
Then after the horrible torturous attacks against the water protectors in November some of our Democratic leadership came out against the pipeline – first, it was Congressman David Cicilline, then Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and finally Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. All outraged over the treatment of the Native American water protectors.
Through all of this, the Native Americans kept their spirits high with motivational gatherings, prayer, song, and drumming. People across the universe were all part of their struggle, millions of posts, tweets, youtube videos and comments were exploding via social networking #NoDAPL was trending. It became more than just a struggle for this one piece of land – it became a struggle against the takeover of Mother Earth everywhere – including Burillville’s struggle against Invenergy.
The injustices that face indigenous populations in this country and across the world are criminal and barbaric. The fight to preserve water, land and our very earth will continue. Standing Rock, The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain in Alberta, Canda – pipeline projects in Rehobeth, MA and Killingly, CT and hundreds across the continental US must all be stopped. This is not the end of the struggle to save our earth – this is just the continuation of the struggle that will only end when we stop the exploitation of people and the land and keep fossil fuels where they belong…in the ground.