After months of protest, the Standing Rock Sioux have obtained a short-term administrative injunction from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to halt construction on the Dakota Access pipeline along a 20-mile stretch on either side of the Missouri River, where it threatens the tribe’s sacred ancestral lands and its supply of drinking water.
This small, preliminary victory has been won through tireless direct action by the youth of Standing Rock and the hundreds of other indigenous groups that have joined them since April. The Court of Appeals will soon make a decision on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would put construction on hold for longer pending a more thorough environmental impact review.
The pipeline is slated to carry over half a million barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Iowa. Its original plans called for it pass near the city of Bismark, but when the danger of a spill there was deemed too great, construction was re-routed to pass near the Standing Rock Reservation. The energy consortium behind the DAPL clearly has little regard for the safety of any settlement over their own profits, but the politicians in their pay are much more willing to put indigenous people at risk than the predominantly white residents of Bismark.
Organizations and individuals around the U.S. and around the world have answered Standing Rock’s call for justice with a flood of donations and solidarity protests. Brighter Days has donated much-needed materials to the ongoing struggle, but there’s much more to be done. We encourage our clients and associates to contribute as well, not just to Standing Rock, but to the many worthwhile battles being fought by indigenous groups all around the country against corporate greed and government corruption.