CC: image courtesy of Flickr
Protestors at standing rock celebrate as it is announced that the pipeline has been refused.
Following months of tension and controversy, it was announced on Sunday that the US army corps of Engineers have refused to grant a permit to finish the pipeline in North Dakota.
This is a huge symbolic victory for the Standing Rock tribe and for thousands of other protestors who have been determinedly fighting since August for the sacred land to remain as it should.
Tribe members and environmentalists argued that the 1,172-mile pipeline, which is designed to carry millions of gallons of oil across the Midwest every day, would cause damage to local water supplies and would cross areas of great cultural and historical significance to Native Americans.
The protestors have been made up out of thousands of Native Americans, activists and even celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio have voiced support with the protest. Thousands of people on social media have also shown their support by ‘checking in’ to Standing Rock on Facebook to confuse the police when issuing arrests.
The protestors have endured bitter temperatures and have been subject to police brutality which has resulted in tense clashes between the law enforcement and the protestors themselves. It was reported that the police used, tear gas, rubber bullets and fire hoses, (even in below freezing weather) to govern the protest that included no intended violence whatsoever.
There have been hundreds of unnecessary arrests over the span of the protest resulting in the police being rightly criticized for such enforcements. These criticisms are similar to those regarding gun violence in America, indicating declining popularity for the police forces’ tactics.
It is draconian that justice for the protestors was so prolonged as it seems evident that the pipeline was an unreasonable request from the American government. The land holds too much cultural significance to the Native Americans for it to have been jeopardized.