Here is a classic example of people coming together and protesting the unchecked and unregulated greed that drives corporations to ever larger annual profits. The entire pipeline is largely complete except for the 1-mile stretch that would tunnel under Lake Oahe and threaten sacred lands. I’m incredibly impressed with the fact that over 2,100 Veterans are providing support to create a human shield in order to continue blocking the pipeline construction.
Source Article: U.S. military veterans backing North Dakota pipeline protests
The number of protesters in recent weeks has topped 1,000. State officials on Monday ordered them to leave the snowy camp, which is on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, citing harsh weather, but on Wednesday they said they would not enforce the order.
“There is an element there of people protesting who are frightening,” North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said on Thursday. “It’s time for them to go home.”
I doubt that any form of weather will stop the protest before there is a decision made by the Army Corps of Engineers. They’ve ordered the protesters to leave but admitted that they won’t enforce the order, which I can only assume was decided because of all the coverage on social media that has taken place already. Spraying water on people when it’s below freezing doesn’t send the right message in my opinion.
The silence from government officials is quite disturbing, and is a red flag to me as to whose side they are truly on regardless of what they say to the press or in statements. This is a stand-off between tax paying Americans and big corporate business. There is $3.8 billion invested in the construction of the pipeline and is costing Energy Transfer Partners LP $84 million each month the pipeline construction is delayed.
Trump is due to meet on Friday with Democratic U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who a source familiar with the matter said Trump is considering for either the interior or energy secretary positions in his Cabinet.
Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz said in a statement he hoped Heitkamp would be able to tell Trump about the serious impact that “professional protesters” from out of state were having on residents and the local economy, as well as the national energy economy.
I’m skeptical that “professional protesters” are having as much serious impact as this leads me to believe. I can understand that residents and the local economy might be affected, however the protest is directed at Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corp of Engineers, not the local residents. The part about the impact on the national energy economy is laughable because the pipeline is NOT contributing to the energy economy right now, because it’s not completed. The only serious impact I see is a corporation, that can afford it, is losing money each month that people block the completion of a pipeline.
Morton County Sheriff Department spokeswoman Maxine Herr said 564 people have been arrested since the start of demonstrations.
State officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters, and Dalrymple said his evacuation order stemmed mainly from concerns about dangerously cold temperatures. Engineers interviewed by Reuters also said such weather made some aspects of pipeline construction more difficult.
The temperature in Cannon Ball is expected to fall to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-16 Celsius) by the middle of next week, according to Weather.com forecasts.
I don’t see this ending anytime soon and I’m fearful that the corporation will ultimately win and get their pipeline built. Any impact to the environment once online will most certainly be blacked out or downplayed to a level that makes it irrelevant to most mainstream media outlets. It’s a shame.