On Thursday, September 15th Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club members joined over 150 Pittsburghers downtown outside of the Federal Building in support of the Standing Rock Sioux who are protecting their water, land, and sacred sites from being destroyed by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
During the demonstration demonstrators blocked traffic with a 75’ long mock pipeline, signs, and their bodies, blocking traffic on Liberty Ave. during rush hour. At the demonstration participants heard from allies from all backgrounds, including a member of Save Our Salem, a local group in Salem Township fighting the destructive impacts in their community after the disastrous impacts from the April 29th, 2016 pipeline explosion and the Mariner East II pipeline project. In addition native voices from the Dakota Nation were heard from as well.
The Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club stands in solidarity with indigenous communities fighting for their rights for sovereignty, dignity, and the protection of their water, air, land, and cultural spaces. We encourage our members to educate themselves and continue to get involved and support this important pipeline battle, not just for the environment, but for native sovereignty.
Since April, 2016 the Standing Rock Sioux have had several encampments protecting the land and water from the DAPL. The pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of crude a day to Pakota, Illinois where it will link with other pipelines and be carried to refineries around the country. If built, the pipeline will be a cultural and environmental threat to the Standing Rock Sioux. The pipeline crosses the Nation’s traditional hunting, fishing and burial territory as well as directly crossing under the Missouri River, the Sioux’s main source of water.
The Water Protectors have been met with violent responses from police, private security firms and North Dakota politicians who declared a State of Emergency to discredit the encampments.
On Friday, September 9, the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Justice and Department of the Interior jointly announced they would temporarily stop construction under a lake that serves as a critical source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and asked the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction within 20-miles of the lake. However, construction continues in other sections of the project. During Thursday’s demonstration, supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux called on the Army Corps of Engineers to permanently halt construction of the pipeline.
To learn more check out the resources below:
Indigenous Environmental Network: http://www.ienearth.org/stand-with-standing-rock-no-dapl/
No DAPL Solidarity: https://nodaplsolidarity.org/