Friends Hunter and Susan (“Suchi”) have asked others to support the Native American protest against the construction of a pipeline for fracked oil from the Bakken shale fields in North Dakota, to Illinois. In a suit against the Army Corps of Engineers by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with legal assistance from the nonprofit Earthjustice, the Nation claims that the planned 1,170-mile oil pipeline –“Dakota Access Pipeline”, or DAPL — violates several Federal acts and threatens tribal lands, water, and health. Part of the pipeline will pass beneath a body of water that represents the Nation’s water supply; the suit alleges that the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consult the Tribes before issuing construction permits to Energy Transfer Partners for the work.
In the past week, news spread on social media about the gathering of several Native American Nations, and other supporters, to protest the work. Reportedly, protesters have been maced, pepper-sprayed, and attacked by dogs loosed by private security guards. In response, the Nations have called for expressions of solidarity with the protest. One of these will occur at Pritchard Park in Asheville, on Friday, September 9, at 3 PM. That rally is planned to march to a TD Bank building; that bank is reported to be participating in loans to Energy Transfer Partners. (TD Bank is owned by Canadian Toronto Dominion Bank; the local Asheville branches were purchased from the former Carolina First Bank.) Friend Susan says you can contact Steve Norris at email@example.com to inquire about the local protest.
Earlier today, September 6, NPR reported that the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) “would not oppose” a halt to construction while the Lakota judicial claim is heard. However, ACE insists that it followed all required steps in the permitting process. A hearing on that Earthjustice suit is scheduled for Friday, September 9, so the solidarity action in Asheville is timely.