MSNBC reports that the Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers notified the Standing Rock Sioux that they had denied Energy Transfer Partners (owners of the now-infamous Dakota Access Pipeline) permission to drill and build a bypass under the Missouri River.
The Obama administration’s decision marks a huge victory for the thousands of brave men and women who literally stood in opposition to big oil’s profit-driven designs.
One of the most remarkable facts about the Standing Rock struggle was for the first time in over 100 years, every major Native American tribe came together in a show of unity that’s inspired millions around the world.
The Standing Rock protesters stood as one in the face of brutal tactics employed by ETP, which included armed militarized police and private security, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons (in below freezing temperatures), and attack dogs. At times there were scenes from the front lines which resembled something out of a Civil Rights march from the 1960s.
According to USA Today, the $3.8 billion pipeline is nearly 1,200 miles long and would carry roughly 470,000 barrels of oil a day once it’s completed.
The biggest controversy regarding the pipeline revolved around environmental and cultural issues. Protesters believe that a leak could cause irreparable damage to water systems and sacred sites which include Native American burial grounds.
Over the weekend, nearly 2,000 U.S. veterans, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), came out to show their support and act as human shields between the protesters and the police in an awe-inspiring display of patriotism that flag-molesting conservatives like Donald Trump couldn’t begin to understand.
David Archambault, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, talked to NBC News shortly after being informed of the government’s decision.
“You know, I’m just thankful that there were some leaders in the federal government who realized there was something that’s not right even though it’s legal,” he said. “For the first time in history American Indian issue, heard our voices, and had the courage to take initiative and make the right decision.”
When asked if he believed this decision marked the end of their long bloody struggle, Archambault agreed, stating:
“I would say that it’s over,” he remarked.
As wonderful as it would be to report that Mr. Archambault is 100 percent correct, this victory may not be the end of Standing Rock’s conflict with big oil.
President Obama has made it clear that his administration stands firmly with the protesters and he’s done everything within his power to help bring about this result.
However, the incoming Trump administration has made it clear that they stand with big oil and may seek to unravel all of President Obama’s efforts.
In October, it was revealed that Trump had financial ties to the company building the pipeline, adding to the growing concerns of Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.
Since the election, millions of Americans have felt disenchanted and powerless as they’ve watched the worst presidential candidate in U.S. history slime closer and closer to becoming the most powerful man in the world.
But let’s not let an uncertain future take away from what this victory means for America.
What Standing Rock represents is proof that when progressives and perhaps even some conservatives and libertarians unite to fight for one issue, that we can defeat even the wealthiest and most politically well-connected opponents.
On Sunday, thousands of Davids soundly beat a Goliath, now just imagine what millions could do?
Featured image via screen capture