Tomorrow the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which have been leading the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, will take their fight to the oil-loving Trump Administration by marching on the White House.
The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has confirmed that he is “very interested” is using the city’s pension funds to put pressure on the banks that are helping to fund the highly controversial Dakota Access pipeline.
Early yesterday, work restarted on the highly controversial Dakota Access pipeline, less than a day after the Trump Administration granted a final easement to allow the project to go ahead over the disputed land near the Standing Rock reservation.
If anyone was in any doubt about whether Donald Trump would be a willing puppet of the fossil fuel industry once in office, yesterday he made his intentions clear. He intends to be Big Oil’s puppeteer in chief.
If those attempting to build the Dakota Access pipeline hoped that the protests against the pipeline and those funding it would fizzle out in 2017, they would have watched in despair at the events which unfolded at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday.
As people head home for the Christmas vacation to be with their loved ones, spare a thought for the one thousand or so water protectors that are braving bitterly freezing cold temperatures and blizzards in North Dakota to continue what has become the iconic protest of 2016 against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Over the last few months, as the news of the Standing Rock protests have spread across the globe, people have realised that the protest was never just about a pipeline, it was always about so, so much more. It was about the right to protect clean air and water; it was the right to protect ancient burial sites; it was the right to fight for a future for our children and grand-children. It was a belief that we can live in a world without oil. But it was also a battle against oppression and colonisation against First Nations that has being going on for centuries and where the wounds run old, raw and deep.
The long struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is not over by a long shot, but last night the First Nations at Standing Rock celebrated a hugely significant and hard fought victory after the Army Corps announced it would not be granting the easement for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.
“Where is our breaking point, at which we say that the benefits do not outweigh the human cost?” asks Eric Martin, a doctoral candidate in theology at Fordham University in a powerful polemic in the New York Times on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
They are used to standing shoulder to shoulder in the face of adversity fighting for their country. But next weekend, hundreds of veterans will come together again, potentially for one last time. Their mission this time is not to fight for their Government. But against it.