The water protectors standing up to the Dakota Access oil pipeline’s planned route near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation have attracted international media attention. One of the most comprehensive reports has been done by Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! She spoke to Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe, who has just finished a successful battle against Enbridge Inc.’s attempted Sandpiper pipeline through wild rice lands, only to see them buy a stake in Dakota Access. She was joined by Joy Braun of the Indigenous Environmental Network, with footage of the unfolding events as a backdrop.
“There’s a re-plumbing of North American energy infrastructure, and there’s a whole bunch of oil interests that want to move oil from the tar sands, and in between them are indigenous people,” said LaDuke of the pipeline, whose builders want to transport up to half a billion barrels a day of crude from the Bakken oil fields, through four states. “Out here on the front lines the question is, At one point are we going to quit doing this?”
“This” is the extraction of fossil fuel, and it comes with a growing list of incidents, “lots of structural anomalies,” spills such as the one in Michigan that found its way to the Kalamazoo River. It’s “a lot of risk to a lot of people, and just the wrong thing to be doing,” LaDuke said.
Braun also spoke in the report posted on YouTube on August 18, giving the latest from the Sacred Stone resistance camp, which she said “started as an action of prayer” back on April 1. They had won a short-term halt to the construction.
Goodman noted the seeming confluence of flooding in Baton Rouge, raging wildfires in California, and the heat dome sitting atop much of the Northeast.
“The system is crumbling all around us,” LaDuke said. “And at the end of the fossil fuel era, it’s time to move toward an elegant transition. But in the final thrashings of the fossil fuel era, what you have is a lot of extreme behavior going on. You have extreme extraction. You have, you know, tar sands mining. You have blowing-up, you know, oil rigs. And you have endless, endless contamination. And at the same time, you have climate change happening.”
The full report is below.