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The primary reason why the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) must be stopped is environmental. It is long past time that we move beyond fossil fuels into renewable energy. A pipeline transporting fracked oil is clearly not the way to do this.

Not only does burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming, but the transport of oil via pipeline is incredibly dangerous to the environment. Sunoco, the company behind the pipeline, does not have a good track record with oil spills. Over the last six years, their pipelines have had 203 spills. Reuters
This is just from the one company. In the last twenty years, according to a report by Citylab, pipeline accidents “have resulted in 548 deaths, 2,576 injuries, and over $8.5 billion in financial damages.” CityLab This is from a total of over 9,000 major spills. These statistics also do not really take into account the environmental damage done by these spills. The pro-pipeline argument is that in spite of the spills, transporting oil via pipeline results in fewer incidents than via road or rail. This is true – but leaving the oil in the ground is the safest alternative. It can’t spill if it isn’t being transported at all. And if it doesn’t spill, it won’t contaminate the water supply.

We now have feasible alternatives to fossil fuels. It is simply corporate greed from the oil companies that is driving the pipeline. Just recently, Tesla powered the entire island of American Samoa with solar power. ZME Science Europe has also made great advances in solar power with Germany leading the way. Triple Pundit America is far behind on their use of renewable resources even though the technology exists to create a more green future. The reason for this is simply because of the amount of lobbying power the big oil corporations have. This is corporate oligarchy at work. The election of Donald Trump will do nothing to help counter the control of the government by the wealthy elite. It is necessary for millions of individuals to stand up against the corporate interests and stop the pipeline. This is the first step toward a better future that doesn’t rely on dirty fossil fuels.

It must also be noted that the original route of the pipeline was supposed to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck. According to the Bismarck tribune, “ one reason that route was rejected was its potential threat to Bismarck’s water supply, documents show. “ Bismarck Tribune The pipeline route was then moved to its current position where it remains a threat to the water supply of anyone down river including the Standing Rock Sioux. This decision to move the pipeline appears to be inheritantly racist. Essentially, by moving the proposed route of the pipeline, what they are saying is that the water quality of the Standing Rock Sioux is not of equal importance as the water quality of Bismarck, ND, with a population that is almost 95% white. Bismarck Demographics See also: ABC News

In response to this threat to their water supply (and that of millions of people living down stream of the crossing point), the Stand Rock Sioux established a camp near the proposed crossing in order to peacefully protest the pipeline. This camp, the Oceti Sakowin camp, has been steadily growing since it was first established.

The pipeline has responded by militarizing their construction zone through the use of police and private security. Since this militarization, a series of human rights abuses have been carried out against the protesters. On September 3, attack dogs were used against unarmed protesters. On October 27, a long range accoustic device (LRAD) was used against the protesters. This is a device that is capable of causing permanent hearing loss. Gizmodo This same confrontation resulted in 141 arrests, some of the arrested protesters were placed in improvised holding pens that were essentially dog kennels. On November 20, a water cannon was fired on the protesters in sub-freezing temperatures. Concussion grenades and rubber bullets were also used during the stand-off. Over 150 (some reports say upwards of 300) protesters were injured that night including Sophia Wilansky, whose arm was severely damaged in an explosion most likely from a concussion grenade. New York Times
See also – Unicorn Riot and Heavy

The official statements of law enforcement have directly contrasted eye witness reports and journalists on the scene. Live video shot from the scene also contrasts the statements of the law enforcement officials. The actions of the police in attacking peaceful, unarmed protesters constitute a clear human rights violation.

In spite of inclement weather and an Army Corps of Engineers evacuation order, the Oceti Sakowin camp remains strong. Thousands of veterans are currently arriving or traveling to the camp. While establishment politicians and the main stream media have remained quiet on the DAPL, it is good to know some people are standing up to corporate greed and protecting the environment.

The DAPL must be stopped.

Here are a few things that you can do to help:

Call the White House – 202-456-1414
Call the Army Corps of Engineers – (202) 761-5903
Sign the White House Petition – Petition

Move your money out of the big banks that are backing the pipeline and let them know why – Banks

Donate to the Standing Rock Sioux Fund – Donate

For more information see:The Prairie Blog

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Categories Meaningful labor

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People have asked, what is protesting Trump going to do? The election is over, nothing can be done to change that. Nevertheless, thousands of people are taking to the streets every day in protest. While this might seem pointless to some people, there is definitely a reason for it.

The protests bring awareness to the fact that a large number of people oppose Trump. The popular vote count shows this to be true but if people did not protest, it would largely be ignored. The protests have been covered nationally and internationally by the media. If everyone sat at home and did not express their opposition to Trump’s bigotry, sexism, anti-environmentalism, and fascism, then it would not be noticed. This would in essence condone his platform. Protesting is a way of saying, “No, we will not sit down and allow hate to win.” It is tempting to sit at home, watch Netflix, and pretend that this isn’t my problem. But this isn’t a localized problem – it is a global one. If you live on the earth, Trump’s policies are going to have an effect upon you.

Global warming is a fact. Trump denies this. His appointment for head of his EPA transition team is Myron Ebell. This is a man who wrote, “ Given our obvious preference for living in warmer climates as long as we have air-conditioning, I doubt that we’re going to go on the energy diet that the global warming doomsters urge us to undertake. “ ( See: Forbes ) This is a very narrow minded view of global warming. Scientists agree that global warming exists and presents a clear threat. Trump has tweeted that it is a conspiracy created by the Chinese. The Chinese have now clarified that they did not create this great conspiracy, so perhaps Trump will change his mind and see that science is real. However, this seems unlikely as his environmental policies seem to be aimed at creating as much money for the oil industry as possible.

I have also seen people saying that Trump isn’t actually a racist. His appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor would go against this. For those who say, “Give him a chance,” his choice of Steve Bannon shows what he will do if given a chance. Nothing good can come from having an anti-semitic white supremacist from the alt-right (translation of alt-right: neo-nazi racist) in a senior position in Trump’s cabinet. He has also picked Jeff Sessions for attorney general. This is a man who was denied a position as a federal judge because of racist comments. He called the American Civil Liberties Union un-American. This was about 30 years ago, so maybe he has changed his views and become less bigoted and more tolerant. Nevertheless, just having this in his history is a reason to be disturbed.

Another argument is the “stop whining” argument. This completely misses the point of the protests. People who are protesting Trump are not being sore losers. They are standing up for what they believe is right. I’m sure there were people who said the equivalent of “stop whining” to the suffragettes and those who marched with Martin Luther King. The 1st amendment of the constitution protects the right to protest. The protests are not an example of “millenial privilege.” The protest I attended in Denver was people of all ages and varied races/ethnicities, essentially the people who feel most threatened by Trump. The protests have primarily been carried out on weekends and after working hours, so the whole “If I protested for 5 days straight, I’d be fired” argument is also ineffective. I actually heard rumors that some of the businesses in Denver closed early to allow people to get to the protests. I can not substantiate whether that is a fact or not though.

The Civil Rights Movement Veterans describe the effects of a protest in the following, “When people see others saying “No!” through a protest, it (hopefully) awakens in them the realization that they too can say “No” in their own lives. This is one of the most important effects that a demonstration can (and should) have on observers. But in order for that effect to occur, the action has to be designed to encourage sympathy and support rather than fear and opposition. “ I recommend reading the entire page on the Onion Theory of Non Violent Protest.

There have also been some allegations of the protests being violent. Other than the case of an anarchist group using the protests to launch violence in Portland, there is little evidence of any of the anti-Trump protests being at all violent. Yes, the protesters have blocked streets including major freeways. I’m pretty sure this is illegal but it is not violent. The acts of violence that have been carried out since the election have primarily been perpetrated by Trump supporters against minorities. There have been over 700 incidents of racial violence following election day. See Hateful Harassment.

Trump has denounced these acts but considering that it was his rhetoric on the campaign trail that fueled this hate, this does little to his credit.

Protesting is not the only way to oppose Trump but it is a good start. As Bernie Sanders said recently, “ “No, you’re not going to give up. You’re going to fight back and mobilize.” This is only the beginning. This is a fight for the future of America (paraphrasing Bernie because he’s the best) and we are not going to give up. See Sanders

Keep protesting.

~Birrion

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Categories Hope for the future