Opinion

Jenni Giovannetti: The war against Dakota Access is far from over






About 1,000 people remain at Oceti Sakowin, the largest #NoDAPL encampment, despite harsh winter conditions. Photo by Dylan McLaughlin / Indigenous Rising Media [Support the Indigenous Environmental Network]

And the war continues…
By Jenni Giovannetti
Lakota Country Times Columnist
lakotacountrytimes.com

What good news it was to hear that Army Corps denied the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline to go under the river! For a moment I felt excited and fulfilled, but then reality set in.

As positive as this was, the truth is the same day Energy Transfer partners responded with: “As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

This means DAPL will not stop working. The Army Corps has now made it illegal to work on this project. Do you think DAPL will rape the river?

This feeling of doubt shadows all good things in this fight. I for one did not think Army Corps would do what they did and I am actually proud of them for finally doing the right thing. Pretty interesting that they made that decision the same day thousands of #VetsForStanding Rock arrived. The question was will the police treat American soldiers the way they treat water protectors? Morton County already tried to shame them with videos on Facebook but what will happen when they are face to face?

These warriors are doing it right by coming to protect these people in prayer. Akicita means warrior in Lakota and even before the vets arrived the camps have been full of Warriors protecting the Water and the Land. The vets only confirmed that the constitution was not being followed. They wanted to prove they didn’t fight for this to be able to happen in their country. Not all of us can be there but our spirit is fighting with them. Some people donate money or items, others help with prayer, even us keyboard warriors have done as much as we can to spread the word and none of this would have been possible without all of the Akicita standing up and fighting back!


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The question now is will the police turn around? If all they want to do is uphold the law, does that mean they will stop the now illegal construction on the pipeline? If the Government turned Dakota Access down then that means the police need to focus on ETP from now on! It’s time to stop forming a line in front of the construction site and walk up to it and examine the crime scene. Stop protecting the rape of mother earth. I really hope they make it right and maybe use the same tactics on the DAPL workers as they did on water protectors.

This will be very interesting to see how things change, if they even do change. I actually wish no harm on anyone and I hope all the violence stops. For anyone that thought “It’s over” when they heard the word denied, I hope you know this is only one battle won in this actual war. We have already been warned by ETP that they will continue, therefore Water Protectors will continue, and our prayers need to continue. Look how far the power of prayer has gotten us, the government literally decided in our favor with the pipeline 95% done. Now to stop the evil Black Snake itself from sneaking under the river.

(Jenni Giovannetti is an Oglala Lakota and has worked for Lakota Country Times for over 7 years.)

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