Native Sun News Today: Nation rallies around #NoDAPL movement

Activists rallied in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo courtesy Philly Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Defenders

‘We are protectors and not protesters’
Demonstrations and arrests across country
By Talli Nauman
Health & Environment Editor
Native Sun News Today

CANNON BALL, N.D. –– Some of the thousands of Spirit camp participants here took note of the latest U.S. pipeline spill, as their ongoing actions in tandem with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s legal case to halt construction of the private Dakota Access Pipeline spawned solidarity demonstrations and arrests across the country.

The tribe, backed by more than 200 others, and the spirit camp participants, now estimated to be about 4,000, oppose the Energy Transfer Partners oil pipeline construction because the project disturbs ancestral treaty land and stands to contaminate the Missouri River at its Oahe Reservoir crossing.

It would stretch nearly 1,200 miles from the Bakken fracking fields of the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, across 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory there and in South Dakota, to Iowa and Illinois.

The latest spill – some 335,000 gallons of gasoline from Colonial Pipeline’s Line 1 near Birmingham, Alabama – emphasized the threat, alarming governors of several southeastern states, who in turn garnered waivers from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to allow otherwise prohibited sales of substandard fuel, to replace the lost product and stave off a consumer shortage.

“This extreme and unusual fuel circumstance is the result of a pipeline failure, an event that could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented,” McCarthy said in temporarily lifting the prohibition. “I have determined that it is in the public interest to grant this waiver,” she said.

The nation’s capital, as well as parts of Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and even New Jersey -- which are normally held to standards for low-smog gasoline blends -- will be able to use more toxic kinds until the supply from the line is restored, thanks to the EPA’s multi-state fuel waiver.

Governors of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina declared emergencies as a result of the incident.

On Sept. 18, spirit camp supporters held a Walk for Water in Yankton, complete with drum accompaniment, a blessing ceremony on the Missouri River, and prayers in Dakota and Lakota, as well as fry bread and wojapi.

On Sept. 17, Standing Rock Tribal Vice Chair Jesse McLaughlin and more than 100 youth participated in spirit camp activities, buoyed up by help from senior Wisconsin basketball star Bronson Koenig.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: ‘We are protectors and not protesters’

(Contact Talli Nauman at

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