The Authorities In North Dakota Militarise The DAPL Construction Efforts

In a number of previous posts I’ve discussed the extraordinary confrontations taking place in the US state of North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Tribe, a Native American community, has been demonstrating against the construction of a vast oil pipeline near their lands and homes in the Fort Yates’ area. Known as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the $3.8 billion project is expected to carry over half-a-million barrels of crude oil a day from the Bakken and Three Forks production fields in North Dakota some 1886 kilometres southward to Patoka, Illinois, for distribution around the populous East and Gulf Coast regions. So far thousands of activists from some 200 indigenous American nations have joined the Standing Rock people in their hour of need, facing down what has become an occupying army of local and state police working in cooperation with private security contractors. The rapid militarisation of the construction effort, with the approval of the governor’s office in Bismarck, the state capital, has shocked many observers. Over the last few weeks the Fort Yates and Missouri River areas have seen the deployment of soldiers from the National Guard and private security guards in camouflaged uniforms, the latter contingent representing the construction companies and firms behind the DAPL project, with orders to protect the lucrative enterprise.

Local and state police in North Dakota attack Native American protesters
Local and state police in North Dakota attack Native American protesters

The handful of journalists recording the demonstrations, and subsequent confrontations, have reported levels of violence and intimidation by the authorities, both public and private, unprecedented in the modern history of the region. The impression among some residents in North Dakota that the county and state government has handed over local law enforcement and civil control to the big businesses profiting from DAPL grows with every passing day. Below is a short look at the crisis from the Young Turks.

 

 

 

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8 comments

  1. This is only going to get worse when that thing becomes president. It is almost certainly going to fast-track this pipeline through. I suppose he could bring Keystone XL back, too.

    Goodbye, my beloved planet.

  2. Clinton and Obama should have made this an election issue. There was hardly a word said about it, probably because they tacitly support it as they did TPP. With Trump, what’s unfortunate is that he probably will ram it through and also of his own accord with no need of lobbying. What the left needs is a candidate in future that is not controlled by Big business, how that will happen without someone who can bank-roll their campaign I don’t know though.

    1. The problem with that is exactly why the line is being protested. A burst would be devastating to the water resources and the rest of the environment, not to mention the sacred grounds nearby. The everlasting leaks and other contamination associated with a standing pipeline are already a huge problem. This screams for federal involvement, as all upper levels of state government have sanctioned this, and the violence keeps escalating. The way the law defines property rights and ownership, along with the monetary interest of a large number of states, private industry, and even federal government entities, will make any federal governmental intervention a highly complicated matter. As the court battle is lost as well, any intervention by the feds would have to be based on an injunction. But alas, that would require making a decision. Something the current government is not known to make on a timely basis.

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