Last summer, Peterson Toscano’s Climate Stew podcast included segments imagining major turning points in environmental justice.
Each of these segments featured ordinary people moved to act and the determined grassroots activism they developed to mobilize others and create change on energy or climate policy.
“On This Day In Climate History” will one day need to include this year’s Native protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. Energy Access Partners, the company that the US government has so far allowed to build this pipeline, plans to track it across Native treaty lands and four states, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Thousands of people from more than 100 Native tribes have converged on Standing Rock Sioux land [South Dakota] to pray, protest, and physically block construction of the pipeline. Today, after pipeline builders destroyed Sioux burial grounds and a private security firm attacked protesters, a court order has halted construction around the grounds, but construction continues elsewhere. A full hearing is scheduled for September 9.
Check out these sources to get up to speed.
Follow Lakota artist Frank Waln: “What’s happening in Standing Rock has been happening for 500+ yrs in the US. Settler colonialism & Native genocide are ongoing.” #NoDAPL
Read his September 6 thread.
Follow Chelsea Vowel: “In what universe is it acceptable to bulldoze up the bones of people’s relatives? Seriously?
Oh right. In a white supremacist one… Indigenous dispossession is ONGOING and has never stopped since Contact.”
Read her September 5 thread.
Read Bill McKibben: “The fight for environmental sanity—against pipelines and coal ports and other fossil-fuel infrastructure—has increasingly been led by Native Americans, many of whom are in that Dakota camp today. They speak with real authority—no one else has lived on this continent for the longterm. They see the nation’s history more clearly than anyone else, and its possible future as well. For once, after all these centuries, it’s time to look through their eyes. History offers us no chances to completely erase our mistakes. Occasionally, though, we do get a chance to show we learned something.” (New Yorker)
Dig into DeSmogBlog’s investigations since last February: “Will the proposed Dakota Access pipeline — which faces stiff opposition from conservatives and liberals alike for its risks to property rights, prized agricultural lands and the environment — become a political hot potato in the 2016 election cycle? Neither the Trump nor Clinton campaigns have weighed in directly about Dakota Access.”
Articles from international services like the AP, the UK’s The Independent and the BBC, and popular sites like Heavy are adding much-needed external attention to the pipeline project and the protests, which have been going on for months.