As people nationwide rallied last year to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s attempts to block the Dakota Access pipeline, a private security firm with experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan launched an intrusive military-style surveillance and counterintelligence campaign against the activists and their allies, according to internal company documents.
We traveled along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route to learn more about where various communities stand on the project, and how they see it affecting their lives.
A high-stakes battle is underway on multiple front lines across America, as Native American and climate change activists square off against oil and pipeline companies racing to lay as much infrastructure into the ground as quickly as possible.
In the middle of the night in fall 2013, California Department of Transportation workers dug into the earth to construct a new highway bypass in Willits. According to federal law, the local Pomo people had a right to send tribal monitors there, but they allegedly were barred from the nighttime construction.
Regulations under the National Historic Preservation Act are tribes’ best legal tools to protect the cultural sites that bind them to their ancestral homelands. But federal officials face no risk of fines or jail time if they violate the law.
Law enforcement’s militaristic presence at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests was made possible by the taxpayers of North Dakota.
Less than a week after police razed Oceti Sakowin, the main demonstration camp behind the effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, some of the last resisters who hail from these prairie lands embraced the anniversary to find closure and to heal.