Standing Rock: At a Crisis Point

Nov 22, 2016 (CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA) Two days ago the police engaged the water protectors with water canons and less than lethal weaponry. The sheriffs office claimed they were responding to a riot. What they were doing is not just a violation of human rights, but something that is not unlike the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1888. While none has died, it has been due to extremely good medial care at the front lines.

What has happened at Standing Rock is not the suppression of a riot, but an act of war. This is treaty land, and people have been severely hurt. One person is expected to lose an arm, after she was hit in the arm with a concussion grenade. The facture exposed her bone, and broke it into multiple shards. It was a battlefield injury. Yes, these concussion grenades are less than lethal, but can still cause severe injury and in some cases death. The company behind the project, Energy Transfer, is desperate to get that pipeline under the ground. They know that as time passes, they are losing money they cannot make back. There is a financial limit.

President Barak Obama could stop this with a phone call, The Corp of Engineers has not given the easement permit. We also know that the incoming president-elect, Donald Trump, has financial interests in this pipeline going onto the ground. The Guardian reports this relationship as follows:

Donald Trump’s close financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners, operators of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline, have been laid bare, with the presidential candidate invested in the company and receiving more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from its chief executive.

Trump’s financial disclosure forms show the Republican nominee has between $500,000 and $1m invested in Energy Transfer Partners, with a further $500,000 to $1m holding in Phillips 66, which will have a 25% stake in the Dakota Access project once completed. The information was disclosed in Trump’s monthly filings to the Federal Election Commission, which requires candidates to disclose their campaign finance information on a regular basis.

The financial relationship runs both ways. Kelcy Warren, chief executive of Energy Transfer Partners, has given $103,000 to elect Trump and handed over a further $66,800 to the Republican National Committee since the property developer secured the GOP’s presidential nomination.

To expect that the incoming president will stop the aggressions, and there is no other way to call them at this point, of the water protectors is rather silly. Business is business, and the incoming president does not believe any environmental protections are wroth it, from his own statements. It is he who posted on Twitter over two years ago that climate change was a Chinese hoax.

So what is exactly happening? What is happening can be easily classified as part of the long standing genocide of first peoples. It is also an act of war, and a war crime. I will not mince words. Before this is over, people will die.

There is more. Trump’s contract with the American people include these ominous words: “I will live the restriction on the production of $50 trillion dollars worth of job producing American energy reserves including shale oil, natural gas and clean coal.”

He also is promising to “lift the Obama-Clinton roadblock and allow vital energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline to move forward.”
Many of these projects go though, or skirt treaty lands across the United States. This is no accident either.

He is also vowing to stop payments to climate change programs around the world. This tells us that we will lose any progress made in climate protection and that he intends to move forwards with this pipeline, no matter what the consequences, short term or long term.

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