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After Brief Success for Water Defenders, Dakota Access Pipeline Proceeds

A prime example of the land- and water-grabbing discussed in the Mining Working Group’s event at CSocD55 (article above), is currently playing out in the United States. For nearly a year, indigenous water defenders and their allies had maintained a campsite that served as a physical obstruction of construction of a natural gas pipeline through sacred burial land belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux people. After months of camping on the proposed pipeline construction site and weathering several waves of aggression and intimidation from the US military, water defenders enjoyed a moment of victory in December. Then US President Barack Obama ordered that construction of the pipeline be suspended until an environmental impact assessment could be performed. In early February, however, the new federal administration reversed this decision and called for pipeline construction to resume immediately. UNANIMA mourns and stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in the wake of this devastating outcome. We also celebrate the courageous spirit of this demonstration and pledge to carry it with us to the many corners of the world in which our members are standing up for the rights of the planet. Those looking for inspiration or a way to understand the spirit of the Standing Rock movement, which was led by the indigenous youth, might find it in this music video: