Standing Rock water protectors call for mass protests as DAPL approved

First Nations-led water protectors have called for mass protests after the US Army Corps of Engineers granted the final approval on February 7 for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to resume building the widely opposed Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).

The approval came after President Donald Trump overturned an Obama administration order to halt construction under Lake Oahe, a large reservoir connected to the Missouri River that provides water to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota.

ETP said on February 8 that it would seek to restart construction of the pipeline immediately, TeleSUR English said that day. It said it only needed three months to fully complete the US$3.78 billion pipeline, which will transfer almost half-a-million barrels of oil a day through four states, ending in Illinois.

About 50 protests erupted on February 8, TeleSUR English said, in what the Standing Rock Sioux tribe dubbed a “Last Stand”. In the days leading up to the latest approval, more than 70 people were arrested when militarised police raided a new resistance camp set up on historic Sioux land, Democracy Now! reported.

Amnesty International described the latest Army Corps approval "an unlawful and appalling violation of human rights", Democracy Now! said.  The Standing Rock Sioux tribe will launch appeal the decision.

As part of a global campaign to target DAPL’s financial backers, TeleSUR English said that the Seattle City Council voted on February 7 to divest $3 billion in city funds from Wells Fargo bank, one of the major funders of the Dakota Access pipeline, by a vote of 9–0.

Planned US and international protests against DAPL are compiled at Everydayofaction.org.

Speaking to Democracy Now!, Indigenous Environmental Network activist Dallas Goldtooth said: “Right now, we have a call to action across the planet ... for people to take to the streets, to rise up and rise with Standing Rock in mass mobilisation, to support this effort and this fight against the abrogation of indigenous rights, the complete disregard for the law of the land.”

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