Why Civil Disobedience is an Option to Stop the Dakota Pipeline Project
The Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribes are defending their position to stop the Dakota pipeline project. Chase Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who is the co-founder of the Native American Last Real Indians website. He is an Indian activist and presents various arguments about the pipeline project through the lens of the Indian tribes. Here, we describe what has happened so far, and why switching to a peaceful civil disobedience campaign may be the best option left for the fighting tribes.
The Current Situation
North Dakota is a major oil-producing state in the United States. It has oil fields spread in different parts of the state. The oil pipeline project aimed at connecting the various fields and producing an avenue to deliver the oil to the Southern state of Illinois, which has several processing facilities. However, the local Indian tribes showed their concern throughout the project.
The Tribes believe that this pipeline goes through the vast fields that belong to their tribal lands. Since oil pipelines always carry the risk of leaks, the project can be detrimental to the quality of water present throughout the tribal lands. The tribes may lose their water quality, their tribal monuments, and the normal way in which they make a living in the area.
The Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes strongly believe that the use of this access pipeline threatens the way of tribal life. They argue that it is against the treaties that describe the use of the lands originally owned by the Indian tribes. They feel left out and facing racial discrimination, where they have no avenue to complain.
Why Civil Obedience
The tribes have presented their case in the Court for an injunction but have failed. The court decided that it could not see that the tribes would suffer an injury if the project is not stopped, while the involved party has “likely complied” with the required procedures. This situation only leaves the method of civil obedience, where tribal people must come together to fight for their rights and reclaim their lands to preserve their original state.