As many feared, the Trump Administration is rolling back the hard-fought victory of native people and allies against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In early February, the Army Corp of Engineers granted the final permit needed for the $3.8 billion project to proceed. It’s builder, Energy Transfer Partners, has renewed drilling and expects to have the pipeline up and running in less than three months time. Local law enforcement is gearing up to clear out the water protectors who have camped out for months.
But resistance will continue, and there’s much that you can do.
DONATE MONEY AND SUPPLIES
You can make tax-deductible donations to the the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which along with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is fighting the pipeline in federal court. You can contribute directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe here.
To help the hundreds of water protectors who have been arrested get legal representation, consider contributing to the legal funds organizers have set up. One of the most prominent defense groups is the Water Protector Legal Collective, which provides on-the-ground representation at Standing Rock. Help the group meet its fundraising goal by clicking here. The Sacred Stone Camp’s legal fund is also taking donations.
Though the worst of winter is past, water protectors are still facing harsh weather conditions on the North Dakota plains. Two of the main camps near the pipeline site—Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone—have detailed lists of camping items they’re asking people to bring or ship. Click here for the former and here for the latter.
PAID AND VOLUNTEER WORK
The Water Protector Legal Collective is looking to fill three full-time positions in its North Dakota Office: executive director, defense council coordinator, and media relations coordinator. It is also seeking volunteer attorneys, legal workers, press specialists, and logistic and administrative workers. Learn more on the group’s website.
On the medical front, organizers are encouraging physicians, medics, therapists, and other health-related experts to fill out volunteer applications here.
Military veterans, many of whom were among the hundreds who flocked to the campsites in the fall, are returning to act as human shields for when local law enforcement attempt to clear the camps. Veterans can learn more about the effort and get in contact with one of the groups, Veterans Respond, by clicking here.
Honor The Earth is rallying opposition to a bill now before the North Dakota legislative to make certain protests actions a felony, such as attaching oneself to equipment to stall pipeline construction. It’s among a raft of draconian anti-protest bills passed in the state House that the state Senate will now consider. Email or call the state senators using the contact list here.
Though public comment is officially closed, water protectors are asking allies to continue to call the Army Corp of Engineers at 1-202-761-0011 to ask it reverse its decision. You can also send emails to the Army Corp through the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's website using this link.
LOBBY YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS
Under pressure from constituents, city councils in Seattle, Washington, and Davis, California, have decided to cut ties with Wells Fargo, one the largest backers of the project. On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would consider divesting the city’s pension fund from banks supporting the pipeline.
The lesson is that targeting your local government’s relationships with DAPL-supporting banks works. Call your elected officials and let them know you want them to do the same.
And think about cutting your own ties with the entities bankrolling DAPL. Check out the full list of the seventeen financial institutions behind the pipeline. Close your account and try a credit union or a small community bank instead.
JOIN THE SCORES OF PROTESTS HAPPENING NOW
Thousands of people have marched and protested in their home states since the Army Corp of Engineers greenlighted the Dakota Access Pipeline on Wednesday.
Activists are listing demonstrations on the website everydayofaction.org, and actions are planned through the next few weeks. On Friday, February 17, water protectors will take to the streets in all fifty states and Washington D.C., linking up with the National General Strike slated for that day. There will also be DAPL-specific events in some states targeting the financial institutions backing the venture.
Mark the date: On March 10, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will lead a mega-march on the nation’s capital. Native leaders and allies will spend the three days before that lobbying elected officials in D.C. Register for updates here.
Take heart in the continued global resistance and contribute what you can.