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Stand Like the Standing Rock!

Pipeline Protesters Save the day!

Mohamed Elhakeem, Author

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Since April 1st, 2016, the Sioux Tribe and their supporters gathered near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to protest the access pipeline that is planned to be built under Lake Oahe by peacefully standing and blocking the way of construction machines.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a 30-inch diameter pipeline that will run 1,172 miles across the United States and planned to connect North Dakota with Patoka, Illinois. This pipeline will “domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner,” according Energy Transfer’s website.

Energy Transfer, the company launching the project, said that the project will have national benefits and will create 8,000 to 12,000 local jobs during construction.

However, the pipeline building route was set to cross under Lake Oahe, located in Standing Rock, which is a Native American reservation. Learning about the plan, on April 1st, 2016, two hundred Native Americans rode on horse backs to protest the project. As time passed and protest continued, Sioux Tribe supporters also gathered near Standing Rock to protest the project.

According to CNN, earlier this week, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered the protesters to leave the campsite by Monday, citing the harsh weather conditions as a reason why they needed to decamp. The protesters grew in numbers and stood peacefully to support the Sioux Tribe. Since they were blocking the way of construction machines, the protesters were hosed down by water cannons to disband the protest, injuring them in the process.

This Sunday, on December 4th, the Army Corp of Engineers made a decision to reroute the pipeline instead of building it under Lake Oahe.“Celebrations, tears of joy, chanting and drumming rang out among thousands of protesters at the Standing Rock site after the Army Corp of Engineers announced it will look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota,” stated CNN.

“People have said that this is a make it or a break it, and I guess we made it,” Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, announced to a cheering crowd of protesters via CNN.

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