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Fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline

tribe-group-photoFranciscan Friar Kiernan Cronin O.F.M. writes: “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis.”

Today, immediately after a federal judge rejected an injunction sought by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline, three federal agencies ordered a halt to construction of the pipeline through the Tribe’s ancestral lands until the government can reconsider the original approval.

The Dakota Access pipeline would carry 450,000 barrels of oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois — cutting through communities, farms, sensitive natural areas, wildlife habitat, tribal lands, and the Standing Rock Sioux’s ancestral lands. The pipeline’s planned route takes it close to the northern boundary of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the town of Cannon Ball within it, which means it would cross the Missouri immediately upstream, endangering, protesters say, the reservation’s drinking water and threatening sacred sites. At Standing Rock, they have put their bodies between the water and the oil.

At its confluence, a protest encampment – really a series of camps, on both sides of the Cannonball, strewn with kitchens and canteens, portable toilets, stabling for horses, sweat lodges and tall teepees, and stands selling indigenous art – has sprung up. The population of the camp ebbs and flows. Many have given up jobs and brought their families here, and a core of between 500 and 1,000 people live here semi-permanently. The inhabitants are there to block the planned $3.7 billion Pipeline. It is an unprecedented gathering. Members of more than 90 Native American nations and tribes have a presence here.

dakota_access_protesters_590Madonna Antoine Eagle Hawk, a member of the Sicango Rosebud Sioux, arrived last Friday and quickly assumed the role of head chef of the Rosebud camp. The children, she said, call her “Unci”, the Lakota word for grandmother. “I’m proud to be here,” she said. “It’s a powerful feeling. Right now, all these different tribes – this will never happen again in our lifetime,” she said. “If we don’t make a stand, who else will?”

More information at Sierra Club at www.sierraclub.org

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School of the Americas Convergence

The School of the Americas Watch is planning a convergence at the U.S./Mexico border on October 7 – 10, 2016. After holding an annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, the human rights group SOA Watch is moving its convergence to become bi-national at the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora Mexico.

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 Click here for the information in Spanish