Inside the Battle Over the Dakota Access Pipeline

Source: Pacific Standard

Prayer circles, rubber bullets, and a buffalo stampede at the major protest in rural North Dakota.

Front Line Camp, Highway 1806, Outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, October 27, 2016

A woman’s voice cries out: “We cannot let them cross! For our children and our grandchildren!”

“Stand in prayer!” a man warns, as a call and response rings out: “Black Snake Killers! Black Snake Killers!”

“We are going to stop this pipeline!” a youth boldly declares.

A female elder proclaims firmly in Lakota: “Mni Wiconi!” Water is life.

The voices of hundreds of Native Americans and their allies, punctuated by the high pitched “lilili” ululations of women and the deeper whoops of men, echo out across Highway 1806 and the adjacent field that they have dubbed “Front Line Camp.”

It is high noon, October 27, and the self-proclaimed “water protectors” are refusing to yield what is virtually the last bit of ground remaining in the construction of the 1,400 mile Dakota Access Pipeline. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind what has emerged as the most controversial oil pipeline project in the United States’ history, has just 9,000 feet of construction on the pipe remaining before it reaches the Missouri River.

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