Activists Eye Patchwork of Pipeline Protests

By Nicholson, Blake | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), January 12, 2017 | Go to article overview

Activists Eye Patchwork of Pipeline Protests


Nicholson, Blake, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


BISMARCK, N.D. - The front lines of the battle against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline are shifting away from the dwindling encampment in North Dakota, with main opposing groups asking for activism to be spread around the U.S., a call heeded when a banner was unfurled during a National Football League game on New Year's Day.

The message also has evolved from a struggle against a single four-state pipeline to an effort to advance the rights of Native Americans, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says.

"The opportunity to build awareness started at Standing Rock, and it's spreading out to other communities, other areas of the United States," tribal Chairman Dave Archambault told The Associated Press. "It's something that the United States, corporate America, the government has taken for granted - the original occupation of Native lands, all the wrongs of the past."

The protest actions that have popped up, other than the banner drop at a Minnesota Vikings game, include a demonstration at the Jan. 2 Rose Parade in California, bank protests from New York to California and protests of other pipelines in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

It's a strategy that sociology professors who study protest movements say is advantageous and possibly allows for innovative ways to draw attention to the issue. A decentralized effort also heeds Archambault's and other protest groups' requests for protesters to leave the campsite during the winter months for their safety.

"Those are all examples of what we're calling for, and some of those things we coordinated," said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. …

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