On Tuesday Sept. 13 and 14, more than 200 separate protests were held across the country against the Dakota Access pipeline.
The protests, three of which were in Colorado (Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver), were an effort to show solidarity with the Native Americans and others who are currently camped out near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in an effort to stop the construction of the controversial pipeline.
The 1,172-mile pipeline is being built by Texas company Energy Transfer Partners. The purpose of the pipeline is to transport between 470,000 and 570,000 barrels of oil per day between the Bakken field of North Dakota and oil storage facilities in Illinois.
The pipeline is currently planned to cross the Missouri River at a point near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux. The original protest started when members of the tribe blocked construction of the pipeline after stating their concerns that it threatened the reservation’s water supply — which comes from the Missouri River less than a mile from the proposed path of the pipeline — as well as noting that if construction continued on its current course, it would likely destroy sacred lands, archaeological sites, artifacts and possible burial locations.
As construction continued, the tribe filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, but the U.S. District Court Judge overseeing the motion denied it and construction continued. Private security guards used dogs and pepper spray to clear protesters from the pipeline’s path and as a result, some important sites, artifacts and potential burial sites have now likely been bulldozed.
On Sept. 9, several agencies of the federal government temporarily suspended pipeline construction on a small piece of land owned by the Army Corp of Engineers, bringing Energy Transfer’s North Dakota operations to a halt… for now.
Representatives from tribes all across the U.S. and Canada along with many other supporters have established a camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where the efforts to stop the pipeline are now centered. Protesters say they will remain through the winter.
Approximately 150 people protested in support of the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts in Boulder on Tuesday.