During the entirety Hillary Clinton’s bid for president the silence she and her team displayed on the topic of the much disputed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was deafening and had not gone unnoticed.
On top of Native Leaders sending letters requesting Clinton’s help on the matter- on Thursday, water protectors from Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires, and the Standing Rock Sioux Nation traveled to Clinton’s nominee’s campaign headquarters in New York, demanding that she speak out.
With pressure mounting and more and more of her peers- including Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Al Gore speaking out and condemning the construction of the DAPL, the Democratic Presidential nominee has now been forced to make a statement.
As reported on ICRMN
On a day that saw a large police action involving armored, military vehicles, pepper spray, high-velocity bean bags and tear gas employed against water protectors who had gathered to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign officials issued a formal statement addressing the conflict. The announcement, made on October 27, was written as a response to a letter Native leaders had sent to Secretary Clinton asking for her help.
Charlie Galbraith, serving as a Clinton advisor, shared the campaign’s official statement in an e-mail to ICTMN: “We received a letter today from representatives of the tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects. Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.”
As ICTMN contributor Sarah Sunshine Manning reported this afternoon from the Treaty Camp, the newest camp set up by the water protectors directly in the pipeline’s path along Highway 1806. The police massed and pressed the protectors south, using piercing sirens, armored cars, and ATVs, while low flying planes and helicopters circled above. “Within minutes,” Manning said, “a large force of police arrived on both sides of the camp and surrounded about 400 to 500 water protectors.”
The Treaty Camp is named in reference to the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which designated the land as belonging to the Great Sioux Nation. Despite the order to halt construction by three federal agencies, DAPL construction has encroached approximately 17 miles into the 20-mile voluntary exclusion zone.
Clinton’s statement conveniently came on a day seeing the heaviest attendance seen to date of militarized police and armored trucks against peaceful water protectors. Her declaration that demonstrators have right to protest peacefully, were not honored.
As witnessed via livestreaming on Facebook and as we previously reported, the protectors are not trespassers, but are on land granted to them by an 1851 treaty.
If Clinton really wants a solution that “serves the broadest public interest” the only option is to halt construction completely, any other option which allows continued construction of the 1172 mile pipeline only contributes to the interest of the multinationals invested in the project with blatant disregard of the negative impact it brings to the environment, and communities in it’s wake .
Though her silence was finally broken (most probably to quell requests from her peers and potential voters) her words only contained empty promises.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)