as seen on Cronkite News
AZ protesters connect with national opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016
PHOENIX — Smoke from lit bundles of sage swirled around protesters waving signs, “Water Is Life” and “Stand With Standing Rock” to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The protest in central Phoenix was among other planned, daylong protests across the country, including Flagstaff, Tucson, Prescott and Sierra Vista. Organizers had billed the connected protest as a “National Day of Action.”
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other opponents of the pipeline have been protesting in North Dakota for months, attempting to block construction of the pipeline that would travel through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois and carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day, according to a Cronkite News article.
Tribal members fear the pipeline could destroy a vital water source and sacred land. It would travel under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe — near the reservation, according to a Vox article.
Other opposition arguments are it would increase dependency on fossil fuels, which is believed to contribute to climate change, and continue longstanding government mistreatment of Native Americans, protestors in Phoenix said.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company in charge of the pipeline, said it would allow oil to reach markets in a safer, more cost effective manner instead of using train and truck transportation. It would also benefit the United States by using domestic sources of oil and create thousands of jobs, according to the website.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated on Monday that construction near the area must be halted. The corps is asking for additional discussion and analysis regarding the tribe’s concerns.
Energy Transfer Partnersreleased statements on Monday and Tuesday denouncing the corps decision. Company officials said the corps already granted them access to build on the land and are now asking for federal court intervention to put an end to all political roadblocks.
Here’s a look at four Arizona protesters who stood with Standing Rock on Tuesday.