Local residents join national movement of solidarity for Sioux people
More than 80 local members of an international social reform group calling itself the “Light Brigade” gathered Tuesday, Nov. 15, to call on the federal government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being considered for construction through a Sioux tribe’s land in Standing Rock, N.D.
Participants in the local protest held “NO DAPL” and “PROTECT WATER” in large, light-up letters on the Highway 10 Bridge over I-39 in Stevens Point in an act of solidarity with the Sioux people.
The Tuesday protest was part of a global day of action in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. More than 200 protests were planned in cities and towns around the country and around the world.
“This action is part of a powerful global movement to protect Indigenous rights, our water and our climate,” said event organizer Devon Cupery.
If the Dakota Access Pipeline is completed, it would carry roughly 500,000 daily barrels of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Field to Illinois.
Supporters of the pipeline argue piping crude oil is friendlier to the environment than using diesel trucks to transport it.
However, more than 100 Native American tribes and Indigenous nations have gathered with allies at the reservation to resist the construction of the pipeline, which would cross the Missouri River.
Opponents argue pipelines are prone to leaks and spills if they are not properly maintained and could contaminate drinking water.
Protest organizers said after an hour, a pipeline leak into the Missouri River could spill more than 1 million gallons of crude oil, contaminating the primary drinking for more than 18 million people.
Canadian company Enbridge Inc., which owns a stake of the Dakota Access Pipeline, is in the process of expanding tar sands oil pipelines that run the length of Wisconsin from 400,000 barrels of oil per day to 1.2 million barrels per day. The company has also proposed a “twin” pipeline in the same corridor that would carry an additional 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.
For more information on the Light Brigade, contact Devon Cupery [email protected] or 414-617-5843.