The Oberlin Review

Standing Rock Serves as Model for Future Protests

Editorial Board

December 9, 2016

In a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that it would reroute the Dakota Access Pipeline away from native land. Though the Sioux’s success is still tentative — President-elect Donald Trump could pressure the Army to reverse the decision when he takes office — the announcement is a direct reflection of the power of public protest. The Standing Rock Sioux and their collaborators from other native tribes — “water protectors” — led a highly effective protest campaign against the construction of a pipeline that would have risked pollution of their water and destroyed sacred sites. They drew thousands of allies to the camp in frigid temperatures. They remai...

Dakota Access Pipeline Latest Case of Environmental Racism

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

December 2, 2016

While many students were preparing themselves for a Thanksgiving full of feasting and celebrating with loved ones Nov. 21, law enforcement officers at Standing Rock were assaulting protesters with water cannons in below-freezing temperatures. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been assaulted, terrorized and arrested since April for exercising its right to peacefully protest against the unethical construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, designed to serve as a key link between the state’s oil wells, was originally mapped to cut through Bismarck, ND — an area with more than 92 percent white residents as of the 2010 census — but was instead rerouted through tribal nations. The U.S. Army Corps of...

Freedom of Speech Threatened in Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Editorial Board

October 28, 2016

When the Bundy Brothers were being acquitted for their January occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, several activists and journalists were getting thrown behind bars for protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile long route that would transport 470,000 barrels of sweet crude oil daily across four states from North Dakota to Illinois. On Monday, Oct. 10, North Dakota’s Morton County police arrested the actress Shailene Woodley for live-streaming an Indigenous Peoples’ Day protest to her 40,000 Facebook followers. Following her release, Woodley penned an article titled “The Truth About My Arrest,” published Oct. 20 in TIME. “We grow up romanticizing native culture, n...

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Mirror Oberlin’s Anti-Pipeline Campaign

CJ Blair, Contributing Writer

September 16, 2016

The federal government’s request to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was met by cheers from the thousands of Native people gathered in protest at Standing Rock last Friday. This order, however, coming on the heels of a ruling that dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s anti-pipeline injunction, was surely met with equal skepticism. The nearly two-year battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is far from over. Yet the crisis at Standing Rock has placed the anti-pipeline movement on the national stage, and its direct action approach to environmental justice provides an invaluable template for similar campaigns across the country, including the pipeline project currently facing opposition in Oberlin. Wh...

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