Breathtaking Short Film Takes You Deep In The Heart Of The Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance
Mni Wiconi: The Stand At Standing Rock Tells You Exactly Why This Protest Is So Important
A brief documentary was recently released that takes viewers through was has become one of the most high-profile stands for a cleaner environment and civil rights in recently memory. Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock walks anyone unfamiliar with the situation through the step-by-step process of how the Dakota Access Pipeline protest has become one of the most heart-wrenching national stories currently filling the airwaves.
The film begins with a primer on the Dakota area and how the protest started small but quickly grew as word began to spread about the DAPL. A voice over notes a glaring reality for the people directly affected by this type of aggressive action by big businesses:
We’ve been here for thousands of years. We have always been citizens of these lands. But, whenever there’s a resource that needs to be exploited, our lands just kept getting taken. We didn’t have say and that has been inflicted on our people for over 200 years.
A little later in the video, a key point is noted that should make the anger of the protesters easy to understand, aside from the damage the use of the oil will already do to the environment:
The original route (of the pipeline) went near Bismark, a community that’s ninety percent white. And they decided to not take that route because they don’t want to have the pipeline near their water. And you have us saying the same thing, but we didn’t matter.
The video shows some of the horrific violence directed at protesters, including being bitten by dogs, peppered sprayed and thrown to the ground by police and private security. A lawsuit was recently filed against North Dakota law enforcement over the use of excessive force against protesters.
It does end with a more uplifting moment. Protesters on horseback rode for three days to the source of the oil in order to show the company their resolve and that they would be going nowhere.
This comes on the heels of a series of statements seemingly intended to further intimidate activists in the area. The Army Corps of Engineers initially set a deadline of December 5 for protesters to move off the land but later backed off the statement and said it has no plans for “forcible removal”. North Dakota Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple has now issued his own “mandatory evacuation” but even that was essentially walked back by the state’s Emergency Services.
This story has a long way to go before it is over. Hopefully, another video can be made down the road with an even happier ending for the Standing Rock Sioux.
Featured image YouTube screenshot (Fair Use).