A judge in U.S. federal court ordered the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to deliver a new report on the environmental risks associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline on June 14, 2017.
This decision came down after the Indigenous group known as the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota began a fierce resistance in 2016 that continues today against the colonial State and Energy Transfer Partners, a parasitic capitalist energy company.
The court gave the order, citing that the Army Corps of Engineers did not fully investigate the potential environmental hazards that come along with the construction of the pipeline so close to the water and natural resources on which the Standing Rock Sioux rely for survival.
Jan Hasselman, the attorney who represents the Sioux in this case, as well as Earth Justice, the environmental organization that is funding the legal battle, are considering this to be a small victory.
This is because they are not fighting to overturn the main contradiction that is happening.
Yes, the pipeline could and probably will do reprehensible damage to the environment.
Pillaging the Earth and destroying natural resources is what white power does.
It is the settler colonialism and brutal occupation of the Indigenous people’s land that makes the Dakota Access Pipeline even possible.
The contraction is that the land does not belong to Energy Transfer Partners, Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. government.
It is not theirs to decide how it is used.
Judge’s decision is just to save face
The order for a new environmental report does nothing to stop construction on the pipeline, nor does it mean that anything will change once the new report is delivered.
The judge never ordered for construction to cease.
This gives the company a loophole to continue business as usual.
This judgment was an attempt to put brakes on the resistance of the Standing Rock Sioux.
It is not only the environmental hazards that has the colonial courts looking for ways to appease the Sioux and deny them victory.
It is also the international attention to the U.S.’s historical banditry and genocide that the resistance reveals and exposes the U.S. government and white settler population as being no different than the white settler colonialism of South Africa.
The U.S. false image of being a defender of freedom while such a blatant violation against the freedom and self-determination of the Sioux people are carried out has long been laid bare by the struggling people’s against colonialism.
This is why they would rather deal with this issue as an environmental contradiction instead of a political one.
White leftist organizations like Earth Justice are also dodging the political question because like every other white liberal, they do not wish to challenge or overturn the system of white power, but only to adjust and tweak it to their liking.
Justice for oppressed and Indigenous people is justice for the Earth.
The returning of land from the grips of capitalist thugs to its original inhabitants is justice for the Earth.
The Earth suffers for the same reason oppressed people suffer: white power.
If you’re not fighting white power, you’re not saving the Earth.
Standing Rock Sioux inspires other Indigenous groups to fight against settler colonialism
Revolution is spreading as other groups of Indigenous peoples in the U.S. join the struggle waged by the Standing Rock Sioux by resisting similar oppression.
The Ojibwe people outside of Duluth, MN had been demanding that the colonial State discontinue issuing permits to the Enbridge Energy’s Sandpiper Pipeline years before the Standing Rock movement.
The company owns stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and even had plans to expand Sandpiper, threatening more and more of the land off of which Indigenous people live.
The struggle deepened after the Standing Rock Sioux took their stand, and now Enbridge Energy has cancelled construction of the expanded Sandpiper Pipeline.
The various groups in the Puyallup People outside of Tacoma, WA are now protesting against the construction of a liquid natural gas plant on the Port of Tacoma by Puget Sound Energy.
Leader of the Muckleshoot people, Rachel Heating told Seattle Weekly News that “Standing Rock got me motivated.”
They have been joined by the Indigenous groups who are fighting against other settler colonial exploitation and its parasitic capitalist interest.
The Indigenous groups near Seattle, WA who are currently in a fight against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline organized a march in solidarity with the Puyallup people from Seattle to Tacoma on Friday, July 7, 2017.
Paul “Che Oke Ten” Wagner told Seattle Weekly News, “if we lay complacent, this corporate government of Canada and the United States will absolutely rob our future.”
It is clear that the struggle of Standing Rock is the same as the struggle of all of the Indigenous people in both North and South America.
This struggle is against white settler colonialism and the damage done to water and natural resources are just struggles in the overall movement to destroy world capitalism.
We as Africans, are also experiencing the poisoning and contamination of our water and natural resources as colonized subjects from oil spills in Nigeria to the poisoning of rivers in Flint, Michigan. .
This is why The Burning Spear stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, Ojibwe, Puyallup and all oppressed peoples in their efforts to resist white power.
All Africans should understand the U.S. government’s relationship to ourselves and the land it occupies and the original people of the land.
Return all stolen land!
Uhuru in this lifetime!