From afar, the future of the Standing Rock struggle looks bleak.
President Donald Trump is pushing the Dakota Access pipeline project through. And some tribal leaders, who are asking protesters to leave Standing Rock, are turning their attention to demanding further environmental reviews.
But the fight on the ground isn’t over. The water protecters are there, and leaders in the Lakota Sioux community are still asking people to come help with obstructing construction and join the peaceful struggle against the pipeline.
“People can come — we’re going to need it,” Chase Ironeyes, a leading Lakota activist and member of the Lakota People’s Law Project, said in a phone interview Friday. “They fully plan to drill, and we’ll need bodies.”
The mixed messaging about whether people should arrive in droves to Standing Rock comes from the conflicting approach of the Standing Rock organizers and the local tribal government. David Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, has repeatedly called for evacuation of protest sites.
Yet according to Ironeyes, many indigenous groups with potential claims to the Standing Rock treaty lands and the water protecters on site intend to stick it out with civil disobedience and peaceful protest. Read more