The protests continue over the pipeline in North Dakota.
Protesters set fire to nine vehicles, construction equipment and debris on a bridge, resulting in the closure of Highway 1806, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office said. A woman being arrested pulled a pistol from her waistband and fired shots, but she didn’t hit anybody.
Protesters threw Molotov cocktails, water bottles and logs at officers but no serious injuries were reported.
A court decision allowing construction of the $3.7 billion pipeline across four states hasn’t dampened demonstrators’ furor over the project. The developer calls it an economic boon that will make the United States less dependent on imported oil. But protesters say it threatens the environment and will destroy Native American burial and prayer sites as well as artifacts.
We have the strangest relationship with Native American culture. It’s stranger that the relationship of mainstream society with any other minority group.
I might offend some Native folks, but here goes.
In movies and TV, the only spirituality is those of Native Americans. I think that’s a backhanded insult, as it’s unlikely the Native American views of God will catch on. For this reason, it’s “safe” for scriptwriters to include native religious themes. Need magic? Enlightenment? Get an indigenous actor and go on a spirit quest!
Back in real life, I truly don’t know if the pipeline is a good idea, but do folks realize it does not actually go through a reservation? I admit, it runs right by it, and I’d be concerned too. The actual landowners in the path of the pipe are being compensated and they are 100% on board. The argument has been propped up with some verbal judo.
Any water you drink is sacred. In case of a spill, theirs would get dirty. Again, sacred seemingly only applies to Native Americans, just as the only prophet ever mentioned is Mohammed.
I’m also hearing about ‘ancestral lands.’ It’s an impertinent question, but do Native Americans have veto rights over building on lands their ancestors used to roam? When did that law pass? And prayer sights? Veto power there too?
There’s been some mention of burial plots. That concerns me. I don’t want my grandfather dug up for a freeway, but I’ll bet that sort of thing happens all the time. If the crews find any bones, I’ll bet you that digging stops. There are some laws in place, but I’m no lawyer. Archaeologists are brought in, the whole thing puts on hold until a plan is worked out. In fact, if the Native Americans were cagey, they’s dig up… Never mind.
This project has passed environmental muster with the federal government, during the Obama administration. The state environmental people also agree to it. Somehow that sounds like a high bar.
Native Americans got screwed by white people. I get it. But not by these white people. Not me, not you and not the oil company.