Nurses Hail Federal Move to Halt Dakota Pipeline, Praise Unity of First Nations, Veterans, Activists
National Nurses United Sunday congratulated leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of supporters, including 2,000 veterans assembled over the weekend, for the news that the federal government will deny authorization for the Dakota Access Pipeline to go through tribal lands posing a threat to water sources and sacred sites.
Standing Rock tribal chairman Dave Archambault Sunday announced the victory noting, 'Today, the US Army Corps of engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternate routes.”
“This is a historic victory, against one of the most powerful economic and political forces in the world, the fossil fuel industry and its many allies inside and outside government,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.
DeMoro praised the months of resistance by First Nation water protectors, environmental and community supporters, and many allies who have mobilized and rallied for months against huge odds, and often violent police repression at the site of the pipeline construction.
NNU has during that time sent a series of nurse supporters to the protest site, and just days ago a $50,000 donation to assist Navajo veterans join the weekend gathering of veterans in support of the water protectors.
“This is an awesome reminder that people standing together, raising our voices together, and building solidarity across the nation can win, even under the most difficult circumstances against implacable foes. It’s an especially important lesson leading into the next four years of the incoming Trump administration,” DeMoro added.
NNU, said DeMoro, will continue to join with opponents of the Dakota Pipeline along other routes and similar projects that transport dirty crude oil that jeopardize public health and contribute to the climate crisis.
“There is a broad movement that was represented in this fight, just as there was in the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and similar projects. We will never be silent in the face of environmental threats to our people and our planet,” DeMoro said.