Dakota Access Pipeline Protest
November 15, 2016
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“Water not oil. Keep it in the soil,” is a infamous quote that was used throughout this inspiring protest. University of Michigan-Dearborn had a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. For those who are unaware of what is happening in North Dakota, Native American land has became taken over by the government to make a pipeline that runs from North and South Dakota to Illinois. While going through these states and cities, they will go through 5 major areas that give clean water to the Native Americans surrounding it. According to Dr. Danielson-Francois at the university, “If there is one spill in the pipeline going through the water, none of the water will be safe to drink, and the Native Americans will have to begin purchasing water bottles.”
In the very beginning of the protest, students took time to talk about what was going on, and how we can make a change throughout the world. There were metaphors used to put more realism into the eyes of students that attended. The Flint Water Crisis here in Michigan was a huge similarity to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The students also began talking about how the majority of people living in Flint are African American. You could see how this could be targeted towards a certain race or ethnicity just like the DAPL. Also, the protest went against racial profiling and intolerance. While making a statement to accept the LGBTQ community.
During the protest, we made sure that the student union could hear Native Americans cry through our voices. Students joined us as we walked towards a beautiful lake with the sun shimmering gracefully over. We chanted many different things from “Native Lives Matter” to “When Black lives are under attack, what do we do? STAND UP FIGHT BACK,” to “Queer Lives Matter” and ending with “No DAPL!”
At the end of the protest, students took more time into talking about how Native Americans have already lost a great amount of land due to this pipeline and lost many water resources. The system that we live in values profit over people.
Many celebrities have helped raise awareness to the pipeline being made. Actress Shailene Woodley from the famous movie Divergent was arrested for being apart of the DAPL peaceful protest. It was streamed live via Facebook during the protest. As a reader of this article, you can also help out the Native Americans get their word out to others around the country and around the world. Starting with talking to others and spreading awareness by writing a blog. A big help to us as a nation is calling our governors or the offices to let our voices be heard. Just sending an email won’t help because it can easily be ignored, but your true voice shall not be unheard.