WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Green Party of the United States strongly condemns action taken by militarized police and parent company Energy Transfer partners to forcibly remove peaceful Native protestors from the site of proposed Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Green Party leaders and candidates are demanding that the Department of Justice order an immediate halt to the construction of the pipeline on sacred burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and release of detained protesters.
“The U.S. must respect the validity of its treaty with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Under Article 11 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the Sioux Nation is granted exclusive ownership and use of ancestral lands including those from the west to the east bank of the Missouri River,” said Rodolfo Rivera Muñoz, Green candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 3.
“This long tradition of outright Native discrimination must stop. The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on sacred Sioux burial grounds is no more appropriate than the construction of a similar pipeline through Arlington Cemetery,” added Mr. Muñoz, who is urging Texas voters to “Bring Indigenous Wisdom to Texas Courts.”
The proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline endangers Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Reservation’s main source of drinking water. The original pipeline route, across the Missouri River near Bismarck, was rejected because of concerns that it might have contaminated the city’s water sources and mostly-white residential areas.
Greens said that continued drilling and pipeline construction and government permission for such projects are defeating efforts to reduce fossil-fuel consumption and stop the advance of climate change.
Last week, remaining peaceful Native protestors, now facing arrest, were forcibly removed from their encampment amid frequent reports of abuse and police brutality. The Bismarck Tribune received reports that protestors had been pepper-sprayed, beaten, and shot by rubber bullets at the hands of law enforcement. Some arrested protesters have allegedly been held in dog kennels.
On Oct. 27, Ammon Bundy and ten other defendants were acquitted on felony conspiracy charges for their 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
“The acquittal of occupiers in Oregon, after they threatened federal officers with assault rifles, on the same day as the violent treatment of the peaceful protestors in North Dakota adds further insult to injury. It’s an example of the legal and racial double standards that remain prevalent across the United States,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, Green candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.
In September, Green presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka joined Dakota Access Pipeline protestors in North Dakota and were threatened with arrest for their actions. See “Stein/Baraka Campaign Condemns Police Actions, Calls to Honor Treaties with Standing Rock Sioux,” Oct. 29.