Native communities and environmental justice advocates in Louisiana opened a new resistance camp Saturday to oppose the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. Called L’eau Est La Vie, or Water is Life, the camp will consist of floating indigenous art structures on rafts and constant prayer ceremonies during its first two weeks.
The Bayou Bridge project, owned in part by Dakota Access Pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), would transport crude oil over 163 miles of natural heritage swampland to a terminal in St. James Parish in Louisiana. St. James residents and environmental advocates recently filed suit to overturn the pipeline’s permit, claiming that the state did not adequately address impacts of a potential spill on the community or surrounding wetlands.
“Once again Indigenous communities are being put in harm’s way and over 700 bodies of water will be threatened by one of the worst environmental offenders known to date,” said the Indigenous Environmental Network in a statement. “We stand with the Water Protectors here in southern Louisiana to protect these critical wetlands that serve as protection for the people of this region from floods and storms.”
The Indigenous Environmental Network announced the opening of the camp with the video above explaining why completion of the Bayou Bridge pipeline must be stopped.
“The corporation Energy Transfer Partners has proven themselves to be untrustworthy in regards to their moral responsibility to preserve both human and ecological rights,” said Cherri Foytlin of BOLD Louisiana. “Whereby they have obfuscated the truth, sabotaged democracy, destroyed our lands and water, and even hired mercenaries to injure our people, we have but one recourse, and that is to say, ‘You shall not pass.’ No Bayou Bridge! We will stop ETP. They are not welcome here—not in our bayous, not in our wetlands, not in our basin, not under our lands or through our waters. Period.”
For a deeper dive:
Camp: Times-Picayune, Colorlines. Lawsuit: Times-Picayune, The Advocate, DeSmog
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