These Celebrities Take a Stand Against Dakota Access Pipeline
A number of Hollywood stars have joined a growing national movement opposing the construction of the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline.
On Tuesday, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller—stars of the upcoming superhero movie Justice League—filmed an endorsement for Rezpect Our Water, a campaign launched by young members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
"As a gang of Earth defenders, we want to send a big shoutout to the Oceti Sakowin and those who stand with them in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline," Miller says in the video. Oceti Sakowin is the proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux.
"Join us in supporting the youth of Standing Rock as they fight the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will leak into their drinking water!" Momoa wrote on his Instagram, adding that "Aquaman is pissed."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved construction of a 1,170-mile, $3.7 billion pipeline that would transfer up to 570,00 barrels of crude oil per day from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. The pipeline would cross the Missouri River, a mile north of the Standing Rock Reservation. A potential oil spill could destroy sacred land or pollute the tribe's main source of drinking water as well as more than 200 smaller rivers and creeks.
Protests came to an intense boil over the weekend, but the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project of Texas company Energy Transfer Partners, has been simmering since this spring.
Standing w/ the Great Sioux Nation to protect their water & lands. Take a stand: https://t.co/nKKMIe4csA #RezpectOurWater #KeepItInTheGround— Leonardo DiCaprio (@Leonardo DiCaprio)1462843490.0
Leonardo DiCaprio Stands With Great Sioux Nation to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline via @EcoWatch https://t.co/HsCkesthjK— Daniel Buswell (@Daniel Buswell)1473375163.0
Since then, many other environmentally-minded celebrities have joined the chorus. On Aug. 25, actors Shailene Woodley, Riley Keough and Susan Sarandon joined tribe members at a courthouse in Washington, DC to protest the pipeline's construction.
"I'm here as a mother and a grandmother to thank the people of the Standing Rock community for bringing our attention to this horrible thing that is happening to their land, which in turn will endanger all of us ... because all of our waters are connected," Sarandon said.
On Facebook, musician Pharrell Williams praised an extraordinary 2,200-mile relay accomplished by young tribe members protesting the pipeline.
"We have so much we can learn from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Native American tribes," he said. "The children of Standing Rock ran 2,200 miles on foot to Washington, D.C. to save their sacred land from the oil industry. Let's help protect them so they can continue to live in peace #rezpectourwater."
Pharrell Williams Facebook
Actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo has also been a prominent voice against construction of the pipeline. He appealed to President Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to respond to the project.
.@POTUS @HillaryClinton As Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Grows, Where Are Obama and Clinton? | Common Dreams https://t.co/Q2xlsaMIzx— Mark Ruffalo (@Mark Ruffalo)1473334968.0
Native Americans around the country have been galvanized by the plight of the Standing Rock Sioux against Big Oil.
As The Washington Post reports:
"Over the past few weeks, thousands of Native Americans representing tribes from all over the country have traveled to this central North Dakota reservation to camp in a nearby meadow and show solidarity with a tribe they think is once again receiving a raw deal at the hands of commercial interests and the U.S. government."
"More than 200 Native American tribes have declared their support, and many have sent food and supplies," the Post wrote.
Environmental advocates such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Waterkeeper Alliance and 93 Waterkeeper organizations are standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux.
Politicians have also joined the fray. Morton County officials issued a warrant for Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein on Wednesday after video surfaced of her spray-painting a bulldozer at a construction site.
I hope ND presses charges against the real vandals who bulldoze sacred burial sites. #NoDAPL https://t.co/34e6stP5wQ https://t.co/6Hn3LT1500— Dr. Jill Stein (@Dr. Jill Stein)1473286430.0
Meanwhile, President Obama has not specifically addressed the pipeline but during a news conference in Laos, he briefly spoke about Native American land rights.
"As many of you know, the way that Native Americans were treated was tragic," he said. "One of the priorities that I've had as President is restoring an honest and generous and respectful relationship with Native American tribes. And this issue of ancestral lands and helping them preserve their way of life is something that we have worked very hard on."
A federal judge will rule Friday on the legality of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Stay tuned.
This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.
1. Kiss the Ground<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccc5f0c92a5603e68aec39e56b0db02a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3-V1j-zMZw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 22</strong></p><p>Between <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wildfires-california-washington-oregon-photos-2647585008.html" target="_self">wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tropical-storm-beta-landfall-2647760268.html" target="_self">storms battering the Gulf</a>, the impacts of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> can feel overwhelming right now. <em><a href="https://kissthegroundmovie.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kiss the Ground</a> </em>offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions.</p><p>The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.</p><p>"<em>Kiss the Ground </em>shows how feasible it is to make these changes at a grassroots level immediately and make a truly substantive impact with low cost and easy to implement solutions," Executive Producer RJ Jain said in an email. "This is why I got involved."</p>
2. Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5338f7a2931e356910026e5fd76fac56"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jsKMTAaj_wQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: YouTube</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 25, 2 p.m. EDT </strong></p><p>This <a href="https://www.patagonia.com/films/public-trust/" target="_blank">award-winning documentary</a> tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/public-lands" target="_self">public lands</a>. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bears-ears" target="_self">Bears Ears</a> National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/Arctic-National-Wildlife-Refuge" target="_self">Arctic National Wildlife Refuge</a> to fossil fuel exploration.</p><p><em>Public Trust</em> was directed by David Garrett Byars and produced by Jeremy Rubingh. Patagonia Films, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and actor Robert Redford are executive producers. It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.</p><p>"Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness set aside for future generations," Redford said. "Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. <em>Public Trust</em> tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage."</p>
3. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="156438a30836a765d7a92982545fc334"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_OFZvAd05Y?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Oct. 4</strong></p><p>Beloved nature broadcaster <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/David-Attenborough" target="_self">David Attenborough</a> has spent his career introducing viewers to the wonders of our planet. In recent years, his footage of albatrosses swallowing <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastics" target="_self">plastic</a> in <em>Blue Planet II</em> has been credited with <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html" target="_self">helping to ramp up</a> the global fight against plastic pollution. Now, in this <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF)-produced <a href="https://www.attenborough.film/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">documentary</a>, he reflects on the defining moments of his career and the devastating changes he has witnessed.</p><p><em>David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,</em> which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28.</p><p>"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/david-attenborough-life-our-planet" target="_blank">statement</a>. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."</p>
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