Screenshot from Shailene Woodley Facebook page.
Woodley was streaming live on her Facebook page Monday during a peaceful protest at Standing Rock. The protest was in response to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Monday that lifted a temporary injunction on the pipeline, allowing construction to resume.
The actress and environmental activist was trying to head back to her RV to go back to camp, when she noticed it was surrounded by police and a riot vehicle. As she approached her RV, she was stopped by police dressed in riot and military gear. After speaking with them, she was told on camera that she was being arrested for criminal trespassing. A spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff's Department said she was also arrested for engaging in a riot. Her mother was with her at the time.
When she asked why she was being arrested and no one else, and whether it was because people know who she is, the officer who appeared to be in charge said it was because she was identified.
As she was being put in handcuffs, Woodley explained to a person off-camera that she was being arrested for trespassing down by the pipeline where hundreds of others had gathered, but that she left as soon as police arrived and was told to leave.
"It's because I'm well-known, it's because I have 40,000 people watching it," she said.
Twenty-six other protesters were also arrested, according to media reports.
Protesters and members of more than 90 Native American nations and tribes have been encamped on the Missouri River since May fighting against the construction of the 1,170-mile pipeline that would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil across four states, including sacred sites and burial grounds.
Woodley has been very vocal on social media about her feelings on the Dakota Access Pipeline and has been at the protests on a consistent basis which she recently talked about on Late Night With Seth Meyers along with Bernie Sanders.
"It's been remarkable. It's one of the greatest experiences of my life," she said.
"This is the first time that you have this many tribes gathered in one place, standing together united, to stand up for not only their rights, but human rights, and the access to clean water—all they're doing is protecting clean water," she added.
Woodley said while the temporary halt on the pipeline's construction the Obama administration did is "beautiful," it's not a win. A win, she said, is for them to say we're not moving the pipeline to another location, but we're going to stop it, like the Obama Administration did with Keystone XL.
Until then, we're sure to see Woodley out there again as she continues to fight for Native American rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In a setback for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters, on Sunday evening, one hour before the start of the second presidential debate, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction that had stopped construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, allowing work to resume.
The $3.7 billion, 1,170-mile pipeline would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil across four states, which include sacred sites and burial grounds documented by the tribe.
"We are troubled by the court's decision, but as water protectors and land defenders, our resolve to stop this Bakken frack-oil pipeline will not be diminished," Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said. "This fight is far from over."
Last month, after a federal judge rejected the tribe's challenge to halt construction on lands near their reservation, the Obama administration stepped in and revoked its authorization to construct the pipeline on federal land bordering or under Lake Oahu. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a review that it says will be completed within weeks.
In its order, the court noted, "But ours is not the final word. A necessary easement still awaits government approval—a decision corps' counsel predicts is likely weeks away; meanwhile, intervenor DAPL has rights of access to the limited portion of pipeline corridor not yet cleared—where the Tribe alleges additional historic sites are at risk."
"The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight," Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said on Facebook. "We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline."
While the court said the tribe hadn't met the strict requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to force a halt to construction, it did express sympathy for the tribe saying, "We can only hope the spirit of Section 106 may yet prevail." Section 106 requires federal agencies to consult with tribes about any potential impact on their cultural and historic sites, and specifically directs agencies to "respect tribal sovereignty."
Archambault told NBC News, "It seems they are coming to the same conclusion as the federal government in acknowledging there is something wrong with the approvals for the pipeline. We see this as an encouraging sign."
Aerial photo of two of the three mine water retention ponds at the site of a pipeline leak that spilled an estimated 250,000 gallons of gasoline in Shelby County, Ala. The retention pond on the right is where the gasoline has been contained.Colonial Pipeline
The Sept. 9 break has leaked 6,000 barrels (approximately 250,000 gallons) of fuel into Shelby County, Alabama, the operator estimated, up from its original estimation of 1,000 barrels. The cause of the leak is currently unclear.
Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined products system in the nation, operates 5,500 miles of underground pipe and above ground storage tanks and pump stations, delivering more than 100 million gallons of refined petroleum products a day. Their customer base is an estimated 50 million Americans, between Houston and New York City.
CNN Money said that the disruption "threatens to drive up prices and leave service stations without fuel to sell."
In response to the spill, the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company closed its main gasoline line, Line 1, that runs from refineries in the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. About 500 employees and contractors are currently working to clean up the site and repair the impacted segment of pipe.
The Birmingham Business Journal reported that most of the spilled gasoline has been contained in a nearby mining retention pond as workers skim the pond to remove the gasoline. Underflow dams are also being constructed to prevent gasoline seepage into the nearby Cahaba River.
However, Billy McDanal, a landowner living near the river, spoke to AL.com over his concerns about the spill.
"That's our water," he said. "I guess in a way I am worried about the drinking water."
Colonial Pipeline initially said that the line would be running by this weekend but delays this week caused by gasoline vapors on site has slowed operations.
"Working in close consultation with local, state and federal officials, Colonial Pipeline continued around-the-clock response operations on location in Helena, Alabama, into the evening yesterday," the company announced on Sept. 15. "However, work activity was intermittent overnight due to unfavorable weather conditions that caused gasoline vapors to settle over the site. Operations are resuming as officials deem conditions safe. The top priority of the unified response effort remains the safety and protection of the public, responders, and the environment."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "is aware of the incident and has established a joint incident command with state and local authorities," the Business Journal noted.
Cahaba Riverkeeper David Butler told AL.com that the company has been "aggressive" in its response and is "genuinely concerned about protecting the river."
"Every concern we've had, they've addressed with really no pushback," Butler said. "As bad as any situation like this is, all you can really ask is that they be responsible and accountable and I certainly haven't found any fault in their response so far."
The burst is expected to affect prices at the pump. Colonial Pipeline said that parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina "will be the first markets to be impacted by any potential disruption in supply."
The company has restarted Line 2, its distillate line, due to the shutdown of Line 1.
"To minimize potential supply disruptions caused by the interruption to Line 1, Colonial Pipeline has executed a contingency plan to move gasoline on Line 2, which normally carries distillate such as diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil to points north," Colonial said.
Reuters reported that Friday's spill was the largest on the Colonial line in 20 years. In 1996, 22,800 barrels of fuel oil leaked in South Carolina.
By Andy Rowell
There is good news and bad news for those fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Some of the most powerful footage of the incident was fronted by veteran Democracy Now! journalist, Amy Goodman, who had been on site to witness the despicable attacks.
Goodman opened her report by stating:
"On Saturday in Dakota, security guards working for the Dakota Access Pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they resisted the $3.8 billion pipeline's construction."
The footage went viral and lead to outrage from across the world including on CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post. A colleague who has watched Goodman's reporting for decades said it was the most passionate they had ever seen her broadcasting live.
Well now in a travesty of American justice, Democracy Now! announced over the weekend that an arrest warrant had been issued in North Dakota for Goodman. She has been charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense.
It is totally outrageous that the U.S. authorities are trying to silence such a journalist as Goodman.
"This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press," Goodman said in a statement. "I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters."
Meanwhile, the day before, after an injunction by the Standing Rock Sioux was denied, the federal government stepped in immediately afterwards to halt construction of the pipeline.
For now at least.
The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement:
"In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites. It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest."
"The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws."
"Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time ... This case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects."
Reaction was mixed on the ground as people poured over the fine print behind the headline news. Indeed, as usual, the devil is on the detail.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe replied that the announcement sets the "stage for a nationwide reform, establishing consultation with tribes regarding the need for meaningful tribal input for all pipeline projects in the future. This federal statement is a game changer for the tribe and we are acting immediately on our legal options, including filing an appeal and a temporary injunction to force DAPL to stop construction."
"The feeling on the ground is one of mixed emotion. People are very upset that the tribe's injunction motion was denied," said one of the leading female activists, Kandi Mossett, who pointed out that the request to stop construction near the contentious site, was just that: a request.
Indeed, as DesmogBlog pointed out, even though the government has requested that the pipeline be stopped: "The federal government can't stop Energy Transfer from proceeding to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline on private land, which is why it asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction there."
The Red Warrior Camp was more dismissive and posted online: "Nothing has changed for the thousands of people who came from thousands of miles on prayers and fumes to stop this pipeline. Stay peaceful without backing down."
One blogger Kelly Hayes noted:
"Let's reflect on that for a moment: A company that recently sicced dogs on Water Protectors, including families, who stepped onto a sacred site to prevent its destruction, is being asked to voluntarily do the right thing … Right now, all that's being asked is that they play their part in a short term political performance aimed at letting the air out of a movement's tires."
"So what did the federal government do? Probably the smartest thing they could have: They gave us the illusion of victory … But if you raise a glass to Obama and declare this battle won, you are erasing a battle that isn't over yet. And by erasing an ongoing struggle, you're helping to build a pipeline."
So for now the struggle continues, and the protests are going global. There will be demonstrations across the U.S. Tuesday and solidarity ones across the globe, including in London at 6 p.m. For more details go here.
By Larry Buhl and Steve Horn
Friday afternoon brought a roller coaster of emotions for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and supporters in the battle to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) near the tribe's North Dakota reservation. Shortly after a federal judge rejected the tribe's emergency legal challenge, a joint statement by three federal agencies effectively stopped work on the pipeline until significant questions are answered about potential environmental and cultural impacts.
Multi-tribal gathering of demonstrators on the Missouri River to show solidarity against the Dakota Access Pipeline.Sacred Stone Camp
In August the tribe filed suit to challenge the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to grant permits to DAPL at more than 200 water crossings for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline project. The Sioux argued that the project violates several federal environmental laws and would threaten water supplies for millions of people who rely on the Missouri River for drinking water.
The Dakota Access pipeline would snake beneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, carrying 450,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. Construction has already damaged sites of significant cultural significance to the Standing Rock Sioux, and continues to threaten further sites.
Snatching Victory From the Jaws of Defeat
Minutes after U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued a 58-page ruling Friday denying the tribe's request for a temporary injunction to halt construction, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued a joint statement to "cease to authorize construction" on federally controlled lands—essentially nullifying the court's action.
Citing concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux lawsuit, the joint statement reads:
"The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution. In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe."
The statement also invited Native American tribes to continue ongoing talks about their concerns regarding pipelines and similar infrastructure projects.
What Happens Next is Unclear
The Corps of Engineers can block construction on its land, which does stop the contested Missouri River crossing, at least for now.
But the federal government can't stop Energy Transfer from proceeding to construct the Dakota Access pipeline on private land, which is why it asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction there.
It is not certain that the company will voluntarily agree to stop construction in the 20-mile zone on either side of Lake Oahe. If it continues, some Native American cultural and archaeological sites could still face the risk of damage or destruction.
Dakota Access LLC's parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, has not responded to repeated requests for comment from DeSmog. The Departments of Justice and Interior said they would not comment beyond what was written in the joint press release.
For now the tribe and their supporters are treating the joint agency statement as a victory.
"Our voices have been heard," said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, in a statement. "The Obama administration has asked tribes to the table to make sure that we have meaningful consultation on infrastructure projects. Native peoples have suffered generations of broken promises and today the federal government said that national reform is needed to better ensure that tribes have a voice on infrastructure projects like this pipeline."
Craig Stevens, spokesman for the industry-friendly Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) said the group was disappointed with Friday's decision.
"Had the decision been different, it most certainly would have had a chilling effect on domestic infrastructure development and the U.S. economy as no sane American company would dare invest the time and resources necessary for proper consultations and approvals only to have its project shuttered halfway through," Stevens wrote.
Not everyone who opposes the pipeline is optimistic. Robin Martinez, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild in Kansas City, told DeSmog he has mixed feelings about the implications of the joint statement.
On one hand, he said that it "not only appears to open review of the Dakota Access permits, but the underlying decision-making process when it comes to pipelines" and that "it presents an opportunity to help shape the direction of the pipeline permitting process and actually take a hard look at the environmental impacts as required under the National Environmental Policy Act."
Martinez was doubtful, though, that Dakota Access would stop bulldozing contested private land.
"Hopefully they'll do the right thing and stand down, but given what appears to be their deliberate destruction of Native American historic sites last weekend, I wouldn't count on it," he said.
Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, had this to say in response to Friday announcements:
"North Dakota's Governor Dalrymple and President Obama could defuse and demilitarize this, while the peaceful gathering to protect the water continues. We ask for a moral high ground, by elected officials while we continue to support the Standing Rock tribe and Lakota people to seek justice. There should be no further destruction or construction. We are asking Enbridge and Energy Partners to stop construction and respect our people."
Demonstrations to Continue
Conflict over the pipeline reached a wider national audience last weekend after video surfaced showing pipeline security workers using attack dogs and pepper spray on demonstrators.
Support and protesters have continued to flow into the Sacred Stone camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Currently there are more than 100 Native American Tribes represented at the camp.
North Dakota authorities announced a mobilization of law enforcement at the protest site and National Guard members were dispatched to work security at traffic checkpoints. As of early Friday evening, no incidents had been reported at the camps, in the pipeline construction zone, or in the dozen cities around the country where protests against DAPL are taking place.
On Friday afternoon, more than six dozen youth led a run for peace to the North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck, calling attention to their petition to stop DAPL. It was the fourth run for this youth group, who recently ran from North Dakota to Washington, DC to deliver 252,000 petition signatures.
In Des Moines, Iowa, a nonviolent civil disobedience event is scheduled for Saturday to protest the use of eminent domain to seize land for DAPL construction in that state.
On Tuesday, thousands of people will rally during the #NoDAPL Day of Action in Washington, DC and dozens of cities across the country to demand that President Obama stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sen. Bernie Sanders will speak alongside Tara Houska and other tribal leaders at the DC event.
"This struggle to protect the land and water, goes hand-in-hand with the struggle to defend our Rights as Indigenous Peoples," said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "We ask our relatives and allies to join us in solidarity to defeat the Dakota Access pipeline."
By Andy Rowell
The contrast could not have been greater. Over the weekend, speaking on the eve of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, history was made as President Obama and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases would formally ratify the Paris agreement on climate change.
"We have a saying in America that you have to put your money where your mouth is," said Obama at the news conference, watched by the world's press.
One way to do that is to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure in order to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
And to stop it now. As Obama has been at the G20 summit, over the weekend construction work continued on the proposed route of the North Dakota Access pipeline, which, if built, will transport 570,000 barrels of fracked crude a day across the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.
For months First Nations, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, have been trying to stop the building of the pipeline, as it crosses the Missouri river twice, which is the tribe's man source of drinking water, as well as more than 200 smaller rivers and creeks.
Over the last few weeks, as preliminary construction has begun on the route, tensions have risen immeasurably. The Standing Rock protest site, now home to several thousand protesters, is fast becoming an international symbol of grassroots rebellion against the fossil fuel industry.
This is becoming one of the defining moments in recent history of anti-oil protests. And how the American oil industry and its contractors react is being closely watched from around the world too.
On Saturday, as protesters were marching near the proposed route they saw diggers at work.
"We were walking up to the flags on the highway to sing and pray, then we found out they were starting to build again," said Ursula Young Bear, Oglala Lakota, from Porcupine, South Dakota.
What happened next is shocking as private security firms started using dogs to intimidate the anti-pipeline activists, including women and children. Several people were then attacked and bitten by the dogs being controlled by around eight private security personnel. The protestors were also attacked with pepper spray.
In response the First Nations shouted: "We're Not Leaving."
One activist who took photos of the attacks was Tomas Alejo. He recalls "Today private security contractors hired by the oil companies attacked the water defenders with strike dogs and pepper spray as they attempted to halt construction on sacred land."
Footage from Democracy Now on Saturday, showed people crying from the effects of the spray, with pipeline security personnel pathetically attempting to deny using the spray. An estimated 30 people suffered temporary blindness.
The disturbing footage shows the security personnel letting go of their dogs, who then attack protesters, some of whom had bite marks from the dogs. Eventually the dogs were removed from the protest.
When asked by Amy Goodman, the presenter, why the struggle was important, the simple response from one protester, who had been maced twice and bitten said, "Because water is life … I wish they would open their eyes and have a heart."
The violence by the contractors is deeply worrying on many levels.
Firstly, it is state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters. The police stood idly by and did nothing.
"The cops watched the whole thing from up on the hills," said Marcus Frejo, Pawnee and Seminole, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "It felt like they were trying to provoke us into being violent when we're peaceful."
This is also sliding back into its America's repressive past, something that you would think would appall President Obama.
As the New York Daily News reported recently about the height of the civil rights protests:
In May 1963, the "nation bore witness" as police in Birmingham, Alabama, aimed high-powered hoses and "snarling dogs on black men, women and even children who wanted just one thing—to be treated the same as white Americans."
The paper said these days "tore at America's conscience."
Indeed, as Sarah Manning, a reporter and First Nations activist tweeted over the weekend:
The scenes on Saturday should tear at America's conscience too.