Dakota Pipeline Could Now Be Rerouted, Major Victory for local Natives!

Victory for Indigenous People

News has come out that he much maligned Dakota Access Pipeline may be rerouted. According to a CNN report, the Army Core of Engineers announced “it will look for an alternate route.” While this marks a major victory for the protesters at Standing Rock, there is still no guarantee that the issue is resolved.

Standing Rock solidarity march protesting the Dakota Pipeline in San Francisco, November 2016 - Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen
Standing Rock solidarity march protesting the Dakota Pipeline in San Francisco, November 2016 – Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Stories about the pipeline have been all over the news and blogosphere for months now.

Stories describing clashes between protesters and security personnel are easily located via Google search. While many people have sided with the protesters, I think it is important to remember that mistakes and have been made by both sides. Most would agree a different route could be found to resolve this issue. I also understand that the protesters are there to help make change happen. The problem is while the vast majority of protesters are doing things the right way, some are resorting to violence.

Often I have seen the words “Peaceful Protest” accompanied with a video showing protesters breaking down fencing and throwing rocks at security. I have also seen the videos of security using guard dogs and mace to defend themselves. One side of this fight is surely going to disagree with me regardless of my opinion. I hope that these surges in violence have taught us something.

Violence is not the answer.

Eventually this will turn into an argument about intent. Why did the violence occur anyway? How could one side decide that destroying property was the answer? Why did the other side use dogs on the other? At this point, you can insert any number of reasons. I would rather call them excuses.

Progress has been made. This is a good thing. To be passionate about a cause is fine. Resorting to violence, however, is an act of desperation. For the natives, there are indeed desperate times.

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