WANBLEE, S.D.—Some 75 Oglala Lakota activists blockaded trucks carrying Keystone XL Pipeline material from going through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on March 5. The pipeline, which the Obama administration announced in November that it was putting on hold, would carry oil from the Alberta, Canada, tar sands all the way to Houston, Texas.
The standoff lasted more than six hours and ended with five Lakota being arrested. Protesters who were blocking the road held signs that said “Honor the Treaties” and “Stop the Pipeline.”
This all comes with the backdrop of the Obama administration being forced to stop the pipeline late last year because of continued protest. However, Obama merely asked for TransCanada, the corporation pushing the pipeline, to reapply for the permit. It seems that TransCanada will continue to push the pipeline until it is approved.
TransCanada has no respect for the law or tribal sovereignty. The only way to officially stop the project is through a mass movement that opposes it. Actions such as the one at Pine Ridge shows that there are those who are interested in continuing this fight.
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