Target: United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Chief Judge Ralph R. Erickson
Goal: Denounce the decision to ban Native American protesters from blocking construction of a massive oil pipeline on their land.
Native Americans have been barred from effectively protesting the construction of an oil pipeline as large as the formerly proposed Keystone XL through their sacred land. A North Dakota federal court has ordered them to stop physically blocking construction despite the fact that these protests have been entirely peaceful.
People have every right to protest construction projects, especially those that threaten their health and well being. In the case of the Bakken pipeline, it not only poses a risk from oil leaks and other forms of pollution, but it allegedly violates Native American treaties by running through sacred tribal sites and major sources of drinking water and irrigation as well as wildlife areas.
The developer of the pipeline, Dakota Access, has claimed that the pipeline will be safe. This is very difficult to believe seeing as similar pipelines have been springing devastating leaks all over the country, resulting in serious harm to local ecosystems and contamination of nearby water sources. There is no way to guarantee that the same will not happen with the Bakken pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is all that’s standing in the way of yet another oil pipeline that threatens both their land and the entire planet. The continued extraction of crude oil made possible by these pipelines will put us above the threshold toward catastrophic climate change if something is not done to stop it. Sign our petition to demand that this tribe is allowed to continue blocking this possibly illegal pipeline construction.
Dear Chief Judge Erickson,
The decision to bar the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from being able to block construction of the Bakken oil pipeline is unacceptable. People in this nation have every right to protest against things that threaten their health and safety. At the same time, this pipeline may well be illegal as it goes through sacred Native American sites and their land, which is protected by federal treaties.
Construction of the Bakken pipeline should not be allowed to continue until it can be determined that it is entirely legal and is not a threat to the way of life of our protected Native American tribes. We have caused enough damage to these peoples, and they have every right to be concerned about oil leaks due to the fact that oil pipelines leak all the time. We demand that the ban on their protests be lifted and that the Bakken pipeline construction be stopped entirely until this issue can be properly resolved.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kai Lehmann