By Mallory Spencer
When I first learned about the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock I felt motivated to help in any way possible- donating to the legal and supply funds, sharing articles and videos to raise awareness about the issue, and staying as up to date and informed as possible. The Water Protectors engaged in nonviolent protest on the sacred land of the Sioux Nation, Dakota and Lakota Tribes. Encampments were set up, prayers were shared, sage was burned, a community was formed. The issue gained national attention and people from all over the world supported the Water Protectors in their courageous endeavor. The Protectors wanted to defend their rights to clean air, clean water, and private property, putting themselves at risk to defend the drinking water for millions of people who depend on the Missouri River, and the rest of the country who are slowly watching their rights be taken away. People at the camps were met with brutalization from militarized police forces for exercising their right to freedom of speech, assembly, and association.
Then, in November 2016, I learned that the same company responsible for the DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners, was putting a pipeline right through my own community using its association with Sunoco Logistics.
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