Standing Rock Wins Battle in War Over the Dakota Access Pipeline; Humboldt Resident There to Witness

Standing Rock art By Michela Hernandez

A celebratory decoration [All photos taken yesterday by Michela Hernandez]

Yesterday, the federal government announced they would not sign the easement which would allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to run underneath the Missouri River just a half mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and through area that the tribe said was sacred. The tribe and their supporters had gathered for months in prayer and protest. They called themselves Water Protectors. Many in our area including members of the Yurock and Hupa Tribes joined the Sioux’s stand against the pipeline.

Standing Rock camp By Michela Hernandez

The camp at Standing Rock.

After seeing the Water Protectors face water canons and flash grenades from law enforcement during the last month, over the weekend approximately 2000 US military veterans began joining those who had gathered-many of the vets were under the direction of Wesley Clark Jr., the son of a retired general Wesley Clark. The vets, Clark said, would be a “peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.”

Standing Rockwater protectors By Michela Hernandez

Water Protectors watching veterans pull into camp Oceti Sakowin along Flag Road.

Yesterday, the Army Corp of Engineers announced they would look for an alternative route for the pipeline. This could postpone the project for months or even years as an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) takes time. The people gathered at Standing Rock celebrated this announcement with cheers and drum circles.

Standing Rock protestBy Michela HernandezAs the sun set last night, some of the Water Protectors questioned how lasting the agreement would be. President-Elect Donald Trump supports completing the pipeline.

Standing Rock sunset By Michela Hernandez

Folks coming and going at the end of Sunday.

Michela Hernandez, a resident of Southern Humboldt who joined the Water Protectors and took these images yesterday, reports,

As the sun set over Oceti Sakowin camp [yesterday] celebrations were beginning. The prayers, drums, and voices of the water protectors sharing their gratitude for [Sunday]’s denial of the easement through the reservation’s land was powerful and has continued into the night. [Today] is when the true effects of the relocation of the Black Snake [the pipeline] will begin to surface. While this is a victory for the Lakota and those downstream from the Cannonball River now, the battle is far from over. DAPL still intends to drill, the matter is where. Some reports are already saying that the Oahe Lake to the South will be their next target. Some believe this to be a ploy to console the masses and to try to redirect the attention so they may begin to drill, regardless of having a permit. DAPL has already expressed that the consequences of continuing without a permit were inconsequential to the profits.

Regardless, the water protector’s peaceful, prayerful, ceremonious methods have been noticed. A camp wide prayer circle [yesterday] afternoon welcomed in the good news of DAPL’s permit denial. The people have gathered, they have prayed, they have sang and the world has started to listen. Now we wait to see how this will [a]ffect the Standing Rock Reservation in the long run and those downstream. A relocation of the Black Snake is not a solution but it’s a start.Standing Rock sign By Michela Hernandez

  • Laytonville Rock


  • As much as I hate to say it, this is most likely a ploy to get the protest to end. When everybody is snuggled back nicely in their homes and believing they have a victory, the machines will fire back up and construction will continue.

    • They’ve said that many (most?) are not going home for at least two months. Please don’t confuse them as stupid.

    • Tonight, Monday Dec 5, standing rock Sioux tribal chairman Archambault calmly thanks everyone and asks them to go home now. Its posted on you tube as “chairman update” posted by Portugal anonymous internacional
      Archambault says dapl has too much to lose to violate the easement and that dapl is motivated to instigate violence or vandalism in water protectors so its best they go home. He’s very sweet about it, but very clear, thank you for coming, have a safe trip home. We’ll call you if we need you.

  • Right on! Vets!

  • Wes Clark Sr. should run against Trump in 2020. He knows how to get people to work together in order to get things done. He needs to work on his Bullshiting powers though. “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!”

  • That’s so awesome, months of protesting worked.. I wonder where they will put the easement now. Black gold is to profitable for them to just not go through with it, they’ll just pick another spot

  • I’m not an expert, but my guess is that if oil is not in a pipeline then it is shipped via other methods, think boats, trucks, trains. All of those use additional fossil fuels and I believe are more prone to catastrophic spills. The net result could be more widespread environmental damage and a higher end price to consumers. I support peaceful protests but wonder if this is more of an emotional or symbolic victory than a real solution to environmental challenges and energy demands.

    • They will finish the pipeline. They will simply have to run it through places no one lives and is hopefully less sensitive.
      This is their home, and they fought to keep it so. It is a small victory, but it is a victory over big money. Nature is under fire from the coming administration like never before. There will be more protests. It is our right, and our duty.

    • It is a real concern to the people that live there I’m sure. Toxic oil is a real problem if and when it contaminates precious water!

  • See that picture of everyone coming and going? In cars? Using oil? That’s why I think these people are full of shit. If you don’t like oil companies, don’t use oil.

    • What BS. If we had alternatives, that would be an issue. Additionally, it isn’t using oil, its how you transport and use it. the oil and auto industry have worked to suppress alternatives.

      It’s Yurok, not Yurock…

    • How do u know none of the cars seen use alternatives like a prius or adapted bio-disel fuel car? Just cause u see a car doesnt mean it uses oil. Did you know, NASCAR uses bio-disel? Your comment might be a lil bias & uniformed, sorry love.

    • This is what is available to most of us right now, this is part of the change. working together to find better solutions….oil is not working out so well. How many environmental catastrophes do we need before we all say no more???

    • Don’t confuse them with reality.

  • Poster formerly known as Matt

    It’s possible to use oil and still be concerned about spills in a major river.

  • Fantastic news! There is hope. Thank you Vets, Army Corps of Engineers, General Wesley Clark, President Obama, and all the protesters!

  • Thank you Kym, for the story, and Michela for the photos. Fabulous turn of events, and certainly reason to celebrate! Hooray for the Water Protectors! Water IS life…

  • Hick from the sticks

    This is a small victory but the governor, the pipeline security criminals (who are not even police but had AR15’s) and the police who comitted crimes such as assault, false imprisonment, etc should be charged and sued. Civil rights seem to be forgotten here. The US treats immigrants better than its first inhabitants. Kudos to all who protected the water with nonviolence including the indigenous, and the vets (some are both) I can’t say I would’ve been able to find the strength to keep from retaliating against the violence of the oil thugs.

  • It is wonderful to see so many people gathered to support the Natives against the DAPL. But this is about more than the black snake. The pipeline brought this issue to the surface due to environmental impact, otherwise unfortunately, no one else would have given 2shts. Sorry, but lets be real. Everyone should stay vigilant against the pipeline going through what is left of the reservation, but also stand up for Native rights, because this isnt just a temporary problem. Its been happening for decades. Good to contribute, show up, but even better to really push to make a lasting difference for Native people so this sht doesnt happen again. Go on ahead with that pipeline through the town it was originally going through. Hopefully everyone who comes away from ND now has a good idea what life on the rez is really like.

  • I don’t know the history of this conflict and I can’t understand why these types of opposition tactics get so far behind the curve. Were these Indians just sitting around one day and looked up to see bulldozers coming? Didn’t they know this pipeline was going to be run through their territory long before the machinery showed up? Is their leadership so powerless, ignorant or corrupt that issues pertaining to the project could not be addressed in the planning stages? I fully understand the concerns here and support the efforts to protect rights and the environment. This smacks of total government overstep, or the tribes being sold out by their own representatives, both of which have happened many times in the past. Can anyone enlighten me?

  • Kudos to the Victory at Standing Rock. My grandfather’s Tribe in North Dakota. I am sure he is looking down from Heaven and smiling because the Pipeline has and hopefully will always be defeated against these Evil Money Hungry People who don’t give a Shi.. about other people’s lives and we’ll being. Sure wish I could have made it out there myself but I couldn’t due to Heart Problems. THANK YOU ALL FOR THE VICTORY. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS.

  • Oil companies will probably offer to build them a fancy new casino, and somehow get their way. They usually do.

  • The Already permitted Crossing is not even on the reservation so they say they’re going to look into alternative sites down the river so that means they will have to run the pipe line down the river bank one way Cross and then back up the riverbank on the other side exposing the river for several more miles to a possible oil spill for possibly miles how does that make any sense you stupid liberals think that the Crossing is not going to happen you are mistaken Viva Donald Trump

  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    With all the disinformation on the internet, it is important to use discernment when reaching conclusions about the process of gaining the rights to route any pipeline.

    Pro big oil folks have pushed the idea that the tribes ignored meetings where the pipeline route was discussed. Other media groups say no, the tribes were not notified in a timely manner nor given essential documents.

    Water protectors have stressed the desecration of sacred sites and the media has said no that has not happened.

    The is much concern regarding non Indians and the use of imminent domain proceedings which took productive ranch and farm land from small enterprises while large corporate ranches and farms as well as predominantly non Indian communities were given assurances that this particular pipeline would not impinge upon them.

    Oil workers laid off in the not too distant past are being goaded into thinking that the Indians are at fault for their loss of employment.

    I do not trust Obama on this, nor Trump. Rueters had an excellent article on his Indian Concerns task group. Which is made up of predominantly wealthy Indians.

    The article stated that Trump urged a privatization of treaty allotment lands ie. reservations that were rich in resources, thus avoiding laws put in place to protect sovereign nations and their resources.

    A few years back in Nevada a dump for radioactive materials was planned and who knows what is still up with that?

    Down stream folks may see a huge financial incentive to let new pipelines come through their communities and see little real profit.

    How many leaks are there on existing aging pipeline infrastructure?

    The main issue I think the government has with any protests or movements is that now with social media via the internet real time reporting happens on the actions of both the protestors/protectors and the law enforcement agencies and private corporate security guards. The use of non violent direct action is a scary thing for the government.

    They like the upper hand of declaring violence by protestors/protectors to validate the use of heavy handed tactics.

    On the drive home from work tonight CNN was declaring that the Standing Rock camps were being urged to disband over the “victory”.

    Time will tell over the next three months what will happen there and in other parts of the country.

    By the way there have been many folks from the northern part of this state providing support financially, in prayers, and in being there in the flesh over the last nine months.

    There is still thousands of dollars needed for those arrested and a continuation of prayers for successful resolution of all the charges put against elders, adults, and youth.

  • Awesome news, glad my 30 plus years of paying taxes for standing rock people to have land and housing and food and water will not be violated by an oil line. May they go home to their couches while I am hard at work.

  • One of the reports said the pipeline was slated for 90 feet under the river. Gravity drips downwards, not up. How this will affect the water still baffles me. Meanwhile, roads, trains, boats spill everywhere. Cleanup is timely, costly, & can be detrimental to all life.
    Imo, This is one of those he said she said battles that runs off emotions more than common sense.
    If the pipeline were through the water, or only 10 foot below the river, & without the added security steps (double walled, sensors,) I could understand the panic. Instead, I am in a panic over the potential spills on our roads, bays, & tracks.
    Color me confused.

    • Oil floats on water.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Oil floats because it’s molecules are denser that water, but once underground there is what’s called “capillary action” where one fluid can move in any direction just because it’s in direct contact with it and adhesion like a meniscus on glass. Here’s an easy home experiment: Take a dry sponge. Put it on a puddle of water on your counter. See the water move UP as the sponge absorbs it? Dirt and fluids with smaller molecules work similarly. Ergo, a spill can continue its travel for years UPward to a water source, diagonally, or laterally and contaminate goundwater or aquifers. Or rivers.

  • Doesn’t oil come from the ground? But we are afraid a pipeline might leak oil into the ground? How profound

  • Watch out for the Donald! Your real estate, or his? They may complete the pipeline, but it will obviously have to go somewhere else. Well done SR activists!

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