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Melendez, Destiny

Mr. Wisner

World History

M/W 4th period


Power Imbalance at the Pipeline Protest

Link to Article

Key Vocabulary from the Article

Tactics - the art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of
organizing operations, especially during contact with an enemy.
Frigid - very cold in temperature.
Barricade - block or defend with an improvised barrier.
Impassable - impossible to travel along or over.
Peril - expose to danger; threaten.

Summary of the Event

Law enforcements have taken their tactics against unarmed Native
American and allies protesters, to the next level. Reports have claimed
that these law enforcements have drenched protesters with water
cannons, at night when the temperatures were in the 20s (fahrenheit).
And according to some protesters and news accounts, these law
enforcements also fired rubber bullets, tear gasses, pepper spray, and
percussion grenades. This resulted in 160 people injured, including
one of the protester, who might lose her arm because of these attacks.
These protests are against a pipeline that the government wants to
build inside the Missouri River, which is meant to ship crude oil from
North Dakota. This pipeline, however, is meant to be built on private
property, which belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux tribes. Tribes fear
that the installation of this pipeline will result in the contamination of
their drinking water, along with damaging their sacred sites. They are
currently trying to persuade the federal government to deny permits
for this pipeline for the sake of their reservation.
An imbalance of power can be demonstrated from this whole
situation, in which law enforcements defend property rights against
peaceful protesters claims of environmental protection, along with
the rights of Native Americans. The pipeline company is currently
insisting for a federal judge to give it their right to proceed with their
plan while the Army Corps of Engineers have called for more study
and input from the tribe before it decides if whether or not to permit
this pipeline installation. For the meantime, President Obama could
step in, in order to protect everyones safety.

Your Opinion of the Event

Installing another oil pipeline within our waters is a pretty dense idea, if
youd ask me, especially when weve has so many pipelines leak and gallons
of oil and gas spill into our waters in the past. Indigenous people have every
right to protest, since they actually seem more concerned than most
government officials, not only for our environment, but for the people who
depend on the Missouri River as their only source of water. If this pipeline
were to leak or break, it could cause many severe damages to both the
people and our environment. Also the fact that law enforcement officials are
evidently abusing their power against peaceful protesters, leaving some
severely injured, just shows how unfair this entire situation is. I just looked
up the definition of law enforcements and theyre supposed punish people
who violate the norms of society, but the thing is, the protesters werent
violating any norms, they were simply just exercising their first amendment
right to protest.

Relate your Event to a Historical Event

This huge protest can be related to the Native American Power movement,
which took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. For 19 months, Native
American activists occupied the San Fransisco Bay Island in order to draw
attention from the government about their harsh living conditions. These two
events can be related because in both cases, Indigenous people are trying to
get the government to hear them out and to not brush them off. In both of
these events, they are standing together to make their voice heard against the
injustices that took and are taking place. However the Native American
Power Movement seemed to have been a success while the NoDAPL protest
doesnt seem to be going too well.

Relate your Event to the a Theme

This event can be related to two themes; it can be related to either Cultural
Interaction or Political structures. For Cultural Interaction, this even can
either fall under belief systems or science and technology, since the area
does have spiritual meaning to the tribes of there and it does have to do with
environmental issues, is a category in the science field. As for Political
Structures, it can fall under conflict, since this event is a conflict between the
Indigenous people and law enforcements. I was going to say a revolt, but a
revolt is supposed to be violent, and so far the only violence that we have
seen is from the law enforcements, so that doesnt really fit.

Questions You Have About the Event

Isnt there a better and safer way for oil to be transported?
If the drinking water for many is at high risk if the pipeline were to
break or leak, then why doesnt the government nullify this idea?
If the pipeline does get installed, then what will happen to the Native
American reservation?
If President Obama can intervene and protect so many lives, then why
hasnt he?