The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint- Everyone should be fighting against Dakota pipeline

By Jamil oakford/ editor-in-chief

While receiving little coverage over television news, celebrities like Shailene Woodley and Mark Ruffalo have been doing their best to draw people’s attention to a fight over a strip of land in North Dakota.

A state that doesn’t get much of a national spotlight is home to less than one million people and at least five federally recognized North American tribes.

The Standing Rock Sioux, referred to among other Native Americans as Lakotans, are one of these tribes, and they are currently fighting an energy company threatening to desecrate burial grounds and sacred lands with a pipeline.

For several weeks, people have gathered at Standing Rock to protest the energy pipeline.

The story, which has been muted by this circus sideshow of an election, began to slightly surface when Divergent actress Shailene Woodley was arrested for trespassing. Many arrests have been made since.

It seems a travesty that a group of people who’ve been persecuted since the colonization of “The New World” and are standing up for the preservation of culture and important lands are given very little thought or support.

They’re unarmed and conducting a civil disobedience-style protest.

It’s even more stark when comparing it to the recent news that members of the Bundy family who were holding a wildlife refuge in Oregon armed to the hilt were acquitted.

While it may be difficult for people to relate to the cultural struggle of holding on to a tradition that’s constantly challenged, there is a far more reaching reason to support those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A gas pipeline exploded in Alabama Oct. 31. The black plume of smoke burned for hours, and the environmental repercussions of this explosion haven’t yet been fully realized.

But chemicals in fossil fuels have been known to permanently contaminate drinking water and hinder thriving ecosystems.

If not moved by the Standing Rock tribes’ need to preserve their burial grounds or Ruffalo and Woodley’s activism, then be moved by saving what nature we have left.

Ecosystems are important. Clean and uncontaminated drinking water is vital to human survival. And to think this fight has nothing to do with the bigger picture is misguided and dangerous.

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