Friday, September 23, 2016

Another secret news event—Dakota Access Pipeline protest

By SJ Otto
Day after day I see posting about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. And yet night after night, the evening and morning TV news are silent. I’ve seen a little bit about this in the local newspaper, Such as The Wichita Eagle, “The Latest: Pipeline developer declines comment on work halt,” The Associated Press.  But if it weren’t for the social media outlets this issue would be invisible.
Just as with the Maoist war going on in India, our major US news media outlets have made it almost a secret. For whatever reason this protest has been treated as a non-news event—getting scant coverage if any coverage at all.
There seems to be two basic issues at work here. First there is the environmental angle. This pipeline might leak and spill oil in people’s drinking water. The second issue is that protesters have argued that the pipeline construction will disturb sacred lands and burial grounds. The land in question is close to lands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Another important issue is that protesters have gathered at that site for the last few weeks and people from around the country have come to support the tribe and their struggle to keep their land free of intrusion by big oil companies. This country has spent 250 years treating the Native American Indian’s culture as a mere inconvenience to economic development. After all that time our government and its leaders still can’t treat those people with the respect due to them.
There has been some coverage from the less-mainstream news-media, such as The Huffington Post, “The Dakota Access Pipeline Is An Example Of A Much Bigger Problem,” by
Joseph Erbentraut. And there is Pacific Standard, “The Native American Protests in North Dakota Are About More Than an Oil Pipeline, Do the last few weeks mark a turning point for environmental activism?,” By Jared Keller. Both articles have taken an in depth look at the pipeline protest and the issues around them.
Then there is always the right-wing garbage that tries to demean the protests such as Standing Rock Fact Checker, “Checking the facts once again,” which simply list so called “facts” that try and make the protesters look like liars and losers.

So as the time goes on we will try to present an unbiased account of the protest, the protesters and the pipeline issues. This site will treat Native American Indians and their protest supporters with the respect they deserve.  We will not allow the silence of the mainstream press to win out.

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