Many notable celebrities and political voices have taken part in speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline which is being illegally constructed through tribal lands and threaten vital water sources downstream.
One such voice to join the fight has been Ring of Fire’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr., activist and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Kennedy joined the Standing Rock protest on the national day of solidarity Tuesday, bringing attention to the way that the federal and local government are actively assisting a criminal corporation in the raping of tribal lands.
Kennedy spent time with tribal leaders and represented the Waterkeeper Alliance where he was featured in a video standing before one of many road blockades created by police to deter and intimidate water protectors.
“The pipeline is being constructed here – the pipeline is being constructed illegally. . . they’re breaking federal laws. The people who are trying to stop them are actually demanding compliance with the law. So you have an outlaw company that is violating federal law, and instead of deploying the state action to stop the lawbreaker, the state is deploying this massive military body to stop people who are peacefully protesting, asking for law and order.”
Kennedy’s comments truly frame this entire issue – the water protectors are merely asking that the federal and local governments reinforce existing laws and treaties that the federal government made long ago. Instead, the state is providing force and protection to an out-of-state corporation, inflicting violence on peaceful protesters.
With an incoming Trump presidency, it becomes more urgent than ever that President Obama put a permanent halt to the development of this pipeline. Voices like Kennedy’s are vital in bringing about this outcome before it is too late.