Despite the good news which came from the Army Corp of Engineers that the final permit had been denied on the Dakota Access Pipeline’s current path, many water protectors say that they aren’t going anywhere just yet.
Amid celebration over the decisive victory came the sobering reality that this may not yet be over. Just because officials denied the permit to the corporation, having millions of dollars invested – with rich investors breathing down ones neck – means that the corporation will not give up so easily.
In response to the threat of a defiant corporation ignoring the decision of the government, many water protectors have pledged not to leave the sacred grounds of Standing Rock until every last Oil Police member, construction crew, and corporate crony leave the land as well.
After having been lied to repeatedly, and after being physically attacked for exercising their constitutional rights, there is no real reason to believe officials when they say it is all over.
Instead, the water protectors plan to stay in their winterized tents inside the camp, hunkering down until they can be sure that their hard-fought victory has truly been won.
From Jezebel, Richard Bluecloud Castaneda, 46, had this to say about the news:
“We don’t trust anything they say. Once the media and the vets leave, they’ll start acting out.”
Casteneda has a point, after all the Army Corp only made their announcement as the NoDAPL protest swelled to its largest numbers yet, crawling with media and emboldened by thousands of U.S. veterans intent on protecting the protest.
Many echo Castaneda’s feelings, saying that they won’t leave until every piece of construction equipment is hauled from the Standing Rock reservation.
Though even with this denial of easement, there is still a chance that President Trump could come into office and resume the pipeline immediately. One roadblock to that was the corporation’s failure to obtain a proper environmental survey for the project. Their failure to do so means that there is much more red tape around this pipeline than previously believed.
And even though the Dakota Access Pipeline won’t be charging through Standing Rock Sioux lands, that does not mean that those who oppose the pipeline in any circumstance will be pleased to see it rerouted. We can only triumph if the pipeline is ended entirely – so that not a drop of oil flows through its expensive piping.
On Sunday, NoDAPL won the battle – now it’s time to win the war.