Let's talk about one of the biggest stories in the news lately: the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline is a gigantic project, designed to carry 500,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota.
The project -which is funded by America's colossal banks, including Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase - has drawn criticism for ignoring environmental regulations and for destroying Native American land.
The pipeline has been unfolding disastrously; after skipping required environmental tests, the construction crews barreled through sacred Standing Rock Sioux land, digging up burial sites, and refusing to let people in to recover the bones.
People across the nation, including over 100 Native American tribes and environmentalists like The Sierra Club, have been protesting the pipeline for several months. Back in September, the protests made the news for rampant brutality. Security forces at the site used pepper spray on protesters, then released attack dogs on them.
Then, journalist Amy Goodman was arrested just for reporting on the protests! This was part of a big push by the banking corporations to keep this story out of the news. They charged Goodman with criminal trespassing, then rioting, but could not get either charge to stick.
Then again just this month, Shailene Woodley, the young actress who rose to fame through "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Divergent", was arrested at a protest and charged with criminal trespassing.
What does it mean for us? As we were shocked to see in the 2010 documentary "Gasland", oil companies have done some serious damage to our country. We watched American citizens light their tap water on fire, straight out of the sink. Thanks to harmful oil extraction processes, water crises have been rocking the U.S. These protests show the growing concern about the harm this pipeline could cause.
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