Yesterday I noted that Dakota Access Pipeline protests had called for “emergency actions all over the world” in response to the announcement that the Army had reversed its decision and would grant approval of the pipeline. “PLEASE, THIS IS OUR LAST STAND,” the protesters wrote. Today, the final easement needed to restart construction was granted and another protest website listed 63 protest events scheduled for today. However the scale of these events seem to be pretty underwhelming thus far.
For example, in Chicago, four people were arrested for trespassing inside a Citibank after they refused to leave the premises. There was a rain-soaked protest in Seattle which brought out a couple dozen folks:
Defund Dakota Access Pipeline yell demonstrators urging customers to take money out of banks lending to the project. pic.twitter.com/AXcvlbXIon
— Lynda V. Mapes (@LyndaVMapes) February 8, 2017
Similarly, the San Francisco Examiner reports “dozens” gathered and 13 people were arrested after blocking the entrance to a federal building. Ruptly published some video of the protest which seems pretty low energy as these things go:
There was more energy in Washington, D.C. where, according to the Huffington Post, 200 protesters gathered outside the White House:
As the sun set on a balmy winter day in Washington, D.C., an emotional Aimee Hickman, of Baltimore, stood with her daughter Sylvia atop her shoulders. She said she was saddened to hear President Donald Trump talk Tuesday about how the pipeline companies had been treated unfairly. By doing so, she said, Trump proved he has an “abysmal understanding of history” and Native rights.
“As much as this is an ecological crisis, it is a moral failing of our society,” Hickman told The Huffington Post. “I feel like this really is a last stand for our environment, and its a last stand for our country to start to recognize what it did to indigenous peoples.”
Video shows one of the protesters calling the decision “cultural genocide.” Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus labels the people in the White House “domestic enemies.”
Like the protest camp in North Dakota, these protests seem to have been reduced to only the die hard crowd. That could change of course. If the Standing Rock Sioux win a court victory blocking final construction, that would bring a surge of new energy. But, for now, a lot of the energy has gone out of it. Many of the people who were excited about this a few months ago seem to have moved on.