Progressive Congress Stands with Native Nations March on Washington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2017
Washington, D.C .— On March 10, thousands of Standing Rock water protectors, members of Native Nations and their allies will participate in the Native Nations March on Washington, D.C. Progressive Congress issued the following statement in solidarity:
“We stand with the courageous water protectors marching in Washington, D.C. We stand with Standing Rock and with Indigenous communities across the country who are facing, yet again, a challenge to their sovereign rights and who yet again are fighting for equal treatment and consideration in protecting the health of their communities. Throughout the process of approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the project’s owners, Energy Transfer Partners, have refused to listen to the concerns and needs of impacted Indigenous families.
Our country has a long and difficult history of silencing the voices of Indigenous communities. The movement at Standing Rock represents a pivotal, defining moment for our nation’s future. Standing Rock has united tribes across the country in a way not seen for over a century. Now, our nation has an opportunity to right historic wrongs and enter a new chapter.
The situation is critical. The Dakota Access Pipeline will destroy sovereign tribal land, including pristine sacred sites, and put families’ lives at risk in the name of profit. In 2016 alone, Energy Transfer Partners saw a staggering amount of oil spills from existing pipelines. DAPL is just as likely to cause similar disasters. The courageous water protectors at Standing Rock called on the federal government to intervene to protect their right to clean water and land. Unfortunately, the Army Corps of Engineers has reversed their prior decision and allowed the pipeline project to continue through sovereign land, putting the Standing Rock community in harm’s way.
This is not only a matter of environmental justice; this is a matter of racial justice. The right to live with clean air, uncontaminated land, and un-poisoned water does not belong only to the privileged few. Energy Transfer Partners decided to respect the concerns of residents of the majority-white city of Bismarck, ND and agree to reroute the pipeline. There is no reason they cannot do the same for Standing Rock.”