Minot, ND – A group of water protectors interrupted the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting which was taking place at the Holiday Inn Riverside on September 21st. The meeting was a who’s-who of the Bakken shale fracking boom, the producers of the oil that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is being built to move. Featured speakers at the conference included both the current Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor.
A group of women from the Oglala Lakota nation along with other water protectors ran through the convention hall to storm the stage to speak out against DAPL, interrupting a speech by Lynn Helms, the director of the Department of Mineral Resources.
“I come to you in a humble way. We are elders of the Oglala Lakota nation. We’re mothers, we’re grandmothers. We have generations coming down through us. It’s our duty to protect our waters, our land, and all you guys are sitting here making decisions while we are out there suffering. We are suffering, our children are suffering, with all these different things that you guys are putting into our water and our land, our food…everything you guys do is effecting us – not just us, the Lakota people, but all of you guys- all the farms, all the animals, all the cows, everything is being affected. What you guys are doing right here is still continuing genocide.” – A Lakota woman after interrupting the Director of Mineral Resources’ speech
The protectors eventually left the building after several Minot Police officers arrived and threatened them with arrest. Around 450 oil industry leaders were present for the annual meeting, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
Watch our video of the event:
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) September 22, 2016
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To see Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the Sacred Stone Camp and frontline anti-pipeline struggle, see below.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- Indigenous Water Protectors Swarm Dakota Access Pipeline Site, Stop Work
- Ongoing #NoDAPL Water Protection Actions – Interview With Uŋpa Nuŋpa
- North Dakota Highway Patrol Refuses to Release Emails with Energy Transfer Partners
- ND National Guard Take Over Dakota Access Pipeline Checkpoints
- US Govt. Overrules Federal Judge, Orders Pipeline Construction Halted at Lake Oahe
- Cultural Activities Continue at #NoDAPL Camps, More Arrests/Warrants
- 20 Arrested During #NoDAPL Lockdown, Including 2 Unicorn Riot Journalists
- Direct Actions Continue Against Dakota Access Pipeline, Legal Repression Intensifies
- Federal Judge Throws Out Dakota Access, LLC Restraining Order Against Stranding Rock Tribal Members
- Federal Appeals Court Halts Dakota Access Segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- #NoDAPL Noise Demo Demands Freedom for Jailed Water Protector Olowan Martinez
For our coverage earlier this spring of the Sacred Stone Camp, see May 27th report, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“; May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“; April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“; March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.