November 2016

Op-Ed: Standing Rock Pipeline


In struggles throughout history there is a positive and negative side, justice versus injustice, good against evil. The standoff at Standing Rock is such a story. The Energy Transfer Partners, with its Dakota Access Pipeline and supporters on one side, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and supporters on the other.


Standing Rock and multitudes of people oppose inflicting more damage to the earth. The pipeline will destroy waters of life and further contaminate the environment. Our grandchildren will inherit the permanent consequences of climate change.


In this confrontation between the Destroyers and the Protectors, the Destroyers have the power of physical advantage and the Protectors have the power of spiritual advantage. The spiritual always prevails over the physical.   


The only recourse the Destroyers have is to exert more brute force, which has its raw limitations. The arrogant taunting with massive and lethal physical force can do two things: intimidate its target into submission or provoke injury and possible loss of life. The show of force has failed in its intent, as the Protectors are not intimidated.      


It is clear who will prevail and who must back off. We want life. DAPL and such “developments” across the world threaten all life. The confrontation is beyond the pipeline; it is a battle over the waters and Earth that will sustain the life of our children into future times. It is an ultimate stand that may determine the future of life on the Earth Mother.


Chili Yazzie – 505.860.4436


Dakota Access Pipeline Update

In recent months, people from around the world, including many from New Mexico, have traveled to rural North Dakota to show their support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is in an ongoing volatile confrontation against the Texas oil behemoth, Energy Transfer Partners. ETP is attempting to complete a $3.8 billion 1,200-mile pipeline across the tribe’s ancestral lands and under Lake Oahea reservoir that provides the tribe’s drinking water. The Dakota Access Pipeline would transit hundreds of farms, ranches, wildlife habitats and make 200 river crossings, carrying up to 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day across privately owned land in 4 states to a hub in Illinois.


Knowing that pipelines regularly leak, sometimes rupture, and can blow up, the fight has resonated with indigenous peoples worldwide who are struggling to protect their own resources. It has also come to represent a front in the global struggle to combat global warming. More than 300 tribal nations have sent members to stake their flag at the main protest camp. The encampment has been called the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than a century.


A federal appeals court ruled Oct. 9 that construction could resume. Images of militarized police and ETP’s private security personnel using attack dogs and pepper spray have helped galvanize the opposition. Hundreds of “water protectors” have been arrested, strip-searched and charged with criminal trespass and inciting a riot as a result of their “nonviolent direct actions” at construction sites. They are preparing for a long fight. For more information, visit



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