The Dakota Access pipeline protest camp has been cleared, but activists aren’t giving in

Dopo l’ordine di sgombero di Donald Trump, chi si oppone al Dakota access pipeline si sta riorganizzando per la manifestazione del 10 marzo. E intanto in Italia…

On 22 February, ten Native Americans of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, North Dakota, have been arrested during the clearing of the Oceti Sakowin camp, which had been home to thousands of activists from all over the country for months. The eviction came after Donald Trump’s decision of reviving the Dakota Access pipeline project. During the clearing operations, an explosion has hit the camp and a boy (7) and a girl (17) were hospitalised due to burns.

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The clearing of the Oceti camp caused fires and an explosion © Stephen Yang/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s ultimatum

The Dakota Access pipeline would carry bakken crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing the states of South Dakota and Iowa. The project has an estimated cost of 3.7 billion dollars and would have major environmental impacts including the pollution of water courses in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The region’s Native Americans have been the first to oppose the project, drawing the world attention to the issue. Former US President Barack Obama and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) worked to block the pipeline, supporting natives’ requests for not building the pipeline near the Missouri river. Donald Trump, however, has cancelled the plan and revived the works.

After the deadline, most of activists left the camp voluntarily at the presence of riot police, while others refused to leave showing resistance. For this, many have been arrested.

© Stephen Yang/Getty Images)

A petition against the banks financing the project

The civil society is committing to opposing the project. The European network Banktrack has reported that 700,000 people have signed to ask the banks involved in the project divest from the project. Hundreds of citizens all over the world have closed their current accounts in those banks so as to cause a loss of some 55 million euros.

Greenpeace has launched an online petition, targeting Italian banks. “While Dutch bank Abn Amro – which is financing one of the companies involved in the project – stated it will withdraw its support if the pipeline isn’t agreed by local populations, Italian banks like ING and Intesa San Paolo haven’t taken a clear stance or done something real,” said Andrea Boraschi, head of the Energy campaign at Greenpeace-Italia.

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Despite the clearing, protests continue © Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Indeed, Italian bank Intesa San Paolo said in a statement: “We confirm our commitment to being attentive to the social and environmental impacts of financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, with particular attention to human rights. We joined the group of financial institutions that commissioned an external assessment of the project in terms of security, human rights, local communities and cultural heritage”.

Meanwhile, protests continue as activists of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe announced a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington D.C. on 10 March.

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