Image Credit: Carl Wycoff from Nevada, USA
So just recently it was announced that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) would be rerouted such that it would pass farther away from the Standing Rock Reservation controlled by the Sioux Indian Tribes. A victory for sure, right? A defeat for the corporate cronies that manipulated the government into giving them easements for their projects.
Unfortunately the reality of the situation is more complex then that. The Dakota Access Pipeline hasn’t been defeated, just temporarily halted while they figure out where to put it now that they haven’t been granted an easement for constructing under Lake Oahe, just 800 metres from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
So is this really a victory for liberty? The government, which by then will be under the Trump Administration in 2017, will almost surely use Eminent Domain to acquire land to finish the pipeline project. The only thing that has changed for sure is exactly where the pipelines is being constructed.
So we haven’t defeated the pipeline or the use of Eminent Domain to construct it, but is there a silver lining to all this? I think so.
By protesting at Standing Rock, We the People have shown solidarity against government, we’ve shown that we won’t sit idly by as they take something we deem important; something worth fighting for.
Though the protestors at Standing Rock may not have been explicitly protesting against the mass usage of eminent domain to build the pipeline, the protestors have evoked the spirit of anti-Corporatism among The People. Through standing rock, some of the Left’s ‘Stick it to the Man’ attitude has been converted into ‘Stick it to the Government’.
Though we libertarians often find ourselves defending corporations for actions deemed unsuitable by the more left of crowds, this is an issue we can all unite on – corporate influence in government has reached absurd levels. The corporate cronies in the Dakotas wanted a pipeline, and they would do anything from mass application of eminent domain, force against peaceful protestors, and now recently, suppressing information.
The protestors and Standing Rock, despite having the odds stacked against them, succeeded in sticking it to both The Man and The Government. And I can say with no reservations: as a libertarian, I am happy on this day.