Veterans deploy to Standing Rock in support of protest

Good to hear hundreds of veterans will be heading to Standing Rock to help the protesters. This is the kind of headlines we need more of today.

My charity quilting group sent a bunch of quilts. My suggestion, and I got a personal thanks from someone who saw me in the store…

****This is the kind of protest that does good!

The protesters have REFUSED to appear in court.

As the court cases have worked their way through the legal system, and as it has been shown that the “Indians” have acted in bad faith, the courts have found for continuing with the pipeline.

All of the protests in the world fall apart, when it is shown that the protesters are not abiding by the rule of law.

What follows is a letter posted to the internet by someone who is there:

A coworker of mine put together this preemptive strike on the questions we’re all likely to get from family and friends this Holiday season. Thought you might find it interesting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

……So you guys are probably a lot like me in that you have a wide group of family and friends, and in that pool are probably tons of people that hate DAPL. I have taken the charge to talk to some of these folks, so thought that this explanation might help you if you do the same. Gotta preach the good gospel that we are not the evil ones!!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and making peace with the Indians, I hope you will use this tool as a peace pipe to bridge the gaps and help our public relations.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Forward around if you’d like!

Ps. For reference here are the court docs with all the facts à

And here is a note I sent a friend outside the industry that had asked me about DAPL:

I’ll give you the quick primer. First off, the reason I know all this information is because I work for Energy Transfer, the company building this pipeline. I am the evil one everyone is railing against. That said, I probably have implicit bias which I will try to acknowledge and circumvent by sticking to the facts.

First, the basics. There is a lot of oil in North Dakota. The Bakken shale they call it. They have been drilling there for about 10 years. When an oil field is new and there aren’t a lot of wells or volume of crude being produced, the companies can use trucks or railroads to ship the crude. This works because it is easy/cheap to buy a truck, but as a field starts to grow, the trucks can become a big problem. They clog up the roads, landowners hate them, and also have a bigger environmental footprint. So once an area hits the growing pains of trucks not working, the next solution is a pipeline. Takes the trucks off the roads, and has a lot fewer moving parts (with that, a less likelihood for spills and smaller environmental impact to the surface). That said, no method is perfect - trucks, rail, or pipeline. But pipeline is statistically the least of the evils.

So this area needed a pipeline to get trucks off the road, we proposed to build it. When you go to build a pipeline, you have to obviously consult with all the landowners and buy what’s called Right of Way (or an Easement) to cross them. This pipeline does NOT cross any Native American owned land, but only crosses private land owners (ranchers and what not).

BUT, because there is a large Native American presence in North Dakota, those folks need to be consulted to make sure you don’t build your pipeline on top of their sacred sites or areas of importance to them.

In that vein, the Company had to hire archaeologists to survey the entire pipeline route to make sure there are no disturbances. The Native American tribes are invited to join on those surveys since they have more knowledge of the area, and this was no different
they found a lot of different sites, I think like 200, and routed the pipeline around those to avoid them
Also, given the sensitive nature of sites and other things, we always try to follow existing development where possible. We’ll follow roads, other pipelines, power lines, etc. We’d rather build on land that is already disturbed than dig up “virgin soil”.

This was no different, actually the site where we are crossing the river is an existing pipeline corridor. There is a pipe that was built there in 1982, the Northern Border pipeline (you can google it). There is also an above ground high voltage electric wire at that crossing. This to me was the big irony of the protest (and I think a point that is likely lost on alot of the folks out there protesting). There is already a pipeline there, and a power line. This is not sacred untouched land.

So this brings up the river crossing, which is the hot point where everyone is protesting.

So like I mentioned, none of this pipeline is on Indian land, but they have to be consulted. For things like rivers, the Government regulates those since that is public property. So to cross a river, you have to deal with Gov. Engineers and they work with the tribes to make sure it is legit.

This is the second half of the letter … cut in half for length:

So we and the Gov Engineers held a number of meetings with all the tribes in the area over 2 and a half years.
Over that period, I think that something crazy like 280 meetings with different tribes were held?

at least 10 of those meetings were with the Sioux group that is suing us, but if you read the court documents, you’ll notice that they didn’t attend a lot of the meetings. They either backed out, or rescheduled, or whatever. It was tough to tell why, maybe they weren’t interested?

And correction, they actually aren’t suing us. They are suing the Gov. Engineers that approve of the river crossing. The grounds of that suit are that they weren’t consulted for the sacred sites on the river.
That case was pretty cut and dry. The judge saw that over 280 meetings were held and that the Sioux didn’t show up to the meetings, so he said that clearly they were consulted. He also said the land didn’t appear to be sacred since there is already a pipe and power line there.
They then appealed to a federal judge

The facts hadn’t changed at all when it went to that court. Had they been consulted? Well, the Gov Engineers had clear documentation of letters, emails, calls made to the Tribe with either no response or they backed out of meetings, whatever. All that info is in the court documents. Again, no change in facts, the Court rules in favor of the Engineers saying that the Tribe was consulted and they just no-showed

By this point, by the way, the rest of the pipeline that is on private land has already been built. It crosses something like 30 other rivers (pipelines cross rivers all the time) including the Missouri river that is under review here. So we are already under that river at another spot.

The pipe also crosses the Mississippi river. I think there is a misconception that pipeline river crossings are rare. They are not. Dallas has pipelines under almost everything - natural gas pipelines to every building, water pipes, sewer pipes, electric buried. They are everywhere, you just don’t see them.

So anyways, the pipe is now built except for the river crossing, two courts have ruled and said the site is ok (remember, it’s already a pipeline corridor with power lines too) and we are ready to construct

then the Obama administration steps in and tries to overrule the court findings. There is a probably a discussion to be had about the balance of powers between the Executive and Judicial branch, but whatever. At this point the protestors are out there, so it’s a political issue, and logic and politics do not always mesh.

So you’ll notice that I have been mostly focused on the issue of sacred sites and not any issue about the environment and leaks.
If you listen to the protests, that seems to be the big issue - this pipe will leak and it will destroy the water supply of the Tribe

Well, that was not the Tribe’s issue initially. The reason it was not their issue is that they are not anti-oil. There are many different tribes that own oil minerals and make a lot of money from the drilling and development. The Sioux tribe - the one suing - actually has a crude oil railroad terminal on their reservation, and that rail terminal sends rail cars over the Missouri river that they are now saying needs to be protected.

The shift to environmental issues seems to have been a recent development and is largely being driven by the law firms and environmental groups that have latched onto this cause given the public attention. Since the “sacred site” claim didn’t hold water with the facts, they have taken a different argument.

I could get into how pipes work and how the environment is affected, but I think my earlier thing about the difference between trucks, rail and pipe kinda sums it up. Pipes are not perfect., but they are better than trucks or rail. So by being anti pipe, you are actually being pro trucks and rail. And remember, the Sioux tribe - Standing Rock - has an oil rail terminal.

Anyways, sorry for the long note, it’s been really crazy working here and seeing this unfold
The media has reported none of the facts of the case - facts that are public for anyone that isn’t lazy and wants to read the documents

We have had a ton of protests, and death threats, and also have Anonomous, the hacker group, trying to hack all employees, including me. So I have been hesitant to post about this on Facebook in case I get flagged for attacks
The protestors at the site are largely people NOT from North Dakota, a lot of people have latched onto the cause, and I don’t blame them
If the narrative that the media has out there were true - a pipeline is being built on Indian land that will destroy their water - I would join them. The problem is these aren’t the facts, and no one is telling them the facts, so because of their ignorance, they are in my mind innocent
But its been crazy, you see all the protests, and then Facebook reports all this fake news like children are being ripped apart by dogs and shot
The other side of the story shows says that the protestors have burned millions of dollars of construction equipment, so we had to call law enforcement to protect private property.
Also, the land they are camped on is not theirs, and the landowners don’t want them there, they are destroying the very land that they “claimed” to be sacred. Burning tires, craziness

Have you seen some of the tactics employed by law enforcement against the protestors?

The original plan was for the pipeline to cross the river north of Bismark. But the people of Bismark protested that it could endanger their water supply. If the pipeline would have endangered the water supply for Bismark, why is it OK to do the same thing to the people of Standing Rock? The people of Bismark didn’t have to endure fire hoses in below freezing temperature to make their point.

Even if one thinks the pipeline is perfectly safe and poses no risk, etc., one has to acknowledge that rerouting it in response to Bismarck’s protest about water sends the message that white people in Bismarck matter, but Indians in Standing Rock don’t.

And the tactics being used against protesters are terrible.

The racism in the Dakotas is deplorable. Just the gift of quilts to the area can defuse some of the reactive anger.


Amen, unbelievable.

Thanks for your input. Very interesting. It’s good to hear both sides.

There are actually some pretty nasty folks involved in these protests, including violent anarchists.

A lot of this violence is in response to police violence though. The police have been trying to forcibly remove protesters and tear down their tents.

Actually this is very informative. I really thought this is pipeline was ON Indian land. (We do have to be careful of the media. They aren’t exactly truthful.) But why did you change the original path of the pipeline?

Protestor Sophia Wilansky was not injured by a grenade.

It was a Coleman stove gas fuel canister converted to an IED by the protesters themselves.

See for yourself.

The police speculate that it might have been a gas fuel canister used by protesters. The victim and multiple witnesses with her at the time say otherwise. Both sides have an incentive to stretch the truth. In any case, we ought to know soon because shrapnel was removed from her arm by surgeons in Minneapolis. It should be a simple matter to analyze the metallurgy of that shrapnel to see if it matches the metal used in the gas fuel canisters found at the scene.

The protestors are lying. No police agency in the United States uses concussion or frag grenades. Flashbangs, teargas, and stingball grenades are types used by law enforcement. These are often used in hostage situations and therefore are designed specifically to be nonlethal.

Since both sides have incentive to stretch the truth, I just wonder who chose where to have the shrapnel analyzed? Whoever it is, needs to be ensured they are not biased either way.

I do not know for a fact that it is being analyzed. It just seems obvious that it should be. And if there is some dispute, I’m sure there is enough to go to independent testers. I really doubt that any technicians doing this analysis are likely to falsify the results. They have too much at stake with their own reputations to risk it.

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