Those Against DAPL Celebrate Small Victory, Continue To Fight

Around 100 protestors took to the Streets of Sioux Falls

The Army Corps of Engineers once again delayed construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

Those in the Sioux Empire against the $3.8 billion dollar project, call this a small victory.

But the fight isn’t over yet, which is why around 100 people took to the streets of Sioux Falls Tuesday night to protest.

From 33rd and Summit, to Minnesota Avenue and back down 26th Street, a group calling themselves the ‘Water Protectors’ protested against what they call the threat to water supplies if the pipeline leaks.

“We love water, water has been our beneficiary in life and our great grandfathers and grandmothers have told us that from day one,” says Cecil Owings of Sioux Falls.

Owings brought his children with to participate.

“I draw the pipeline and then I put an ‘x’ over it,” says his daughter, Ohana as she explains the picture she drew for the protest.

Owings says this will help his children learn the importance of water.

“I like water,” adds Ohana. “It’s my favorite thing to drink and so is my brothers, and if we didn’t have water, what else would we drink?”

This week, the Army Corps of Engineers called for a delay of pipeline construction to gather more input from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

This is after the organization defending the pipeline route in Federal Court twice.

“We feel the pipeline is unjust, and we want to stand up not only for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but also for our own water here in Sioux Falls,” says Liz Renner, the president of a student-ran group, Augie Green.

Augie Green was one of three organizations that organized Tuesday night’s protest.

The other two were Dakota Rural Action and South Dakotans Against Racism.

Renner says they need to keep fighting, since a new president will be making his way into office in 66 days.

“I am worried,” says Renner. “Only time will tell how things will pan out, but we’re hoping that the Obama Administration will stand up for justice. We’re trying to be patient while still continuing to press for change.”

“The only thing stopping the protest is actually stopping the pipeline,” adds Sonny Escalanti of Sioux Falls. “This is just something that is pushing it along further.”

Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas based company behind the pipeline says they are seeking a federal court order to continue construction.

North Dakota’s Governor is criticizing the delay as well, saying the pipeline would be safe.