Water Protectors Stand Firm, Army Corps Delays Easement

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Standing Rock. Reuters photo.

Hours before Tuesday's national Day of Action to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer announced it will delay any decision on an easement for the project until it consults further with Standing Rock's Great Sioux. The day of protest, organized by over 30 progressive, environmental and indigenous rights groups, calls for actions at Corps offices around the country and the world. Perhaps in anticipation of that, the Corps Monday said that "additional discussion and analysis are warranted" in light of the long history of dispossession of the Great Sioux Nation. It noted it was also inviting the tribe “to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions" on an easement, including efforts to reduce the risk of spills and otherwise "enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe's water supplies." With water protectors standing firm - and cheered by the weekend appearance of Neil Young marking his 71st birthday there - Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II said the Corps' decision marks a hopeful step: "Not all of our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.” Tuesday's actions, it's hoped, will make those prayers be heard still more clearly.

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