Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Ten youth from Standing Rock tell the Democratic presidential nominee that "if we're gonna #StandWithHer then she's gonna need to #StandWithStandingRock and say #NODAPL!!" as said by activist Rae Breaux. (Photo: Rae Breaux/Twitter)

Ten youth from Standing Rock tell the Democratic presidential nominee that "if we're gonna #StandWithHer then she's gonna need to #StandWithStandingRock and say #NODAPL!!" as said by activist Rae Breaux. (Photo: Rae Breaux/Twitter)

'What a Crock': Clinton Breaks DAPL Silence With Statement That Says 'Literally Nothing'

Response comes the same day militarized police forcibly cleared hundreds of water protectors from protest site

Lauren McCauley

No longer able to sit on the sidelines and remain silent about the battle raging in North Dakota over Indigenous rights to clean water and sacred land, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton released a statement on Thursday about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) fight—and it says "literally nothing."

The statement was delivered via email to a handful of Indigenous journalists and news outlets and was said to be in response to a letter that Native leaders had sent to the former secretary of state asking for her help, as the Indigenous water protectors and their allies have faced tanks, militarized police forces, mace, and attack dogs as they've stood their ground in protest of the tar sands pipeline.

Fed-up about her months-long silence, Indigenous youth from the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes also demonstrated outside Clinton's campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday asking for some sort of acknowledgement.

But coming the same day that over 300 police officers in riot gear and armored vehicles—brandishing pepper spray, percussion grenades, sound cannons, and non-lethal shotguns, according to observers—forcibly cleared hundreds of water protectors from the frontline camp recently reclaimed through eminent domain, the response struck many as non-committal and lacking appropriate "outrage."

The statement from director of coalitions press Xochitl Hinojosa, who oversees Hispanic, black, and women's media for the Clinton campaign, reads in full:

We received a letter today from representatives of the tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects. Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it's important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators' rights to protest peacefully, and workers' rights to do their jobs safely.

"What a crock," said Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota-Lakota Sioux writer for Indian Country Today Media Network.

"Hillary Clinton managed to make a statement about the Dakota Pipeline that literally says nothing. Literally," 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted in response.

"Kind of a BS statement by the Clinton camp on #NoDAPL, frankly," wrote MSNBC host Joy Reid. "The outrage taking place out there cries out for outrage."

Others noted that the statement "is the most Clinton thing of all times," as Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting journalist Adam Johnson put it.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, anonymous commentator @ActualFlatticus breaks down what they say is the campaign's "triangulation" of the protest.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

As EPA Forced to Finalize New Rules, Report Details Widespread Use of Neurotoxic Pesticide Across US

"For years, the EPA has avoided protecting children from learning disabilities and has kept chlorpyrifos on the market, in our food, and in our water."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Time for Medicare for All': US Healthcare System Ranks Dead Last Among Rich Nations—Again

"There's no question: our cruel, for-profit healthcare system is broken," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Jake Johnson ·


More Than Two-Thirds of US Adults Support Mask Mandates as Variants Spread

Fully vaccinated people were more likely to report that they plan to wear masks in public.

Julia Conley ·


Biden Interior Dept Denounced for Giving Big Oil Green Light to Harass Polar Bears, Walruses

"President Biden promised bold climate action, but this is business as usual. Polar bears and walruses deserve better."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Polluters Should Pay': Draft Bill Could Raise Half a Trillion From Big Oil's Climate Wreckers

"Those who have profited the most should help now pay the damages that they've already caused."

Kenny Stancil ·