President Obama is right to call for an alternative route for the Dakota access pipeline away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. But this has not received the immediate attention it deserves. The Army Corps of Engineers needs to respond to President Obama’s call and move quickly to deescalate the mounting tensions between the Native Indians, their supporters and law enforcement.
The situation is rapidly spiralling out of control with flash bang grenades, sound cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. The images out of Cannon Ball North Dakota resemble scenes from a war zone. To make matters worse, police forcibly evacuated a camp established on land that belonged to the Sioux tribe, affirmed in an 1851 treaty.
For months, the water protectors have endured violent repression in response to their peaceful protests to block the Dakota Access Pipeline which would endanger the water supply from the Missouri River, their sacred lands and way of life.
An environmental impact report routed the pipeline away from its original path to protect the 92 per cent of predominantly white residents of Bismarck of a possible oil spill. Now the Standing Rock Sioux is facing a similar threat. No environmental impact report has been filed to ensure the safety of the current pipeline.
This would be a wonderful opportunity to honour the Native Indians who have endured centuries of broken treaties and genocide of their people.
Thanks for your very good article on Jimmy Young, but Radio Luxembourg was never a pirate station. It was owned and run by the independent broadcaster RTL, based in Luxembourg from where it broadcast nightly to the UK. As the sole broadcaster of contemporary pop and rock music for many years, it was respected and much loved by my generation and got me through my O-levels.
The will of the people
Tom Peck is spot on in lamenting the vacuous phrase “the will of the people”, bandied about by politicians of all persuasions. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to work out there was no collective “will” and a vote tomorrow could easily produce a different result. The only thing that’s clear is the bitter division this vote has sown in a once-united Kingdom.
I share Tom Peck's irritation with triumphalist references to “the will of the people”. Brexit was actually the will of a barely more than a third of eligible UK voters on that day. Hardly an overwhelming mandate, when another third of us wanted the opposite and more than a quarter didn't even have the will to vote.
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