The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline covers an area of land that is1,170-miles long and traverses North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois and Iowa. The $3.8 billion dollar project was launched to transport over 570,000 barrels of fracked oil daily and the contested pipeline would traverse under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, less than half a mile from the standing rock sioux's source of drinking water. The proposed project directly impacts 28 distinct indigenous tribes and affects millions of citizens across the region.

The World Health Organization has affirmed that: “Access to safe drinking water by indigenous peoples is closely linked to their control over their ancestral lands, territories, and resources.

Lack of legal recognition or protection of these ancestral lands, territories or resources can, therefore, have far-reaching implications for their enjoyment of the right to water.Water is the essence of life. Safe drinking water and sanitation are indispensable to sustain life and health, and fundamental to the dignity of all.”

DAPLthe site of horrific violence

These positions have been affirmed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, President Barack Obama and also align with the International Criminal Court's recent decision to take up environmental crimes as well as those against indigenous land use as war crimes. Nonetheless, the Standing Rock Sioux and their political action group, the Water Protectors have been victim to on-going human rights abuses in the form of tyrannical violence undertaken by privatized police forces, state agencies armed with riot gear, assault rifles and armored vehicles typically utilized in theaters of war.

Over the last several weeks, nationally and internationally recognized celebrities along with everyday citizens from across the United States have found themselves victimized by brutality which in no way matches the peaceful nature of on-going civil disobedience being undertaken near Lake Oahe in support of the Standing Rock Sioux's on-going dispute with an international corporate behemoth spearheaded by some of America's largest financial institutions including: Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase.

RetiredArmy Col. Ann Wright who spent time at the Standing Rock Protest is quoted as saying:“Police used mace, pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bang grenades and beanbag rounds against Native Americans who lined up on the highway.” Similar reports have been issued by numerous individuals and organizations on the ground in North Dakota.

Despite the immense levels of violence being waged against protesters, national media sources have largely been silent on the issue with their focus squarely on the United States Presidential contest.

Global justice issues extend far beyond the Dakota Access Pipeline

Since August 2016, some 400 protesters have been arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline and many of them have faced inhuman treatment during their time atMorton County Correctional Center. Protesters have been forced to remain, naked in tiny kennels designed for dogs, sexualizedviolence and threats have been levied and individuals in need of medical attention have been left to wait for hours, adequate clothing, food or water. The levels of criminality central to these accusations speak to a level of abuse of power which is truly astounding in the United States of America, let alone anywhere in the world.

Amnesty International has already defined what it has witnessed at the Dakota Access Pipeline as being in clear violation ofConvention against Torture and theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,both of which the United States has signed and affirmed.

The world needs to ensure that human rights abuses of this magnitude do not continue in the United States or anywhere else in the world. Oppression against any global citizen is oppression against us all. The time has come to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux!

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