On the 12th of October, DC Standing Rock Solidarity showed up outside the headquarters of the AFL-CIO to call out Richard Trumka’s support for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several activists with personal histories in union organizing called Trumka’s stance a betrayal.
When DC Standing Rock Solidarity moved up towards the doors, a security guard tried to order everyone away saying he was calling the cops immediately. Police took one look and kept their distance, in sharp contrast to the aerial pepper spraying, attack dogs, and felony charges that have faced water protectors in North Dakota.
There is also a legal update from North Dakota. On Sunday, (the eve of Columbus Day) while the whole US was focussed on the Clinton-Trump debate, the injunction against construction on private land within the 40 mile zone containing the Missouri River crossing was quietly dissolved. Energy Transfer Partners has immediately begun construction on these lands, but they still do NOT have a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers to go under the riverbed itself and may never get one. Clearly they are trying to create irresistable pressure on the Federal government to approve the river crossing, at serious risk to their investors. They have been warned not to spend money building a pipeline they may never be able to use because of inability to build the last few hundred yards but have done so anyway. If their strategy fails Citibank, TD Bank, Sunoco and the rest of the investors will lose buckets of money on the abandoned pipeline they have been paying to build.