On the 10th of December, the Standing Rock and Beyond march and rally demanded that Obama move to finish off the Dakota Access Pipeline and grant executive clemency to Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier’s eldest son spoke at the rally on both his father’s ongoing political imprisonment and on the dangers of corporate power over water.
After the rally at the US Capitol, marchers proceeded to the EPA’s headquarters on 12th st, just across 12th st from Trump Hotel. While there were probably few people on duty at EPA, Trump Hotel is reported to be filling up with right-wingers who have business with the incoming Trump administration. Shortly after the conclusion of this rally, the Leonard Peltier Defense committee held a vigil on the south side of the White House demanding the release of Leonard Peltier. This had also been a demand of the march, in which members of Leonard’s family had taken part.
It is appropriate that the endpoint of the march was between EPA headquarters and Trump Hotel. There are great fears in many quarters that under Trump the EPA will become as corporate-captured and spineless as FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC is known as the frackers and pipeline builder’s rubber stamp. Water defenders at Standing Rock are now in a “watch and wait” mode as the pipeline builders announce plans to defy the US Army Corps of Engineers and Trump takes office in barely over 40 days. There are still things Obama can do to make it very difficult for Trump to ram the DAPL through, from denying the easement outright (it is now only denied pending more study and an EIS) to declaring the lake a national monument.
Energy Transfer Partners is now bleeding $12 million a day with construction stopped, and the Energy Transfer stock Trump had to sell off had lost 90% of its value. There is no way now the pipeline can be pumping oil on Jan 1, meaning both the oil companies and the banks will be free to “renegotiate” their contracts. Obama may kill the “black snake” or it my choke on these contract renegotiations, but water protectors assuming nothing and prepared for the worst.
Vigil behind the White House demanding freedom for Leonard Peltier
Part of the Peltier vigil set up by the National Christmas Tree while looking for the rest of the participants. They were not met with the aggressive police behavior that Code Pink and Occupy had received here in past years.