President Obama, It’s Time to Stop Dragging Your Feet on Standing Rock

Courtesy of Morton County Sheriff's Department / Handout Reuters

The violence against the water protectors has grown horrific over the last few weeks, with major injuries reported—it’s high time the president did something.

The standoff in North Dakota over the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has grown remarkably violent over the past few months.  Tensions have been high since August, but recently the police have begun to use water cannons, tear gas and concussion grenades against the protesters.  On the night of November 20th, the attacks grew more devastating. The Standing Rock Medic & Healing Council reported approximately 300 injuries, 26 hospitalizations and numerous cases of hypothermia.  It’s in the 20s in North Dakota right now.  One protester was injured critically and may lose her arm.

This went too far months ago, at this point, it’s entirely ridiculous.

On September 9th, President Obama stepped in to halt pipeline construction after a federal judge ruled in favor of the DAPL.  Speaking at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in late September, President Obama expressed support for the Standing Rock Sioux stating,

I know many of you have come together, across tribes and across the country, to support the community at Standing Rock and together you’re making your voices heard,

This was all well and good, but it’s now the end of November and by all accounts, we are no closer to a resolution.  On November, 2nd President Obama said that the Army Corp of Engineers was “examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline.”  It’s been three weeks and things have gone from bad to worse, so it’s time the President stepped in assertively to quell this violence.

President Obama, you’re still the President, and though your legacy may be tarnished by the actions of the impending administration, you have a chance right now to do something.  I know these things take time, but things are dire and teetering on the precipice of tragedy.

No more kicking the can down the road.  No more waiting.

If this decision is left to Donald Trump the Sioux land will surely be gutted, and their water supply will be at risk of contamination.

This situation needs to be figured out yesterday, so figure it out.  Go to the site, and survey the situation. A measured approach is not needed here, a concrete decision is.  Lines must be drawn.

Leave on a high note.  Leave on a note of social justice and reparatory valor.

Get it done.

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