The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent approval of the Dakota Access oil pipeline without a comprehensive environmental review has drawn ire from three federal agencies, the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes, and Native youth, to name just a few entities opposing the move.
Native youth took to the streets with their feet in response, first running 500 miles from Cannonball, North Dakota to the district office of the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska.
But the pipeline was still approved, so the youth are now running 2,000 miles, all the way from North Dakota straight to the Army Corps’ doorstep in Washington, D.C. There, they plan to hold a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court before heading over to meet with “high-level government officials in hopes to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” the Oceti Sakowin Youth said in a statement. Construction has already begun in all four states it is slated to pass through.
“We are running for our lives against the Dakota Access Pipeline because it’s right in our backyard,” said Three Legs, one of the participants, in the statement. “Now is the time for the people to hear our voices that we are here and we will stand strong.”
In a private meeting with officials, they will present a petition bearing more than 140,000 signatures and endorsed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, Ezra Miller and Bill McKibben, among other public figures, the youths said.
At 9 a.m. they will gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, they said, to conduct a prayer before running to Army Corps headquarters at 10 a.m., where hold a rally to protest further construction of the $3.4 billion, 1,168-mile-long pipeline.