What rights do citizens of the United States actually have? This is a question that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I wanted to discuss the protests that have been happening in North Dakota.
My first question regards who, in fact “owns” the land that the North Dakota pipeline is being constructed on. This pipeline is going to be nearly 2,000 miles long, and will run through public, state and private land. With the problems of excessive pipeline problems affecting watershed areas, this fight is about clean water and scared lands.
What is most worrying is the ongoing long list of pipeline leaks/spills that have adversely affected water where these pipelines run. This is not a concern to be just “waved away” as though there is no precedent. Just making a quick search of these many leaks brought me to an exceedingly long list on Wikipedia along with all the links to prove that these leaks did indeed occur.
Secondly, the preparation for the pipeline has already destroyed sacred sites of the Native Americans. Since one can say that all this land originally belonged to these Tribes, the company had no rights to destroy important archeological sites. They had already filed court papers in an effort to legally stop the bulldozing. I’ve seen many different videos of the protests, and security forces bringing dogs to intimidate and bite the protestors was a bit much in my opinion.
So, my question is, do citizens have the right to protest, and the right to clean water. What do you think?