SOUTH DAKOTA PIPELINE FIGHT
NEVER SLEEP ON THE PATH WHICH THE DEAD TREAD UPON
By Stephen Wilson
A charming Lithuanian Folk tale tells how a young man rode out to graze his horses at night. Later,he fell asleep on a little path. But when he began to doze off , someone came up to him and violently pulled off his overcoat thus wakening him up. He rose up and looked around but saw nobody. He went
asleep and again, but someone pulled and flung his coat away. This time he cursed and went to sleep in another spot. When he slept he had a dream where a voice warned him : "Man, Don't go to sleep on a path that everyone travels on ! That means that ghosts walk there by night. A living person should n't lie down there. "
Practically all the Folklore around the world retain stories conveying the same moral : " Never . ever build a road ,or house or pipe-line over the graveyards or places where the dead lie buried. Any one who is rash or impudent enough
to push his luck, will suffer misfortune. For instance, in Moscow, in a district called Ostankino , the Russians built houses, palaces and a theatre over an ancient graveyard. Local people constantly complain of illness, lingering fatigue and suffer premature deaths. In Sokol, where an old First World war graveyard was demolished in the 1920's and 30's , local residents claim the walls in their houses crack , things break and ghosts constantly disturb them.
It is unlikely that the company, Energy Transfer Partners , who intend to force through a 3.7 billion Dollar projected Oil pipe line from the Bakken Oil field in North Dakota to a refinery in Patoka Illinois , near Chicago, will heed the warnings of old Folk-tales. The company has remained
intransigent and are arrogantly pushing ahead with construction even in the face of an appeal by President Obama to temporarily stop the construction never mind opposition from American native Indians and environmental
The local Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of Native Americans claim the project threatens to violate their sacred burial grounds as well contaminate local drinking water. Should any pipe accidently burst then the impact on the land would be devastating. They claim at least 11 burial ground sites would be threatened. Since April 2016 when 200
horsemen descended upon a site and set up a camp of resistance, there has been a bitterly prolonged struggle between the two sides.
The American native Indians have presented a more than convincing case that this land belongs to them according to past agreements and treaties and that the pipe line project is patently illegal . Unfortunately, their case was rejected by an American court thus needlessly intensifying an already heated dispute.
What has shocked and angered the whole World is how American Law enforcement has attempted to violently crush the revolt. Given the -heavy response of the law, it is a wonder noboby has been killed yet. The police have
wantonly used tear-gas, rubber bullets ,water cannon and lethal concussion grenades. Anyone who lived in Belfast during the 1980's can testify how dangerous Rubber bullets can be as they killed peaceful demonstrators as well as school children. One young protestor , Sophia Wilansky , was hit on the arm with such a grenade despite the fact she was fleeing rather than challenging the police. She might now lose one of her arms !
The police claim that the protestors were throwing rocks at them and refusing to obey the letter of the law. But whose letter of the law are they observing?
The native Indians can reasonably argue that the real trespassers on this land are not themselves but the police and the soulless oil companies whose greed has rendered them stupid. They have more money than brains !
They are also violating sacred land which is just not done .
The people fighting against this pipe line are finding the struggle daunting.
As many as almost 300 people have been arrested.
Ladonna Allard ,a member of the Standing Rock Nation , stated:
" They are going under the river 500 yards from my Father's grave, my aunt who I buried last week". Another protestor denies allegations that the protestors are aggressive . Rose Stiffen insists that "We are innocent people, women , children and elders".
The American Native Indians can take heart from the fact that a new site on Facebook gathered 1 million signatures against the proposed pipe-line.
However, the struggle relentlessly goes on.