In a direct response to the Trump administration memorandum that advised the Army Corps of Engineers to abandon the Environmental Impact Statement ordered by President Obama in Decemebr, Native American students from across the University of California discussed the developments through an informal system-wide coalition and agreed that a UC wide action in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and in solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock was urgently needed. While on a conference call, it was revealed that the University of California’s employee pension fund is directly invested in the two companies behind DAPL and so the conversation then shifted to a demand that the UC Board of Regents divest our institution, not only from DAPL, but from the entire fossil fuel industry in its totality. Representatives from the Fossil Free UC campaign offered their experience and support for a divestment action and over 1,000 students expressed interest in Facebook within a few days. The day before the action, 76 water protectors were met with violence and arrested for excersing their treaty rights in North Dakota and the longtime CEO of the world’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil, was quietly approved by Congress as the Secretary of State. Thursday’s action saw direct actions at every single UC campus and around 500 students participated in prayers, banner drops, marches, and rallies. Considering that the Army Corps can grant the easement any day now, the water protectors announced for a global call to action to kill the black snake once and for all. noDAPL and fossil fuel divestment actions will continue to escalate across the state until Richard Sherman, chair of the BoR Committee on Investments, and the rest of the Regent boardmembers, put people over profits and ceases all investments in the fossil fuel industry.
Sources on the ground, from Standing Rock, and others have confirmed that the Department of Army has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to stop working on the Environmental Impact Statement ordered under the Obama administration. As of now, all the 1,172 mile pipeline needs to be complete is the piece that Dakota Access plans to burrow under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River. Standing Rock Chairman Archambault II insists that abandoning the report violates federal statue, that if and when the easement is granted they will file an injunction against the decision. Potentially, the Army Corps can give their ok for the project to go through tomorrow, next week, or not at all(?), but the Sacred Stone Camp has urged the world to join them in prayer and powerful direct action to protect the water for the next seven generations; it’s time to act.