A direct action event took place in Tampa on Saturday, Sept. 17 to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. The proposed Dakota Access pipeline will transverse 1,172 miles from North Dakota’s Bakken and Three forks areas to Patoka Illinois, going through the water supply of the Standing Rock Reservation and several ancient burial sites. This project has sparked nation-wide outrage and many protests similar to the one in Tampa have shown support and solidarity with the Standing Rock inhabitants.
“It’s really important that we stand in solidarity with them,” thesis student and Environmental Representative Gabi Frankhouser said. “There’ve been several arrests and a lot of violence towards the people that are in North Dakota right now protesting.” Frankhouser referred to the string of recent violence since towards protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which have included pepper spray and dog bites.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is not the only concern weighing on the minds of environmental activists this weekend.
“This stuff affects all of us,” Frankhouser said. “Even though it seems kinda remote there’s a pipeline to go through Florida that got approved a couple days ago.”
The Sabal Trail Underground Pipeline was recently given its final federal permits from the Army Corps of Engineers – allowing construction companies to dump dredged waste and fill into wetlands and adjacent water bodies. Proponents of the environment have loudly protested this development – pointing out that wetlands take up to fifty years to revegetate. The pipeline’s route will cross under and through springsheds like Rainbow Springs, the Suwanee River and the Lower Santa Fe River. The pipeline will also cross under land prone to sinkholes.
“It’s really important that we just connect all these dots from all these places around the country,” Frankhouser said. “Around the world really.”