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Pipelines, politiques et le pouvoir de mobilisation

Cet article rend compte d'un échange entre Amy Goodman, fondatrice de Democracy Now, et Denis Moynihan, éditorialiste dans le même média. Il y est question de la mobilisation populaire des Indiens du Dakota qui ont obtenu une décision de justice historique contre le pipeline qui traverse leur territoire. L'eau est au cœur de cette bataille qui a duré plus de 10 ans.

Ce texte est un résumé d'un podcast publié sur le site Democracy Now. Accessible en anglais.

Mní wičhóni. Water is life. Whether in the Lakota language or English, it’s a simple truth.

Ecouter le podcast en anglais ici

In North Dakota, “Water is Life” banners flew over the indigenous resistance camps that sprang up in 2016 at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, opposing construction of DAPL, the Dakota Access Pipeline. Water protectors from over 200 native tribes across the Americas arrived, along with thousands of their allies. They called DAPL “the black snake,” a 1,168-mile long pipeline designed to carry over half a million barrels of fracked oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through North and South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois, bound for refineries on the Gulf Coast. DAPL’s passage through unceded Lakota territory, underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, threatened the water on which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe depends, along with 17 million people downriver.

Over Labor Day weekend 2016, we travelled to Standing Rock with our Democracy Now! news colleagues to report on the pipeline resistance. As indigenous water protectors put their bodies on the line, blocking destruction of sacred sites by DAPL bulldozers, we documented DAPL’s private security forces pepper spraying, beating and unleashing attack dogs on the nonviolent protesters. One dog had blood dripping from its nose and mouth, reminiscent of the mastiffs used to attack indigenous peoples in the Americas since the time of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors.

Our video went viral, viewed over 12 million times in just 24 hours. Within days, President Barack Obama, through surrogates at the Army and the Departments of Justice and Interior, ordered construction halted.

A few months and an election later, in January 2017, one of President Donald Trump’s first acts in office was to greenlight the project, allowing the pipeline’s completion — a huge gift to billionaire Trump supporter Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer, which owns DAPL. It’s been pumping oil ever since. That is, until a federal judge this week ordered the pipeline shut down and emptied within a month. It was a stunning victory for the tribe. Energy Transfer is appealing the decision.

The ruling hinges on a 1970 law called NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act, requiring all major projects seeking federal permits to include a rigorous environmental review with public input. Trump is currently trying to strip NEPA of any meaningful regulatory power.

Trump’s DAPL executive order prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a construction permit without a proper, NEPA-mandated Environmental Impact Statement. The tribe sued. After more than three years of litigation, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg agreed, forcing the shutdown until the Army Corps of Engineers performs a complete EIS, which the Corps estimates will take 13 months.

Responding to this week’s court decision, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a longtime member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who hosted the first DAPL resistance camp on her property along the Cannonball River, said on Democracy Now!: “I’m still overwhelmed. If people could understand how much I love my home, how much I love my land and my river, it is the greatest thing in the whole world. I know that it’s going to be appealed.” She went on: “There must be justice in this world, and there must be accountability. … We need, as Native people, not to be invisible in our own homelands.”

This was not the only victory this week for pipeline opponents fighting for a sustainable future. Duke and Dominion Energy announced they are scrapping plans to build the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, slated to carry fracked gas from West Virginia to North Carolina. The companies blamed expensive litigation and the costs of dealing with continued protests for their decision.

“There was an awful lot of opposition to this,” Donna Chavis, senior fossil fuel campaigner for Friends of the Earth and an elder of the indigenous Lumbee Nation in North Carolina, said on Democracy Now!. She described the intersectional organizing that helped defeat the pipeline, “We were working up and down the pipeline in resistance and opposition … crossing the boundaries between race and class, and bringing together the Indigenous and African American communities.”

There are over 200,000 miles of active petroleum pipelines in the U.S., and ongoing campaigns against pipeline construction projects like the Keystone XL, Enbridge Line 3 in northern Minnesota and the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia. This resistance is led by indigenous, frontline communities with growing solidarity movements joining them.

If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, we have to leave the oil, gas and coal in the ground. Now is the time to launch a green recovery from the pandemic, investing in renewables, not pipelines. As LaDonna Brave Bull Allard observed, “We’re here for the long journey … it’s about how we live in the future.”

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Marina Mesure

Syndicalisme international

Marina Mesure is a specialist of social issues. She has worked for several years with organizations defending workers’ rights such as the European Federation of Building and Wood Workers.

She has campaigned against child labor with the International Labor Organization, against social dumping and the criminalization of unionism. As a famous figure in the international trade union world, she considers that the principle of “equal work, equal pay « remain revolutionary: between women and men, between posted and domestic workers, between foreigners and nationals ».

Marina Mesure, especialista en asuntos sociales, ha trabajado durante varios años con organizaciones de derechos de los trabajadores como la Federación Europea de Trabajadores de la Construcción y la Madera.

Llevo varias campañas contra el trabajo infantil con la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, contra el dumping social, y la criminalización del sindicalismo. Es una figura reconocida en el mundo sindical internacional. Considera que el principio de « igual trabajo, igual salario » sigue siendo revolucionario: entre mujeres y hombres, entre trabajadores desplazados y domésticos, entre extranjeros y nacionales « .

Spécialiste des questions sociales, Marina Mesure travaille depuis plusieurs années auprès d’organisations de défense des droits des travailleurs comme la Fédération Européenne des travailleurs du Bâtiment et du Bois.

Elle a mené des campagnes contre le travail des enfants avec l’Organisation internationale du travail, contre le dumping social, la criminalisation du syndicalisme. Figure reconnue dans le monde syndical international, elle considère que le principe de « travail égal, salaire égal » est toujours aussi révolutionnaire : entre les femmes et les hommes, entre les travailleurs détachés et domestiques, entre étrangers et nationaux ».

Sophia Chikirou

Directrice de la publication

Sophia Chikirou is the publisher of Le Monde en commun. Columnist, director of a documentary on the lawfare, she also founded several media such as Le Média TV and the web radio Les Jours Heureux.

Communications advisor and political activist, she has worked and campaigned in several countries. From Ecuador to Spain, via the United States, Mexico, Colombia, but also Mauritania, she has intervened with progressive and humanist movements during presidential or legislative campaigns.

In 2007, she published Ma France laïque (La Martinière Editions).

Sophia Chikirou es directora de la publicación de Le Monde en commun. Columnista, directora de un documental sobre el lawfare, también fundó varios medios de comunicación tal como Le Média TV y la radio web Les Jours Heureux.

Asesora de comunicacion y activista política, ha trabajado y realizado campañas en varios países. Desde Ecuador hasta España, pasando por Estados Unidos, México, Colombia, pero también Mauritania, intervino con movimientos progresistas y humanistas durante campañas presidenciales o legislativas.

En 2007, publicó Ma France laïque por Edicion La Martinière.

Sophia Chikirou est directrice de la publication du Monde en commun. Editorialiste, réalisatrice d’un documentaire sur le lawfare, elle a aussi fondé plusieurs médias comme Le Média TV et la web radio Les Jours Heureux.

Conseillère en communication et militante politique, elle a exercé et milité dans plusieurs pays. De l’Equateur à l’Espagne, en passant par les Etats-Unis, le Mexique, la Colombie, mais aussi la Mauritanie, elle est intervenue auprès de mouvements progressistes et humanistes lors de campagnes présidentielles ou législatives.

En 2007, elle publiait Ma France laïque aux éditions La Martinière.

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