Friday, December 30, 2016

Native Americans in New Jersey Protest Pipeline in the Spirit of Standing Rock

Citing gains made by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline, New Jersey’s Ramapough Lunaape tribe is preparing to challenge a potentially destructive oil pipeline that would directly affect native lands and the surrounding watershed.

A reported 200,000 barrels of crude oil would travel daily through the proposed Pilgrim pipeline, making its way from the Bakken oil fields in Albany, New York, to the Bayway Refinery in Linden, New Jersey. The 178-mile pipeline would traverse 30 municipalities in New Jersey, carrying the flammable toxic substance through environmentally vulnerable areas.

One such area is the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, which houses the Wanaque Reservoir, a water supply that feeds roughly 4 million people. In honor of the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota, members of the Lunaape tribe, led by chief Dwaine Perry, have constructed a 13-acre encampment, with teepees, and Perry is encouraging activists to attend, in an effort to replicate the Standing Rock demonstrations.

Perry told NBC New York, "The community needs to stop looking at the Ramapoughs as the canary in the mine and get their helmets on and stand with us, because if that goes it doesn’t matter what your home costs, you can’t drink oil."

Leaders from 28 towns have passed resolutions denouncing the pipeline, and a Municipal Pipeline Group has been initiated to oppose the project............

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