Environmental activists are ready to repeat the riots that took place during the North Dakota pipeline protests to prevent the construction of the recently approved Keystone XL Pipeline, according to The Washington Times.
Environmentalists plan to open a state review process in Nebraska to delay the pipeline’s construction, despite it already receiving federal approval. A final decision is expected in September, although it could be delayed even further.
However, if, or when, the state objections are overruled, activists are ready to form human shields to stop the project’s construction, as well as setting up camps along its proposed route.
“Our dedication to stop this pipeline isn’t just for the future determination of our lives as human beings but also for the future of all generations of life, and that we stay true to the understandings of protecting mother earth to the fullest degree and do it in a prayerful way,” Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, told reporters on Friday.
“We fully expect to stand united and to continue resistance and carry forth the fire of mobilization in the fight we saw against the Dakota Access pipeline to this next project here,” he continued.
Last year, protests at the Dakota Access pipeline protesters turned violent against construction crews and overwhelmed the local police presence. Over the course of the protests, over 300 people were injured, as armed police were forced to wear riot gear, employ attack dogs, and use water cannons to contain them.
On Friday, President Donald Trump approved TransCanada’s request to build the pipeline, describing it as a “great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence.”
“The fact is that this $8 billion investment in American energy was delayed for so long, it demonstrates how our government has too often failed its citizens and companies over the past long period of time. Today we take one more step in putting the jobs, wages and economic security of American citizens first,” Trump said on Friday, accompanied by officials of TransCanada, the oil company behind the construction.
Barack Obama previously blocked the pipeline’s construction, claiming that it would “uncut” American leadership on the issue of climate change.