Cartersville says #No DAPL

Emanuel+Abernathy+and+Tina+Coffey%2C+No+DAPL+activists+in+Cartersville%2C+GA
Emanuel Abernathy and Tina Coffey, No DAPL activists in Cartersville, GA

Emanuel Abernathy and Tina Coffey, No DAPL activists in Cartersville, GA

Emanuel Abernathy and Tina Coffey, No DAPL activists in Cartersville, GA

Bernarda Cervantes, Staff

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The 28th of January was windy, but that did not deter protesters at Cartersville’s North Public Square off West Main Street. They were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

The pipeline has met resistance from activists who call themselves, “water protectors” and oppose the building of a pipeline who they claim would endanger their water sources.

Cartersville is 1,610.6 miles away from North Dakota, yet the protests have garnered the support of locals. Emanuel Abernathy, who was involved in the Cartersville protests, says that this isn’t the first time the loose organization of concerned citizens has banded together in support of the efforts at Standing Rock, “Got a few friends together,” and notes that through the social media networking site of Facebook, they were able to collect donations for the protesters in North Dakota. “6,700 pounds of food supplies, winter supplies, heavy coats, blankets, tarps, tents, things like that,” he says, “to help the people get through the winter.” The protesters have suffered a brutal winter during the protests, exacerbated by the use of water cannons on protesters in below freezing conditions. He himself went to the North Dakota protests, and encountered the police in an altercation while pulling out his cellphone. “It was our American police against our American people,” he noted, stating that many veterans came to support the Sioux.

Katie Poe, a Senior at Cartersville High School, shared her thoughts on the controversy,

 

“To any one who says that this controversy isn’t a side effect of environmental racism, doesn’t really understand what’s happened. The DAPL was originally scheduled to through the north end of Bismarck, but after immense backlash from the community that was afraid of possible leaks in the pipe destroying their town and ecosystem the company rerouted the pipe to go through Standing Rock. Even after receiving backlash on the national level, the company developing the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has done nothing in the way of changing current plans.
Native Americans are still here and they still matter. They have been pushed off to the side, moved to a plot of land, and told to stay. The American government didn’t stop abusing the Native American population after the Trail of Tears. It still happens on every reservation every day, but you would never know because America has become so complacent to treating the tribes this way, that it is not considered important enough to be covered by the media. Even if articles were written, people care so little about the native’s well-being that the revenue stream would be pathetic.
We need to accept that we are perpetrators of racism. We need to acknowledge that every time we scroll past an article about the DAPL to take a quiz about our favorite flavor of ice cream based on our zodiac sign, we are telling these people that they don’t matter. Every time we see a video of protestors at Standing Rock and think, “They just need to calm down. The pipe is inevitable,” we are telling the Soiux tribe that they matter less than us. Every time you witness the government and corporations take advantage of, destroying, and pillaging the small areas of land that tribe’s call home and do not take action, you are perpetrating that racism.
The DAPL is a controversy, but it’s apart of a bigger issue. Until we acknowledge and accept our part in oppressing these people, Native Americans will never be afford equal rights, liberties, and protection that most of us take for granted.”

 

Tina Coffey, a Cartersville local who took part in the downtown Cartersville “No DAPL” protests says,”Leaks and spills occur all the time.” She further contends, “The only thing we have to gain from this pipeline is the cleanup.” Sunoco Logistics, the future operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline, has had more than 200 leaks since 2010, more than any of its competitors. One such leak in its history led to the contamination of a Louisiana bayou, which was near an area used for drinking *history. Sunoco has acknowledged this, and spokesman Jeffrey Shields through email responded, “Since the current leadership team took over in 2012, Sunoco Pipeline has enhanced and improved our integrity management program.”

Emanuel Abernathy says, “The people are still not giving up. They say, ‘Even if we die, we won’t give up.’ And we won’t.”

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