Making big waves on Lakota Voice, a strong protester against the Keystone Pipeline was arrested on November 18, 2014, as he belted out a native victory song when the Senate turned down a bill that would remove the decision-making abilities of the President. The Keystone Pipeline vote was one that was anticipated by many American Indians who were present in the visitor gallery, waiting for the outcome. The bill was defeated by a vote of 59-41, signifying a great victory for local tribes trying to protest the building of the pipeline.
Protesters Arrested by Capitol Police
The arrest of Greg Grey Cloud, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe, made big news. He was one of the many protesters to attend the vote from Senate and is also one of the many pipeline arrests that were made. As Grey Cloud led a victory song, police were summoned and quickly handcuffed him, as well as other pipeline protesters, removing them from the visitor gallery. Grey Cloud did not go down without a fight as he continued to sing the song as he was thrown to the floor and cuffed. Some of the other protesters that were taken into custody were Diedra Shelly from Pennsylvania, Maria Langholz from Minnesota and Anthony Torres from New York.
This was one of the major pipeline arrests to be made as the construction of the Keystone Pipeline XL is being protested by many tribe members. The group of protesters were immediately cuffed, and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms arrived to arrest the group. They were all charged with the misdemeanour of the disruption of Congress.
Senator Warren Delivers the Vote Outcome
The voting outcome in November was read by Senator Elizabeth Warren, announcing that the pipeline did not pass, which lead to the song being chanted by Grey Cloud. While Warren did make attempts to restore order, many protesters were thrilled with the defeat of the bill and could not contain their joy, leading to the multiple pipeline arrests. Senator Warren clearly had no appreciation for the victory song and lacked any signs of support. Warren, a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, along with the RST opposes the building of the pipeline, having concerns about the presence of any long-term investment in renewable energy. Unfortunately, even though the Democratic Senate is not in favour, it looks like t eh Senate bill will get enough votes to pass, and the construction will begin in the future.
A Small Win in a Big Battle
The outcome of the Senate vote was just a small win in a very large battle for many tribes. Pipeline protest news has been very active recently, and even though the bill was shot down, the pipeline is still in the planning phase. There will be many more battles to be fought, and protesters from around the country are coming together to try to prevent the pipeline from being developed through sacred land. The pipeline threatens ecological systems and is also a violation of treaties from the past, so it will continue to be an issue for many.