In a victory for Indigenous resistance inside U.S. colonial borders, thousands of Standing Rock Sioux people and supporters at the Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires encampment in North Dakota celebrated after they forced the Obama administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to back down on Dec. 4, 2016.
The eight-month-long militant protest demanded the blockage of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8 billion oil pipeline financed by a consortium of imperialist banks. The pipeline was slated to transport 50,000 barrels of oil a day from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to southern Illinois.
The encampment drew in thousands of Indigenous people and allies and galvanized the support of millions of people throughout the world. The Standing Rock Sioux people were fighting to defend their water supply, Lake Oahe, and their Indigenous land which was stolen during hundreds of years of genocidal assaults by the U.S. government and white settlers of the oppressor nation.