Water Protectors in Oklahoma to Plant Tobacco Plants in Pathway of Diamond Pipeline

Chahta (Choctaw) youth warrior woman standing tall against Diamond Pipeline! Photo credit: WANM

Published June 5, 2017

CUSHING, OKLAHOMA – Water protectors in Oklahoma will plant tobacco plants along the pathway of the Diamond Pipeline, according to a news release issued over this past weekend by Stop All Plains All American Pipeline.

Here is the news release:

Concerned individuals are intervening on behalf of all Oklahomans to ensure First Amendment rights are no longer violated. Individuals of many different backgrounds have come together to expose the corruptions, abuses of power, the destruction of the environment, and the trampling of human rights inflicted upon us by our elected officials and the companies they are beholden to.

With the passage of HB 1123, the “Critical Infrastructure Bill,” authored by Rep. Scott Biggs (who is owned by Big Oil companies such as Continental Resources and Energy Transfer Partners) and fast-tracked by our state’s governor, Mary Fallin (who is so beholden to Big Oil she declared October 13th “National Oilfield Prayer Day”), it is clear where the people who were entrusted in these positions stand – and it isn’t with the people of Oklahoma. It says a lot to the people of Oklahoma when the only “infrastructures” considered “critical” by our so-called leaders in this extreme budget crisis are oil & gas production sites – not schools, bridges, churches, or hospitals. Big Oil reigns supreme in this state as our children, our elderly, our teachers, ranchers, farmers, impoverished citizens, and communities suffer. This governmental overreach cannot go unchecked.

We will plant sacred traditional Mvskoke (Muscogee/Creek) tobacco plants in the path of the Diamond pipeline to not only ensure future generations will have this sacred and traditional medicine available to them, but also to show in a visible way the destruction and chaos this pipeline (and all pipelines) inflict upon the very life sources that sustain humanity. We will sing a Chahta (Choctaw) Trail of Tears song to mourn the loss of life and medicine that will no longer be with us or available to future generations because of this pipeline.

The Diamond Pipeline is a 50% partnership between Plains All American Pipeline – the company that boasts the nation’s worst record for environmental destruction, lack of safety, and relies on poorly manufactured equipment to complete their projects – and Valero, which also boasts a deplorable record for safety and the environment. This pipeline will carry crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma (the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World”), across the Trail of Tears (which is the site of the Death March that brought many tribes to Oklahoma) in Arkansas, into Memphis, Tennessee. It will cross over 500 waterways, including the Arkansas River and Mississippi River, and has ripped away the rights of landowners from many different backgrounds and creeds across all three states. The dangers this pipeline threatens to all life and basic human rights are Innumerable and the way in which this company proceeded in developing this project shows the lack of consideration, care, trust, consent, and regulation such companies have for the people their projects most directly affect.

We are not inciting a riot, we do not condone the use of violence, we are peaceful, prayerful, and unarmed, we are not assembled under any organization – we are individuals acting upon our own accord. We seek to not only stand for the citizens of Oklahoma and against the destruction, chaos, and loss of life caused by Big Oil, but to also demonstrate to the rest of the world the dire, urgent, imperative situation being forced upon the people of Oklahoma. We will no longer tolerate being a “throw-away” people in a “fly-over” state. We stand to let everyone know the people of the state of Oklahoma are not dispensable.

For a live stream of events, follow Stop Plains All American Pipeline on Facebook at facebook.com/noplainspipeline

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