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Native Americans have been oppressed by the US government for centuries, an analyst in Virginia says, pointing to the ongoing pipeline protests in North Dakota as an example.
Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, said the months-long protests by activists and various Native American tribes against the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was giving way to a much-needed “solidarity” against Washington.
Thousands of US military veterans announced over the weekend that they would protect the Standing Rock Sioux and many other Native American tribes in their quest to stop the project.
The protesters say that Energy Transfer, the company behind the DAPL, needs to reroute it because it would harm their drinking water and sacred sites.
“First of all, it is important to remember that the Native American people, or the American Indians, have been living under the occupation of the United States for centuries and they remain the most oppressed ethnic group in American society today,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
The ongoing oppression, according to Preston, has plunged the minority group’s quality of life to the lowest levels.
Amid the unfair treatment, this $3.8 billion pipeline project would not help the Native Americans at all, he noted.
“In fact the opposite is true,” Preston argued. “It is certainly a cultural upfront to the Native Americans given the fact that it is being built in their sacred territories.”
“Also on a practical level, it is a health hazard, since there is evidence it is going to be hazardous for drinking water and things like that,” Preston continued, adding that the pipeline does not seem to economically profit the tribal groups either.
“So this is a pipeline that is going to benefit outside interests almost entirely and do harm to those who are being the most directly impacted by it,” the analyst said.
He said the move by veterans to support the protesters indicated “the kind of solidarity against the power elite in the United States that we need to see more of.”
According to Preston, there needs to be more similar movements against the ruling system within different ranks of the US military as well as police and other law enforcement agencies.