Dakota Access pipeline water resisters trickling out of North Dakota are planting their feet in Texas, where the same oil and gas company is building a pipeline that would channel 1.4 billion cubic feet of fracked natural gas to Mexico a day.
Two coalitions of Native American tribes and allies set up the Two Rivers Camp to engage in direct action against the construction of the Trans-Pecos pipeline, mimicking similar tactics to the Red Warrior Camp in North Dakota. Police arrested six protesters in the past weeks, many of them chained to excavation equipment, including a 16-year-old Lakota girl. They have managed to shut down construction four times so far.
“I will continue until this is done or I am done,” said Miya Cuwe of the Blackfoot and Cherokee tribes to Indian Country Today. She said she was restless after leaving the Dakota camps, bringing her to western Texas — a story repeated by many of the water protectors.
The Presidio County Sheriff’s department is also readying for its own fight, assuring local television that “all applicable charges will be filed on individuals found violating any laws pertaining to Texas Penal Code.”
Used to travelers from up north, the Society of Native Nations and the Big Bend Defense Coalition helped set up the Camp Deer Trail as a landing spot before it was disbanded two weeks ago.
The pipeline, which runs under the Rio Grande, both threatens the water and biodiversity and the rights of landowners, say organizers. Not only were local Native American tribes not consulted, but landowners were tricked into selling their land, according to DeSmog Blog.
Funded by Mexico to expand natural gas production, the pipeline’s path would end in Sinaloa, home of the notorious Mexican drug cartel. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is privatizing the country's national oil company, Pemex, and raising oil prices, sparking country-wide protests and strikes against the "gasolinazo."
While among the bigger ones, the Trans-Pecos is not the only pipeline underway in Texas. About 100 miles from the Two Rivers, Camp Toyahvale created the first Native school in Texas to battle the Apache Corporation from fracking in their area to monitor the drilling and educate their youth.