Coachella Valley Region
For months protesters from all over the world have gathered at the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the pipeline meant to carry oil across several states. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe say this will impact a precious resource on their reservation for generations.
"Water is sacred but it’s also good business to protect your water resource," says Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Sioux Rock Tribe .
Standing in the way of the $3.8 billion dollar project are protesters who call themselves "water protectors". They’re risking arrest and injuries to stand up for what they believe in. Among the protesters is a group from the Coachella Valley, CV Solidarity with Standing Rock. Several members including Vanessa Wentwoord just got back from North Dakota, she says conditions are harsh.
"Some people were in tents some people were in tents some people were sleeping in donated tipis … I got to sleep in a camper … very rough living conditions we got out of there right before the big snow happened if we hadn’t left when it happened we probably would have been stuck there," says Wentwoord adding she gives credit to those who’ve been protesting for months, "kudos, kudos to them for willing to take the risk and being there."
She says they know they’re up against great odds but she has hope, "One person can make a difference."
The company building the pipeline says it’s only replacing existing pipeline and will be safe.