A war is being waged right now against indigenous people by state-backed corporations to make profit from a dangerous and increasingly obsolete resource. The protestors and even journalists covering the conflict at Standing Rock are having false charges brought against them, being brutalized and maimed, and the police are lying about it. Despite the recent and unprecedented victory in the form of the Army Corp of Engineers legally blocking construction of the project pending a two year review, it may still be allowed to go forward. The company building it certainly seems to think so: they released a statement that they “…are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” It’s also been reported that the equipment is still on the work site.
This is just a battle in a much larger war: oil vs green energy; eminent domain vs. tribal sovereignty; profit and crony capitalism vs. the rights and health of indigenous people and US citizens. So, perhaps it’s time to treat it like the war it is. The US has a long standing tradition history of breaking treaties with the native populations and then illegally seizing control of their land. The tribes across the nation, including Standing Rock could justifiably act to retake their land as any sovereign nation would. Maybe they’ll get bad PR, but since when has that stopped people from protesting, or taking a stand?
This standoff will eventually turn into a siege one way, or another if a permanent solution fails to come about through dialogue, or the courts. The lull should be used to prepare. Trenches should be dug, walls erected and the entire camp fortified. Shields akin to what riot police have could be donated, or shields akin to what ancient infantry had could be fashioned from wood then reinforced using thin sheets of metal, or other materials that may be capable of at least resisting rubber bullets. Since winter is coming, they could borrow tactics from Ukraine protestors by constructing fortifications of ice and snow. Trash bags filled with snow can be stacked together and can compact into solid ice. In Ukraine, they even built a modest trebuchet to launch projectiles at incoming forces.
However, if the Sioux can hold their ground it may be time to go on the offensive. Through ancient and medieval times armies utilized armored siege weapons and small, portable armored covers (upturned boats, or siege rams for example) for protection while laying siege to an opponent. Similar implements could be devised, or modern cars and automobiles modified to have tougher, more protective exteriors: Mythbusters bulletproofed a car fairly well with phonebooks.
Before moving on the security forces and seizing the land the pipeline is on, a small force should be dispatched north to Bismarck (A rejected location for the pipeline because locals feared a spill). The attack will vary in scope depending on the size of the detachment. But the dispatched forces could utilize ancient methods to confront riot police with an organized opposition. If large enough, they could sack, pillage, and burn Bismarck to the ground. This will likely lead to a call for reinforcements to Bismarck which will either distract the “law enforcement” from Standing Rock, or perhaps even call the forces from Standing Rock for support.
While this is going on, the forces remaining at standing rock will send up drones to scout the area and attack most accordingly. The Standing Rock forces can then move in with shields and fortified cars, or whatever else they have at their disposal. A phalanx of water protectors and armored siege vehicles can then surround and take prisoner the agents protecting the pipeline. They can also repurpose all of the equipment. If the US then agrees to not build the pipeline the prisoners will be released.
Or we could start building solar roads instead of pipelines.