By Tom Dennis, Grand Forks Herald, November 3, 2016
In a recent column, North Dakota author and speaker Clay Jenkinson described events at Standing Rock as “part Woodstock, part Lexington and Concord.”
The communal spirit of Woodstock fits the scene well. But here’s the thing about Lexington and Concord: They had a villain—namely, King George III.
The Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Concord and the entire Revolutionary War were waged by colonists against a monarchy. The English king and an unresponsive Parliament ruled, and the colonists had no real say.
That has changed. Today, America’s constitutional republic takes great pains to give people and groups a say.
And for the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, that counts.
Because it matters that Standing Rock Sioux tribal leaders did not speak up effectively when they had their best chance—namely, during the two years in which the Army Corps, the North Dakota Public Service Commission and Dakota Access Pipeline planners invited such input.