A series of "game-changing" developments impacting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) battle on Friday afternoon were testament to the power of organizing.
Striking a blow to the vibrant, Indigenous-led resistance movement that has sprung up against the four-state oil pipeline, a federal judge on Friday denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's attempt to halt its construction.
Shortly afterward, however, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior issued a joint statement indicating that "important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding [DAPL] specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain."
As a result, the statement read, construction on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe—which straddles North and South Dakota—will be halted until the Corps "can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws."
"In the interim," the agencies continued, "we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe."