READ: North Dakota Sheriff Expects Nebraska to Become the Next Standing Rock in Keystone XL Fight

By Yessenia Funes Apr 10, 2017

Could Nebraska become the next Standing Rock?

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, who was the officer leading much of the law enforcement against the #NoDAPL movement in North Dakota, told the Omaha World-Herald that he believes so. The Keystone XL Pipeline is set to go through the state, but it currently lacks proper permits and is facing eminent domain lawsuits with landowners there. Activists in Nebraska are preparing to build heavy opposition against the pipeline—as they managed to achieve under former President Barack Obama.

But Jane Kleeb, who launched Bold Nebraska, the group that led that work, doesn’t imagine Nebraska to see the same momentum that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe saw near its reservation in North Dakota.

“We’re certainly not setting up a big protest camp like at Standing Rock—we’ve made that clear to partners. But we do have supporters, including land owners, who want that option to participate in civil disobedience,” Kleeb said to the Omaha World-Herald.

What activists are looking at in particular are areas along the route that are of historical and cultural significance, which Kleeb says has never been considered in regards to Keystone XL. This includes the Trail of Tears, which the 1,178-mile long pipeline crosses. The Omaha World-Herald explains:

The Ponca Tribe has taken a particular interest in the Keystone XL because it crosses the Trail of Tears, the historic path followed by tribal members in 1877 when they were forced off their ancestral lands in Nebraska and marched to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Nine Poncas died en route, including a young daughter of Chief Standing Bear.

The Nebraska State Patrol recently purchased impact sponges, rubber-ball blasts and pepper spray grenades, the newspaper reports. But spokesman Mike Meyer countered that this was not out of the ordinary for the law enforcement agency.

Read the complete story here.