|Last year, I participated in the Western New York portion of the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future. That is a walk that occurs every five years, when the United Nations reviews the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. The portion of the walk that I joined started in downtown Buffalo and ended at Sunset Bay, on the shores of Lake Erie. This walk of 67 miles took a week. On the last two days of the walk, we became part of another walk, the Water is Life walk, that starts at the Seneca Nation’s Cattaraugus territory and ends at Sunset Bay. We were following the course of the Cattaraugus Creek to the place where it joins Lake Erie. We vigiled outside of the West Valley Demonstration Project, which, Agnes Williams of the Seneca Nation said, has been dumping weapons grade nuclear material in the creek since 1964.
Today, I went to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility in Buffao and joined a group that was supporting the water protectors in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux are trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on their territory. This pipeline, currently under construction, would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. It is charged that work on the pipeline has proceeded, even though the company, Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, does not have a permit. The company has hired private security firms. There have also been numerous police agencies to protect the company’s interests. The National Guard has also been activated. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch have announced that they are sending officials to investigate allegations of human rights violations in North Dakota.