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Bernie Sanders Surprises Dakota Pipeline Protesters With An Inspiring Speech

He also took a shot at Donald Trump

Tuesday, thousands of activists assembled in over 300 cities across America a for global day of action against the Dakota Access pipeline. The protests were called by Native American leaders in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The U.S. government has plans to build a pipeline through tribal land which could pollute its water supply and harm sacred sites. At a protest in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., activists were inspired by the surprise appearance of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


In his speech, Sanders voiced his unequivocal support for the Standing Rock Sioux. “Today we are saying it is time for a new approach to the Native American people, not to run a pipeline through their land,” Sanders said to a cheering crowd. “And we are demanding that sovereign rights of the Native American people be honored and respected.” Sanders also spoke out against climate change and criticized president-elect Donald Trump’s support of the fossil fuel industry.

Here are some excerpts of Sanders’ speech:

On Native American rights:

“The issues are very clear. For hundreds of years, the Native American people in our country, the first Americans, have been lied to, have been cheated, and their sovereign rights have been denied them. And today we are saying it is time for a new approach to the Native American people, not to run a pipeline through their land. And we are demanding that sovereign rights of the Native American people be honored and respected.”

On climate change:

“Everybody here understands that not only is climate change real, not only is it caused by human behavior, but it is already causing devastating problems in our country and all over this world. It is totally insane, and future generations will look back on us now and say, ‘What in God’s name were you doing?’ ”

On Donald Trump’s support of the fossil fuel industry:

“What we have got to tell Mr. Trump and everybody else: We are not going silently into the night. The stakes are too high for the future of this planet. We are going to be smart. We’re going to educate. We’re going to organize. We’re going to bring tens of millions of people, moms and dads and their kids, together, together, to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of our planet.”

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