We’ll see you at Standing Rock, Donald
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President Donald Trump, who’s been in office for a total of four days, has already signed a series of executive orders that will have unprecedented consequences. On Monday, he reinstated the “global gag rule,” which prevents health care groups from receiving funding if they so much as mention anything related to abortion. While it may seem like a measure to singularly curb abortions on its surface, reinstating the global gag rule will in fact make it much harder for advocacy groups to provide basic maternal health care and prevent the spread of HIV and Zika.
A day later, on Tuesday, Trump signed another executive order that could have equally vast consequences. By enacting legislation to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, Trump has effectively unraveled the months of diligent protests staged by Sioux Reservation Americans with one scrawl of his pen. The Obama administration had previously blocked pipeline construction as a result of the demonstrations (which police met with brutal force), citing environmental concerns. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s administration has dismissed all environmental and humanitarian concerns, claiming pushing construction forward will result in thousands of new jobs. However, of those promised jobs, nearly all will be temporary. Trump also stated the pipelines would be manufactured in America, though he provided no details as to how that could actually happen.
Shortly after Trump signed the order—while surrounded by white men, no less—Bernie Sanders announced he’d do everything in his power to block the move, saying in a statement,
“Today, President Trump ignored the voices of millions and put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet. At a time when the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating problems, we cannot afford to build new oil pipelines that lock us into burning fossil fuels for years to come. I will do everything I can to stop these pipelines and protect our planet for future generations.”
In a sliver of hope, both orders to continue construction of the pipelines are open to renegotiation. That being said,it is up to us to actively resist destructive policies.