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October 27, 2011 10:08 PM

Transcanada Protesters Rally On The Reservation

Manderson, SD


A Colorado man is pedaling through KELOLAND to protest the construction of the proposed Transcanada oil pipeline. 

Thursday, he was joined by supporters of his cause on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Tom Weis set out last week to ride the entire length of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

"I'm guessing it's going to be about 2,500 miles from start to finish. The pipeline is 1,700 miles long so we're doing a lot of zig zagging into a lot of communities we want to visit along the way," Weis said.

In his travels, Weis is sharing reasons why he feels the pipeline isn't a good plan.

"We know it's going to leak. It's not a question of if it's going to leak but when," Weis said.

This morning a group of people met him for a rally just north of Manderson, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

"This pipeline will cross over 200 streams, lakes, creeks, and springs from Montana through Texas, endangering our precious, finite drinking water in this country," Debra White Plume said.

But that's not the only reason these people are upset about the pipeline.

"What Transcanada is doing is they're bullying U.S. Citizens with threats of eminent domain, and that is outrageous," Weis said.

And that's bringing people from different backgrounds together.

"The non-Indians on this waterline finally realized how we felt when the government has taken our land. And now it's happening to them," Rosebud Sioux Chief Spotted Tail said.

"They've always been real heavy handed about it. Right off the bat they let us know that they have the power of eminent domain and they will use it," Paul Seamans said.

"It's something to see when you see the Indian and the non-Indian standing shoulder to shoulder fighting this tar-sand pipeline," Chief Spotted Tail said.

"That is a very powerful alliance and one I wouldn't want to mess with." Weis said.

Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah was also at Thursday's protest.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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