San Jose Mayor Voices Support for Native Tribes Protesting Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters of a $3.8 billion pipeline set to move oil across four states were dealt a blow this past week, when police raided their camps and arrested more than 140 people.

But the fight led by the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes against the Dakota Access pipeline also saw in influx of support from A-list celebrities—Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley—and $3 million in donations to help with legal costs, food and other supplies for the months-long demonstration.

This week, a group of San Jose city leaders are expected to officially support the protest. In a letter up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Sam Liccardo said that the protest against the pipeline highlights widespread concerns about climate change.

“From reducing our dependence on fossil fuels to ensuring clean water—protection of our environment is an imperative for all people,” Liccardo wrote. “This project must undergo rigorous environmental scrutiny of all potential impacts, including the possibility of an oil spill and its potentially devastating impacts.”

Vice Mayor Rose Herrera added her signature to the letter along with council members Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco and Chappie Jones.

The issue also touches on a fraught history of land grabs and broken treaties. In his letter, Liccardo stated that he hopes the federal government will engage in government-to-government consultations with the Sioux nation, which is fighting the pipeline construction in court.

“Open and meaningful engagement with the tribes shows our respect for their rights and concerns,” Liccardo's letter states. “We hope that the Army Corp of Engineers halts construction until all concerns are addressed and a comprehensive analysis of the impacts are considered.”

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for November 1, 2016:

  • With voters poised to weigh in on Prop. 64, a Nov. 8 ballot initiative that would legalize cannabis for non-medicinal use, the city wants to pass an urgency ordinance to confirm that people will still need a license to sell or cultivate the plant. If the statewide measure passes, people would be allowed to grow up to six plants at home. But cities would still be able to regulate outdoor cultivation. “[G]iven the city’s past experience with medical marijuana, staff is recommending adoption of an urgency ordinance to make it explicitly clear to budding entrepreneurs that commercial recreational marijuana activities are not allowed in San Jose,” according to a memo from City Attorney Rick Doyle and City Manager Norberto Dueñas.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. > government-to-government consultations with the Sioux nation,


    It recently came to light that Indian tribes DO NOT OWN their land. It is owned by the federal government and “held in trust” for the Indians.

    The Indians CANNOT sell their land and retire to Tiburon, next to Barbara Boxer, or Sea Cliff, next to Dianne Feinstein.

    As a practical matter, “Indian lands” are pretty much controlled by white trust fund children at the Sierra Club and leftist lawyers from NYU.

  2. Why don’t the federal wardens in charge of the Indian’s affairs allow the “Indians’ governments” to develop their abundant AND VALUABLE energy resources and climb out of poverty?

    Indian poverty is a DIRECT consequence of the Obama regime’s destruction of the coal industry and the suppression of Indian sovereignty over their own lands and their own natural resources.

    It is REALLY, REALLY cynical and disgraceful that Liccardo and other leftists are “organizing” Indians to oppose the development of their energy resources and THEIR OWN ECONOMIC INTERESTS.

  3. Really no pipeline, I guess Sam is OK with oil trains running through his town.
    If one blows up we get urban renewal!

  4. Be a voice and stand united with the Native Americans. “Water is Life ” we all need it for survival, not just the Native Americans.

    • Does that mean they don’t want water from pipes? Pipes are still the safest way to transport volatile products,
      unless you have a bunch of anarchist sabotaging them

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