Standing Rock: Pipeline Laborer Turned Water Protector

Directed, filmed and edited by Rob Jackson

3.5 minutes | 2016

Before and after the U.S. elections of November 2016, thousands of people joined the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota in protest of an oil pipeline being built on sacred ground and under the Missouri River – the longest river in the United States. The protesters, who called themselves “water protecters,” included members of many dozens of Native American tribes, environmentalists, international sympathizers and members of several labor unions. This short features Liam Cain, a former pipeline laborer who made several visits to the camp. Liam shares his perspective on oil and gas pipelines as someone who worked in the industry, his take on this particular pipeline project and historical instances of social and worker’s rights movements succeeding.

Thanks to Drone2bwild for aerial footage, Unicorn Riot for additional on-the-ground footage, and Labor For Standing Rock, Joel Dyer of Boulder Weekly, and Cliff Willmeng for their support.