For months, Native Americans and environmental activists have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The protest at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation (which encompasses parts of North and South Dakota) is centered around two concerns with the pipeline’s proposed construction: its environmental impact of (some say it will threaten the safety of drinking water in the area) its desecration of native culture (some members of the Standing Rock Sioux say would deface a sacred burial ground.)
There was little to no press coverage of the protests in its early days but awareness of the issues have grown. In the past few days, Facebook users all over the globe have started checking in at Standing Rock Indian Reservation to publicly announce their support for the pipeline protesters. Reportedly, the world wide check-ins began as a way to confuse police, who were trying to identify protesters at Standing Rock through Facebook check-ins.
People all over the world are now not only checking into the location, but also liking the few pages that show Standing Rock as a location, adding messages of support for the Native American cause. Others on Facebook and Twitter are using the hashtag #NoDAPL (No Dakota Pipeline) to signal their view on the issue:
As of the early afternoon of Oct. 31, at least 220,000 people have checked in at least three different pages showing their location as Standing Rock (the largest, counts over 150,000 check-ins), and check-ins and likes are continuing at a pace of hundreds every minute.