'This fight means my kids will have drinking water': 16yo arrested protesting pipeline in Texas
Destiny Willcuts, a Lakota Sioux youth of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was placed in custody at a youth detention center after chaining herself to a bulldozer in protest of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in Texas.
Near Shafter in West Texas, Sicangu Lakota Youth Destiny Willcuts of the Rosebud Sioux tribe is locked down to construction equipment. pic.twitter.com/QqGquvCxG1— ELIZABETH LILLY (@chixtumanitue) January 30, 2017
The teenage girl was placed in custody on Sunday night and released the next morning, according to the Two Rivers Camp, a group opposed to the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.
Willcuts left North Dakota to join the protests at the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company constructing the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.
The proposed pipeline will transport natural gas 148 miles from Fort Stockton, Texas to Mexico, and is 93 percent complete, according to Energy Transfer Partners.
Before going to Texas, Willcuts says that she protested the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, where she was sprayed with mace and tear gas, and was shot with rubber bullets and bird pellets in the genitals.
Willcuts issued a statement on the Austin Environmental Justice Team’s Facebook page, saying: “This fight means that my kids and my nieces and my nephews will have drinking water for their kids when they get older. It’s kind of like me reclaiming my history and roots, I have to relearn everything I knew before but forgot.”
On Monday afternoon, Destiny Willcuts was released from Presidio County Jail in Marfa, Texas, according to a Facebook post from Two Rivers Camp. It is not clear if Willcuts will face any charges.
In a recorded message, Willcuts calls on youth activists to join the protests, saying: “For all you youth out there who are wanting to become organizers, do it. Youth rise up. We do it for our children, for our loved ones. Rise up. This isn’t the first fight and it definitely won’t be the last.”
Earlier in the month, two other protesters were arrested after locking themselves to heavy machinery to stop construction at the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.