The nearly year-long Standing Rock protest, which gained steam in the final months of 2016, as thousands of protesters traveled to the site from across the country, achieved its ends when the Army Corps of Engineers denied Energy Transfer Products (ETP) a permit to build a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux allegedly feared the pipeline had the potential to contaminate the Missouri River, the source of the tribe's drinking water. Now they fear a new problem. The garbage left behind by the activists.
Bulldozers are pushing massive piles of garbage and snow into containment units at the former Standing Rock protest site, which will be taken to a landfill for proper disposal. Volunteers are also helping with the cleanup.
According to The Washington Times:
Those involved in the clean-up effort, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, say it could take weeks for private sanitation companies and volunteers to clear the expanse of abandoned tents, teepees, sleeping bags, blankets, canned food, supplies and just plain garbage littering the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Some protesters have remained to help with the cleanup, but not enough. Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II urged activists to lend a hand:
"Please, once again, we ask that people do not return to camp...The fight is no longer here, but in the halls and courts of the federal government. Here at the camp, those who remain should be working together to help clean and restore the land."
This is a sterling example of the progressive thought process. Leonardo DiCaprio preaches about the cataclysmic dangers of climate change, then flies a private jet. Thousands of activists traveled to Standing Rock to protest about an oil pipeline they claimed would contaminate the Missouri River, then left a garbage wasteland behind, which, if not cleaned up in time, will contaminate Cannonball River and Lake Oahe.
Aside from the minute band of activists who are helping with the cleanup, where is everyone else? It doesn't matter. They proudly displayed their virtue, and so little details like cleaning up their own filth in the aftermath are irrelevant.
Above all else, progressives value being seen as virtuous. Whatever cause they promote or defend always comes second to everyone seeing them promote or defend said cause. Virtue signaling feels good--protests, blockades, signs, chants. Doing the real work is too hard for most.
The Standing Rock garbage mountain is a perfect portrait of that hypocrisy.