Tag: Dakota Access Pipeline
In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, two names emerged from the Native American and Indigenous community that stood for resistance to white repression and assaults on Native life: Russell Means and Dennis Banks. In a time of mass resistance and social upheaval shown by the anti-war (re Vietnam) and Black liberation movements, Banks was among thousands of young activists of Native, Indigenous communities who rose up to speak – and act – on behalf of the oppressed.
The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline takes many forms. Any blow that can be struck must be struck. Not everyone can make it out to the frontline here in Oceti Oyate. But everyone can divest. Divestment is the withdrawal of funds from organizations that finance the pipeline so that they feel financial pressure to withdraw their support. Individual divestment has already drained over $67 million from pro-DAPL banks alone. The work at Standing Rock also needs many hands. Are you ready to get on the bus to Standing Rock?
The Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Feb. 22 evacuation order to the Standing Rock Water Protectors, in accordance with President Trump’s executive order that the pipeline construction proceed. On Feb. 11, I spoke with Dawn Neptune Adams, a Penobscot Native who arrived at Standing Rock on Feb. 10. This is her third trip to support the Water Protectors. The people who are still here are the strong ones. They still stand. So come help, but come prepared.
Based in the Oceti Oyate camp, on land claimed by the Army Corps of Engineers, we have a clear view of the incredible amount of work that needs to be done to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Black Snake that legend says will come some day and poison the water, the water of life. Oceti Oyate is in urgent need of both skilled and unskilled labor to not only assist in camp operations, but in the relocation of tipis, yurts, and tarpis. We must kill the Black Snake. Consider this a personal call to action. The bus will leave as soon as 10 people sign up.
Standing Rock has caught the imagination of the world: A resurgent Indigenous movement, which has been leading many battles in the U.S. and Canada; a fighting veterans’ movement, re-emerging as a powerful force; a large contingent of young people of many colors from all over, selflessly devoting themselves to the struggle; networks being activated around the country and the world – all coming together in a coalition that, in the context of the global economic and financial crisis, just might be able to take on a powerful oil company that is threatening to poison the water and defeat it.
Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans that traveled to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with the water protectors. During their visit, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for the pipeline and these veterans joined with elders in a ceremony celebrating the announcement.
This camp is an “occupation” by the Standing Rock Sioux, the Oceti Sakowin, whose sacred ground is being desecrated as the pipeline is being built and whose watershed will be the first to be polluted when the pipeline breaks. They are supported by millions of people around the world who sense that this is our last chance to secure the human right to clean water. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Black Friday the imminent eviction of Oceti Sakowin Camp, where the call is out for reinforcements.
While much attention has rightly been paid to those who are courageously protecting water resources and sacred land on North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, few mainstream commentators have situated Standing Rock as part of a larger political struggle for self-determination and survival. Linking the politics surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline project to Flint, Michigan’s lead-poisoning crisis is critical for understanding how race and class informs presumed social risk, vulnerability to premature death and access to democratic decision-making.
Over 300 police officers in riot gear, eight ATVs, five armored vehicles, two helicopters and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp. The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up this past Sunday directly in the path of the pipeline, on land recently purchased by Dakota Access Pipeline. Today this camp, a reclamation of unceded Dakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, was violently cleared. See how you can help.
Today and every day throughout this struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, I prayed in thanks to the spirit of my orphaned Taino-Boriken mama, the Ohlone relatives of this (Oak)land and so many of our ancestors from all four corners who I pray to every day, as word from Obama came through that he has finally listened to us all and suggested the halting of this corporate desecration called the Dakota Access Pipeline.