Another Water Protector Bound for Standing Rock
The call to Stand With Standing Rock is a call to hearts and minds everywhere.
Allies are needed at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Civil rights violations perpetrated by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department are escalating along with increased surveillance and militarized police aggression, while water, land and people are threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline, and treaties made with First Nations have never been honored. I will head out with a small crew, to take a stand for Standing Rock, next Monday, October 24th, assuming my bronchitis eases up — don’t tell me, I know it’s cold out there — after helping with fundraising, action alerts, and shipments of sleeping bags, warm blankets and coats, first aid kits and herbal medicines requested by the medics at Standing Rock in September and October.
How can you help Standing Rock? First, stay informed: watch the Monday, October 17th 2016 Democracy Now episode where Amy Goodman films peaceful Water Protectors facing militarized police; interviews Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, as well as Honor the Earth’s Winona LaDuke and Tara Houska: “Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched, Jailed for Days on Minor Charges.”
Next, make four phone calls. Call Morton County Sherriff’s office (701) 667-3330 to demand the rights violations cease. Democracy Now reported this morning (link above) that the Morton County Sheriff’s department strip-searched the daughter of LaDonna Bravebull, the Sacred Stones Camp founder, in front of several male officers and left her naked in a freezing cold cell for hours. They asked her, “who’s your mother?” This sounds like torture, not community protection or upholding the law. Intimidation on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, the company trying to build a massive Bakken Shale fracked oil pipeline just feet from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, threatening the Missouri River and the reservation’s drinking water as well as every community downstream.
Next call North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (701) 328-2200 and President Obama (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 to demand the Dakota Access Pipeline construction cease permanently and to demand an end to human rights abuses: protect the Water Protectors, don’t abuse them! Finally call the Army Corps of Engineers (202) 761-5903 to thank them for temporarily refusing the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to drill under the Missouri River, and to urge them to make that permanent.Because the construction is allowed only due to mis-use of the Nationwide Water Permit law, which allows legal fragmentation so that no Environmental Impact Statement has had to be created for the Dakota Access Pipeline, all construction activity is actually illegal as well as destructive to life, and must be stopped. Why should all this damage be done to sacred burial grounds, to the land and to people’s lives, when the pipeline will never be drilled under the Missouri River anyway? All construction must halt and permission to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River must never be granted.
Expressions of solidarity with Standing Rock are extraordinary. It is a time to unify and celebrate as well as to stay informed, take action, donate, and resist.
Many Fronts: From Pilgrim Pipelines and Dakota Access Pipeline to Frontline Communities Everywhere
In this phase of the fight for climate justice, clean water and human rights, we need to become adept at working on several fronts simultaneously. The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline’s East Coast counterpart, Pilgrim Pipelines — proposed to carry Bakken Shale crude out of Albany, NY brought to Albany from North Dakota’s fracking shalefields by oil “bomb trains,” — continues. Please prepare now to write your own public comments during the scoping phase of the New York State Environmental Quality Review, to begin imminently. Check the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines website frequently, along with Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, and Protecting Our Waters, for updates.
We take leadership from indigenous people, people of color and frontline communities, which now also include massive numbers of white and middle-class communities. Frontline communities are those directly facing fracking, mountaintop removal, tar sands extraction impacts, spills and explosions from existing and new shale oil, dilbit, gasoline, fracked methane, and fracked NGL pipelines; polluting refineries, compressor stations and pump stations, export facilities on all our coasts, and bomb trains.
Ultimately, while the sheer number of frontline communities expands, we are one people in one struggle for a sane, liveable, humane future for ourselves and all species. The fight for dignity, sovereignty, human rights, climate justice, human and ecological health, and at the core, clean water, sacred water, at Standing Rock is everyone’s fight.
Follow Your Heart
You can donate directly to the Standing Rock Tribal Council here.
If you know me from my seven years’ anti-fracking and anti-pipelines work to protect water, health, climate, and human rights (or from my decades of work for nonviolence, against sexual assault; for peace, against racism, for indigenous peoples’ rights, before that), and would like to support this trip, please call (215) 840-6489 [cell] and (845) 687-7810 [land], to learn how to donate. Please leave your name and return call number(s) on both lines. I know it’s a pain, but we want to be secure and do not have a way to accept credit card donations. Thank you for considering supporting this little crew. Protecting Our Waters has been saying for 7 years that we — and you — are Protectors, a word now heard around the world as the Lakota Water Protectors hold the front line. The concept for the founding of Protecting Our Waters came directly from the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, who said: “Protect something. Pick something — seeds, land, a species, a place, a waterway — and protect it.” It’s simply what we all need to do.
The call to Stand With Standing Rock is not just about action, money, or sharing online information. It’s also about prayer. The Standing Rock Tribal Council continues to ask everyone to send prayers. They are asking explicitly, they are asking continually, and they do not ask what tradition you come from or whether you’ve ever prayed before. Don’t know how to pray? Watch. Listen. And as Standing Rock Tribal Council member Cody Two Bears puts it, “Follow your heart.”