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Another Water Protector Bound for Standing Rock

October 17, 2016

The call to Stand With Standing Rock is a call to hearts and minds everywhere.

Water Protectors at Standing Rock: “Respect Indigenous Rights,” “Defend the Sacred,” “Water is Life.” Women on front lines. Photo from Democracy Now, October 17th 2016.

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.

From Indian Country Today, Courtesy of Indigenous Environmental Network: Young Rita Waln led a procession of women and children who shook hands with officers at the ND Capitol after they held a demonstration to deny charges that weapons or pipe bombs were at the Lakota encampments along the Missouri River. About 200 water protectors took their message of peace to the governor that they are unarmed and peaceful. August 23rd, 2016.

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.

We Are Unarmed: After Morton Country Sheriff Kirchmeier said his agency received reports of pipe bombs and threats, Lakota women and children pushed back on those allegations with messages from elders, youth and women. (Photo: Courtesy Indigenous Environmental Network)

Photo from Indian Country Today, courtesy Indigenous Environmental Network. After Morton County Sheriff Kirchmeier said his agency received reports of pipe bombs [which turned out to be nasty rumors planted when water protectors discussed peace pipes], Lakota people firmly denied those allegations and sent peaceful messages from elders, youth and women. August 23rd, 2016.

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.

Members of the One People One Canoe Society stand outside the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation with the Raven Canoe from Juneau, Alaska on September 6th, 2016. The group made a journey of thousands of miles to North Dakota to join in the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo: Morgan Fawcett. Read Story: Jill Burke at 

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.”

Prayer gathering ending in state-sanctioned violence, Standing Rock. Youtube video, Thomas H. Joseph II:


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ray Bar permalink
    October 17, 2016 1:05 pm

    The DAPL is yet another example of the crimes being perpetrated on the American public by big corporate and political interests on behalf of the 1% !! The destruction of the environment, climate, and threat too our clean water and the air we breathe, are all part of the greed which will eventually lead to the demise of a healthy planet for all living creatures…….

  2. Mordechai Liebling permalink
    October 19, 2016 12:41 pm

    Lynne and I just got returned from a week at Standing Rock. One more suggestion Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Obama is the best bet to stop the pipeline, he needs to be pressured in every way.

    • Iris Marie Bloom permalink
      October 20, 2016 10:02 pm

      Thank you, Mordechai and Lynne! The phone numbers to call President Obama are listed in the piece, with a demand that the pipeline never be constructed and that the abuses stop. But thank you for emphasizing it and highlighting those phone numbers as you are completely right, pressuring Obama is extremely important and the Army Corps permit must be rescinded. So glad you were able to go out to Standing Rock, I would love to hear about your experience and hope you write and speak about it.

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