Bernie Sanders' Our Revolution called for a NoDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipeline) day of solidarity action and rally on Nov 15, across the nation.
Thousands of Indigenous Water Protectors have been camped along the banks of the Missouri River on tribal lands in North Dakota. They are standing strong to protect their land and water from the proposed Dakota Access oil and gas pipeline. The DAPL is part of the Bakken pipeline , and potentially threatens the only water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the Missouri River.
The Protectors have withstood pepper spray, rubber bullets, attack dogs, imprisonment and various other abuses at the hands of police and security personnel. A small girl was bitten by an attack dog and one horse was killed, another wounded. The Protectors have witnessed deliberate destruction of their sacred burial sites as seeming retribution for their presence there to protect Mother Earth for all humankind.
The event was a call to action "targeting decision makers and stakeholders at every level. By gathering we hope to call attention to the brave water and land protectors at Standing Rock and encourage President Obama to stop the pipeline."
Last April, LaDonna Bravebull Allard, an elder member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, established the Sacred Stone Camp along with her grandchildren to protest the DAPL. The camp is on Allard's private land. According to the wiki, "By late September it was reported that there were over 300 federally recognized Native American tribes and an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 pipeline resistance supporters residing in the camp, with several thousand more on weekends." The convocation has become the largest gathering of Native Tribes in the past 100 years.
On Tuesday in Norfolk, VA, supporters of the Standing Rock Water Protectors gathered in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Front Street, with signs and spokespersons.
Jane Price (Northern Cheyenne) and her partner Michael Manard, both of Chesapeake, attended. She noted, "The significance of this day was greatly enhanced by the range of ages and backgrounds of all who came; from children to Elders."
Jane continued, "Chief Oren Lyons, of the Great Onondaga Nation, wrote, 'one of the first mandates given as chiefs is to ensure every decision made relates to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come.' We as human beings and care-takers of Mother Earth hold the same responsibility. Are we to look away, or stand tall and proudly join together for what is right?"
Ethan Marten, President/CEO of Light Age Films, LLC said that he attended the event today "To make a peaceful, but firm statement. Water is sacred. Water is life. We stand with our First Nations brothers and sisters who are protecting our future, and that of our descendents" and he hoped that the event would help "To bring understanding to decision-makers. To reach their hearts. To help them make a moral, ethical, and common sense decision. To bring us one step closer to ending the DAPL."
Ethan Marten Engages in conversation with Public Contact Officer Mark Haviland,
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler) Details DMCA
When Public contact Officer Mark Haviland, Chief of Public Affairs at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, arrived to interact with the group, Ethan questioned him politely but firmly, stating the Water Protectors concerns.
Jeff Staples, Community Outreach Coordinator of the Virginia Chapter Sierra Club attended, and noted that "Today was about standing in solidarity with marginalized groups. I hope to see our numbers to continue to grow. At this point, the people have to offer their own resistance."
Singer-songwriter Annalee Scully, noting that she felt she had no right to speak for Native peoples, but still wanted to offer support, said:
Our Native people have a traditional way of life that respects our natural world as a living thing. To understand a sacred relation like our land, mountains and trees, rivers and oceans, insect and animals as brother or sister, mother and father is to gather in your sacred family. To live in harmony is to honor this relationship and to understand balance. Greed upsets it all. It uses things up with no thought of those to come And without memory of all who have gone before.
We are being used up in the same way, by those who would have us live this unbalanced way of thinking about the earth. Native Americans are praying for all our world. Prayers that people will be awakened into right relationship. Into balance. In supporting our water protectors we will all live. We must say 'No' to the pipeline in North Dakota. We must stand now. Speak the truth. Support these people and drum our hearts into a beating pulse that will save not only Lakota but begin the revolution that will save our world, That will change our energies to sustainable forces, that will dance the joy of the wondrous beauty and power here, back into our days. Where we live, gently blessing where we dwell. Together.
[ADDED 11-16: Here is the White House phone number:202-456-1111
You can call and tell them how you feel about this.
Here is a script suggestion from Daily Kos:
Hello my name is _______. I'm calling to urge President Obama to stop all construction on the Dakota Access pipeline. This pipeline will leak oil in drinking water supplies, as it destroys important Native American sites. We need the President to stand for people and the environment, not protect big oil company profits, especially before Donald Trump gets in. ]
For more information:
Standing Rock Stands Against DAPL series by Georgianne Nienaber click here
Read Winona LaDuke's excellent analysis of the issues, "What Would Sitting Bull Do?"
Learn more about the broken Fort Laramie Treaty that arbitrarily moved boundaries and tried to divide the Sioux Nation in history of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.