ACTON ALERT: Trump, the Dakota Pipeline, and Native Rights
November 18, 2016 Bill McKibben / EcoWatch & Our Revolution & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / Waterkeeper Alliance & Josh Fox / EcoWatch
The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Donald Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance -- to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred. But President Obama could take dramatic and decisive action to safeguard native lands and the publics water -- by declaring Standing Rock a National Park.
Trump's Victory Means that Now, More Than Ever,
Standing Rock Needs Our Support Bill McKibben / EcoWatch
(November 17, 2016) -- So, the question everyone's asking me this week is: What now?
I don't have a great answer -- the Trump saga will play out over time, and we'll be learning how to resist as we go along. But resist we will.
I do know that the election last Tuesday made this Tuesday's demonstrations in support of Standing Rock even more important. We'll be gathering in nearly 200 cities worldwide to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Obama Administration, do their jobs and reject the Dakota Access Pipeline's final permit.
We don't know if we can make President Obama act -- so far he's been noncommittal and vague. And we don't know if Trump would simply overturn his actions if he took them. But we do know that now more than ever we have to stand by our allies, and make our battles loud and public.
The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance -- to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred.
Solidarity with Indigenous leadership -- in Standing Rock and beyond -- is more important today, not less. The original inhabitants of this continent have been pepper-sprayed and shot with rubber bullets, maced and attacked by guard dogs, all for peacefully standing up for their sovereign rights, and for the world around us. If we can't rally in support of them -- well, that would be shameful.
I wish I had some magic words to make the gobsmacked feeling go away. But I can tell you from experience that taking action, joining with others to protest, heals some of the sting.
And throughout history, movements like ours have been the ones to create lasting change -- not a single individual or president. That's the work we'll get back to, together.
So, what's next? Showing our solidarity with Standing Rock.
ACTION ALERT: Save the Sacred Lands;
Declare Standing Rock a National Monument Our Revolution
The Dakota Access pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest oil on the planet across four states, putting at risk farms, native sacred places, critical water sources, and our flight against climate change.
Authorities have already attacked the peaceful resistance at Standing Rock in North Dakota and arrested journalists and water protectors in the path of the pipeline. Even though the Obama Administration put a temporary hold on construction on one section, the company building the Dakota Access pipeline will be aggressively moving to finish construction before Donald Trump is president.
This means the best shot we have at stopping the Dakota Access pipeline is through bold action by President Obama to declare a "Standing Rock" national monument that prohibits pipelines in, over or underneath the land and water. We must protect the Great Sioux Nation’s homelands.
With a little more than two months left in President Obama's term, we have very little time to organize and convince the president to declare a "Standing Rock" national monument. That is why we need your support today.
The election of Donald Trump to be our next president means the stakes are higher than ever in our fight against climate change. It means we need to be vigilant about any threats to our environment, and we must be ready to advocate for bold action.
Tens of thousands of members of Our Revolution have stood up to oppose the construction of the pipeline, and you've helped contribute more than one hundred thousand dollars to groups fighting the pipeline. Tribal Chairmen from Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Oglala, Rosebud, Crow Creek, Santee, Lower Brule, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Flandreau Sioux Nations all endorse this bold step President Obama can take to protect the land, water and his legacy.
Our work up to this point has helped bring attention to the threat of this pipeline and the stakes in our fight against the effects of climate change. But in less than two months, our president will be someone who believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China, who says land can be taken by private corporations against farmers and Tribal Nations legal rights, and who wants to do all he can to increase the use of fossil fuels.
What we've accomplished so far has been critical. But if we don't do more, it won't be enough. We need President Obama to declare a "Standing Rock" national monument in order to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Thank you for all you're doing to help protect our water and fight against climate change. Your support is invaluable. Together we can make a difference.
Deborah Parker, Jane Kleeb, and Shailene Woodley are Our Revolution Board Members.
SIGN THE PETITION:
President Obama: Declare a "Standing Rock" national monument to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
Even though the Obama Administration put a temporary hold on construction on part of the Dakota Access pipeline, the company building it will be agitating heavily to continue construction when Donald Trump is president. That means the best shot we have at stopping the Dakota Access pipeline is through bold action by President Obama to declare a "Standing Rock" national monument.
To President Obama:
The Dakota Access pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest oil on the planet across four states, putting at risk farms, native sacred places, critical water sources, and our fight against climate change. Tribal Nations including the Standing Rock Sioux have led the fight with farmers and activists to protect their land and water from the pipeline. But more action is needed, and soon.
The election of Donald Trump to be our next president means the stakes are higher than ever in our fight against climate change. In order to make sure we stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, we need you to declare a "Standing Rock" national monument.
(November 16, 2016) -- To prevent one of the nation's most egregious environmental injustices, Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. joined the fight at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation Tuesday, speaking in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Since September, the people of Standing Rock have camped along the Missouri River in peaceful protest of the pipeline to protect their homeland, historic and sacred sites and the drinking water of millions of Americans.
"Today, we stand in solidarity with the people of Standing Rock and commend the Sioux Nation for taking on this courageous fight on behalf of our country, humanity and democracy," Kennedy said. "Across the nation, communities of color face environmental and public health threats most communities don't have to think about. This historic peaceful protest declares that all communities deserve clean water."
Kennedy denounced that the state of North Dakota has deployed its police power and advanced military power against peaceful citizens who dare to stand up against the thuggery of corporate interests.
Early proposals for the pipeline planned to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, North Dakota. After evaluating the plan and finding it was too close to Bismarck's well-water supply and homes in the community, the US Corps of Army Engineers changed the route to go under Standing Rock Sioux Reservation's Lake Oahe -- on the Missouri River.
Kennedy met with the Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, toured the camps and held a press conference where he called on President Obama to halt construction immediately. He also called for a full Environmental Impact Statement to assess the cumulative impacts, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act for a project of this size.
Currently, president-elect Donald Trump is considering oil tycoon Harold Hamm for energy secretary and climate change denier Myron Ebell to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency transition. Trump plans to rollback President Obama's environmental and energy policies and deregulate production of oil, coal and natural gas.
"Donald Trump has millions invested directly in oil companies and stakeholders like Energy Transfer Partners, whose stock will rise significantly at the expense of Standing Rock's health and rights," Kennedy said. "It is not a question of if, but when. Oil pipelines leak and break and poison our waters."
Each year in the US, oil pipelines spill an average of 11 million gallons. The Dakota Access Pipeline breaking would dump crude oil into the Missouri River, poisoning the drinking water of the tribes and communities along the Missouri River Basin, potentially 18-million people.
Pipeline projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline require an Environmental Impact Review before government approval to begin construction is granted. However, Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, wants to avoid the review process by gaining permits meant for "low-risk" projects like power lines.
"By requiring the environmental analysis, we resolve to fully understand the options, implications and footprint before we can't go back," Kennedy added. 'I Have Never Seen Anything Like This' Josh Fox / EcoWatch
(November 3, 2016) -- Police violently cracked down on a peaceful protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline Wednesday in Cannonball, North Dakota, firing mace, pepper spray and rubber bullets at point-blank range at "water protectors" standing and praying harmlessly in the water.
There were many eyewitnesses to these events, including myself and Erin Schrode, a 25-year old journalist who recently became the youngest person to run for Congress in California. Erin was shot yesterday by police at point-blank range with rubber bullets.
Here's my video footage from yesterday:
We witnessed a very brutal police repression of a very peaceful protest. A line of about 300 peaceful water protectors standing in river water up to their waists, were confronted by about 100 police with shotguns, riot gear, mace and pepper spray. I have never seen anything like it.
It was like witnessing Gandhi's Salt March, then suddenly I am watching people being maced, and I hear a pop and see that they shot Erin with a rubber bullet. How is it possible that from 10 feet away, they are shooting at peaceful protesters, journalists, bystanders, medics?
Erin posted a statement about her experience on Facebook:
I was just shot.
Militarized police fired at me from point blank range with a rubber bullet on the front lines of Standing Rock.
My body will be okay, but I am hurting, I am incensed, I am weeping, I am scared.
Peaceful, prayerful, unarmed, nonviolent people on one side of a river; militarized police with armed vehicles and assault weapons occupying treaty land on the other, where sacred burial grounds have already been destroyed.
What is happening here in North Dakota is like nothing I have ever seen in my life, anywhere in the world.
This is a fight to protect and defend the water for 17 million people in the watershed downstream to the Gulf, for a livable planet, for Native and human rights, for the lifeforce of us all.
We are at the confluence of the movements for civil rights, for the environment, for peace, for justice. I am proud to stand in solidarity with our Native brothers and sisters -- alongside the water protectors and land defenders -- who put their lives on the line and are facing excessive force, pepperspray and mace, historic trauma, brutal arrest, imprisonment in dog kennels, felony charges, and callous destruction of sacred objects.
This is not about me, but I am here -- and will remain here -- to cover and amplify truth and bravery on the ground with my colleagues Josh Fox of Josh Fox Film, Josue Rivas of Josue Rivas Fotographer, Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks, Evan Simon of ABC News.
Standing Rock represents the exploitation of a long-oppressed people, illegal land seizure, crude oil transport, media censorship, national security threat, public health crises, and more human rights violations than I can count.
It is inexcusable for the President Obama to say he will "let it play out for several more weeks." It is unjustifiable for the Attorney General to not be here. It is unconscionable for mainstream media to not cover this. It is indefensible for all politicians to not condemn what is occurring here. It is disgraceful for more people to not speak out and show up to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Pray for the water protectors, for justice, for our people and our world. #NoDAPL #StandWithStandingRock #WaterIsLife
We're told that people were dragged from their sweat lodges and prayer circles, their peace pipes broken, thrown into chain link fence enclosures like dog kennels, and numbers put on their arms. It's dehumanizing and unconstitutional.
You cannot have a legitimate government that defends an oil company on treaty land against its own people and shoots at them with rubber bullets and maces them in the face, when the people are simply saying, we are here to pray, we are here to be in our own watershed.
This is an emergency situation. Not only do we need more people to come here, but we also need our government to step up. President Obama said, wait two to three more weeks and then they'll make a decision about moving the pipeline route. That's insane.
People are being hurt today, civil liberties are getting trampled today, and the kids and elders who are getting arrested are being given harsh felony sentences, and could get locked up for a decade. The president needs to act now.
Josh Fox is the founder and producing artistic director of the International WOW Company.
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