27 Nov The Struggle for Life in North Dakota: How You Can Help Standing Rock
A struggle for life is happening near Cannonball in North Dakota right now.
I say life because water is life. Without it you wouldn’t exist and neither would most life on the planet. Life as we know it anyway. At the end of July the indigenous Standing Rock Sioux Tribe started protesting at the building site of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline would upon completion transport 1893 litres of crude oil every day across 1931 kilometres, from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping route in Illinois.
Nationwide protests have been underway as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe joined by various indigenous tribes from America and tribes from around the world. What they are protecting is their water source, the Missouri river, which provides access to drinking water to millions of people. The DAPL can upon leakage completely contaminate the water and it’s likely that this could happen as pipelines have been known to leak into water systems before. The tribes are outraged at the DAPL security and police for damaging and destroying sacred sights, the burial grounds of their ancestors, to make room for the pipeline. The tribes have set up camp in North Dakota even though the degrees are plummeting and people are desperately preparing for the oncoming winter.
Facebook Sacred Stone Page:
“These violent policing methods against unarmed civilians led to numerous blunt force traumas including head wounds, lacerations, serious orthopedic injuries, eye trauma and internal bleeding. Please send prayers and support to them through this horrific trauma as they recover from amputation at a Minnesota hospital.
Please stand up against this injustice, our lives are at stake.”
If you care about what is happening at Standing Rock, find a target, organize an action, and shut something down: https://nodaplsolidarity.org/
Donald Trump has shares in the company that is building this pipeline, which I found mildly interesting until I realised that it wasn’t that surprising, at all. Every time I see a peaceful protester for North Dakota talk in an interview or on film about what is happening in North Dakota and how police are attacking peaceful water protesters, I can’t help but start sobbing. Is this what the militarised police state has come to? Here is an outright attack on human lives. DAPL Security and the state police are using force with tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, attack dogs and water cannons. Mass hypothermia has been reported across the camp as police shot water in icy conditions, resulting in serious injury. (Water cannons can result in the removal of skin from the flesh.) I wish I could be there to physically support the people of North Dakota.
“Solidarity means when water protectors are cold, we are cold. When they are maced, we are maced. When they are hurting, we are hurting. #NoDAPLis a movement based on love.” (Source: Facebook)
Social Darwinism, White Privilege and Corporate Privilege
Social Darwinism is a term coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans, like animals and plants, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in “survival of the fittest.”
The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners Kelcy Warren claims that the pipeline has, “minimal impact to all people concerned, with great input from our government, so this route was not just something Energy Transfers Partners just said hey let’s build it here”.
That’s a lie.
Just follow the trail of white and corporate privilege and things become evident. Kelcy Warren proclaims that they didn’t just say, “hey, let’s build it here.” But it seems they did do just that because the pipeline was supposed to run North of the city Bismarck. A couple of white, privileged people complained about this to the government and voila, the pipeline was rerouted to run north of Cannon Ball. How. Very. Convenient. Mr. Warren.
Kelcy Warren defends the project, saying a leak is “just not going to happen”. The way he says the words “extra thick piping” brings to mind the Titanic; the captain of that ship believed his ship was unsinkable, yet behold the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. How can he say it’s never going to happen? That’s just ignorant.
Sunoko Logistics, which Energy Transfers just merged with a few days ago is notorious for having more crude oil spills than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks reported in the last six years. The reality of environmental racism that indigenous people still face today is inherently clear in this protest, as indigenous people compete with multi billion dollar corporations for their life support.
Kelcy Warren thinks the pipeline will be finished with Trump in power.
So why were the people of Bismarck’s concerns more important than those of North Dakota’s people? Have some people become so powerful that they can be openly hostile with other humans and think they can get away with it?
It’s not about the pipeline, it’s about privilege. Many can see it clearly now and I hope you do too. These corporations are comprised of people who are holding onto power and privilege for dear life, even if it risks the lives of millions.
“Don’t fight hate with hate” is an example of subtle gaslighting, where our legitimate hurt & anger at the injustices we suffer is being equated to the bigotry & abuse of our oppressors. Being angry doesn’t mean you are being hateful, it means you love yourself enough to get upset at your own mistreatment.” (@ms.brownfeminist)
Stand up for the people of Standing Rock.
Here are a few ways you can help if you can’t visit Standing Rock:
Donate to the sites below and show your support for Standing Rock. There are many more like this online.
- Square Cash
- Go Fund Me
Sign the NODAPL Petitions:
- Impeach North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier
- Stop Militarized Response to Standing Rock Water Protectors
Donations of equipment, non perishable food, warm clothing, blankets, tech, and first aid equipment is also appreciated. Send it to:
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
PO BOX D
North Standing Rock Avenue
Fort Yates, ND 58538
Call the White House: +1 202-456-1111
Take your money out of all banks that fund fossil fuel extraction. Tell them why. Put your money into local credit unions – owned by its members – you!
We are all bodies of water. If we contaminate larger bodies of water we only contaminate ourselves. Please send your loving vibrations to Standing Rock.
I’ll leave you with a tweet that stuck with me:
Soffiyah Elijah tweeted:
People of Flint, Michigan are dying from toxic H20. Indigenous people of No. Dakota are being attacked for defending clean H20. Ponder that.
#NODAPL #WATERISLIFE #bankexit