The mass arrest of 127 water protectors on Saturday, October 22 led to the resulting Oceti Sakowin reclamation of 1851 and 1863 Fort Laramie Treaty land in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Heightened tensions in the days that followed culminated in an even more violent clash between militarized law enforcement officers and unarmed water protectors on Thursday, October 27. In the aftermath of that confrontation, in which 141 more people were arrested, protectors at the camps know it is critical now more than ever to remain focused and calm.
Water protectors continue to hold their ground at the Sacred Stone Camp, Oceti Sakowin. They hold their ground in the name of spiritual commitment to ancestors, future generations, water and Mother Earth. …
There’s been a call for more people to come to the camps, people who are willing to be arrested. We will be back out this week, carrying more firewood. If I happen to go absent for a day or three, well…
Despite escalating police violence and AFL-CIO leadership of pipeline, a delegation of union members from around the U.S. are spending the weekend of October 29 at Standing Rock camp to join Sioux water protectors against Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL.)
The delegation from Labor For Standing Rock (LSR), comprised of rank-and-file union members and working people.
Liam Cain, Union Laborer at LIUNA Local 1271 Cheyenne, WY and a LSR spokesperson, over years worked on numerous heavy construction sites and pipeline construction spreads. “To the union laborers working on these projects I would just implore you to listen to what regular folks are saying,” Cain said. “Don’t just listen to the bosses, and not to just the echo-chambers on the spread.
“Listen to the water protectors, listen to folks talking about just transition, a view of the future, involving good paying union jobs, involving many of your skill-sets. Just generating energy in a much more environmentally sustainable manner, rather than just gross over reliance on fossil fuels, that we currently engage in. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no jobs on a dead planet’.” …
© C. Ford.
…Psychological scholarship has demonstrated the importance of land and water to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Psychological and spiritual well-being are inextricably linked to traditional lands sacred to Native people. In the instance of the events at Standing Rock, the proposed pipeline is designed to violate sacred space that includes a traditional burial ground. For American Indian and Alaska Native people, threats to the natural environment are a continuation of historical trauma contributing to current health disparities. The proposed project threatens the well-being of our relatives directly affected and indeed all U.S. citizens. The specter of genocide is continued in the pipeline yet to be built.
Finally, the treatment of the Indigenous people in this protest is a chilling repeat of a pattern of dismissal, disrespect and dehumanization. The pipeline was not placed near Bismarck, North Dakota, because of danger to the citizens there. Yet, contaminating Indian Country was considered acceptable. For American Indigenous Nations, the energy and spirits of water, earth, air, the standing ones (trees), winged ones, crawling ones, four leggeds, and life in all expressions, are composed of the same root spirit – hence, all are related. Yet in Western society, few speak for these relatives. The Standing Rock People steadfastly remain our principal spokespersons. The Standing Rock Dakota and Lakota have withstood degradation of their water, lands and their own bodies with resilience and strength over many generations, with the most recent being the unprovoked use of attack dogs and mace on peaceful protesters. Health equity for all citizens can never be achieved without first acknowledging and respecting basic human rights and dignity, including that due to the land and water on which life depends.
Water is life, and without respect for water, its source in the land, or the human need for water, not only are Indigenous rights violated, so are the rights to humanness and human life. Land is a part of our people’s psychological wellbeing. When our land and water are threatened, it is an unimaginable spiritual, physical and mental burden not just for Native people but for all residents of the United States and the world. This protest is essentially in support of humanity. Native people leave no one out. All are welcome to the well.
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) October 31, 2016
— Fusion (@Fusion) November 1, 2016