If you’ve ever thought you would like to do something to support Native Americans in their ongoing fight for equal rights, now is the time. Near the Lakota’s Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota thousands of people, tribes and supporters from all across the country are taking a stand. They need your help.
The goal of the Standing Rock protest is to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) which, if completed as planned, will be routed underneath the Missouri River, the source of fresh water for the Standing Rock Sioux whose reservation border is just one half mile away. While the developers claim their pipeline will be safe, with no risk of contaminating leaks, the original plan to route it near Bismarck was scuttled by residents fearing that it would contaminate the city’s drinking water.
When the Army Corp of Engineers signed off on the revised plan, DAPL developers failed to disclose that the location was next to the Standing Rock Reservation. As Mark Charles (TheWirelessHogan blog) pointed out that had they been specific about the location, Federal Law would have required “a meaningful consultation with the Tribe.” No such dialogue was initiated.
Here’s some of what’s happened in just the past week:
- 4,000 – 5,000 protesters have camped out at Cannonball, ND, the current location of DAPL construction. Some chained themselves to construction equipment in non-violent protest have been arrested.
- Last week U.S. Homeland Security removed fresh water tanks on the property fearing ‘destruction of property.’ (The Navajo Nation sent a semi-truck load of bottled water to support the protestors.)
- Local Sheriffs stopped porta-john cleaning trucks from servicing the portable toilets at the protest site.
- Over Labor Day Weekend, DAPL construction crew leapfrogged the current construction site sending bulldozers further ahead on the pipeline track toward the Missouri River wiping out two miles of Lakota’s sacred burial grounds. When protestors tried to stop them, private security teams hired by DAPL used mace and attach dogs to disperse them. Dozens of injuries were reported.
- September 6th a Federal Judge Boasberg, responding to the Temporary Restraining Order filed by tribal lawyers, ignored the violent attacks by DAPL security over the weekend and gave a split decision on issue, halting construction east of Hwy 1806, but allowing construction to continue west of Hwy 1806.
A more complete ruling on the issue is expected by this Friday, September 9th – which is why we must act now – see petition link below.
Let me motivate you further. This is not just about the Dakota Pipeline. It is about our own government’s treatment of America’s natives as second-class citizens. It’s about genocide, followed by ongoing denial of human rights. Thankfully mainstream media is starting to weigh-in on this issue. The best national broadcast – the best statement I’ve ever seen on this issue was made by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell last week. It’s brief and impactful: http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/rewrite-the-protests-at-standing-rock-751440963846.
Standing Rock is by far not the only issue facing American tribes but it represents a pivotal point in their battle for equal protection under the law. Please join me in Standing with Standing Rock.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/613/272/557/end-construction-of-the-dakota-access-pipeline-now/