What’s going on?
Well, December 4th, great news, NO EASEMENT!!! The last permit needed to cross the waterway, and it was DENIED. BUT, the fight isn’t over. It will be all tied up in courts. This is what the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe wanted. They wanted this rejection and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). However, this decision has come so late in this fight to stop the pipeline, which makes me think, it was definitely a calculated decision. I think having over 2 thousand veterans arrive at camp too had something to do with it, and the government didn’t want a possible bad situation on their hands. Now, a day after this news, the Chairman called for the Water Protectors to return home. Many did not like this announcement, as many felt like they were just a pawn. But it’s more than that. They got the decision they needed. His words were taken out of context. And he is looking out for the Tribe, so I completely understand his decision and reasoning. The weather is brutal in North Dakota and depleting resources. But in my opinion, the decision to leave should be up to them. Many have been there for months or since April 3rd, when camp began with just a few. Oceti Sakowin camp has disbanded and now, with the help of LastRealIndians, Chase Iron Eyes organization, has kept the sacred fire burning, by establishing the Oceti Oyate camp, the All Nations camp. He feels that the people should stay, until those drill pads are gone. I believe in this decision. He and the organization have taken on the responsibility to provide. I commend you all for this effort since so many feel like the have to stay, because, as I’ve said before, the fight isn’t over.
The new administration poses a huge threat to this decision. President Elect has stock in ETP. He openly supports big oil. And his aides, have voiced his approval of this project once he is in office, to happen, as soon as possible. With him have the authority to select his cabinet and appoint people that align with his agenda, he could sway the people who are conducting the EIS to his way, opposite of Standing Rock and protectors. All momentum gained, can be overturned, in a heartbeat.
The fight isn’t over. If anything, the real fight begins now. Especially since we are going to have people in office who favor fossil fuels, dollar signs, and are climate change deniers. We have our work cut out for us. So we must continue to protect and defend. We must continue to organize, build, and strengthen the collective voice to stop this pipeline. The solidarity has continued, and it’s beautiful to witness!
What Standing Rock Has Created:
Solidarity around the world for #NoDAPL and for Standing Rock has been beautiful. For me, it gives me hope, and restores some of the faith I’ve lost. For me, I hope this solidarity is continued, sustained past #NoDAPL, where we are all still there for each other, or do we go back to how things were? I believe there is a great understanding of indigenous people, and for protecting the environment. We have always stressed that we must take care of our earth. And as Jane Fonda mentioned to Indian Country Today Media Network, “First Nations people have been telling us from the very very very beginning, for what had to happen for our species to survive. We never listened, or not enough of us listened. And it’s almost too late now, we have to start listening, before it’s too late.” Standing Rock has put what environmental genocide looks like on the map, where people are trickling in, realizing what threats may pose on our Unci Maka. This has been a peaceful, unarmed, non-violent resistance. It is youth led. That’s how it is being successful right now, it’s not turning into a Bundy fiasco. It doesn’t need to. If the pipeline does succeed in 100% completion, which, I pray every day that it doesn’t, that a re-route is possible, or better yet, extract the whole pipeline all together, but that this sets the bar, in terms of how we move forward in protecting the environment. Standing Rock has brought many Tribal nations together, but has also brought so many others together as well. The pressure is on Dakota Access, LLC to be pumping oil by January 1st, 2017. That is just a little over a month away. If they don’t, the investors have the option to pull out or re-negotiate their contracts. DAPL has also voiced continuing to build regardless of decision and just pay the legal fines. Let’s continue to keep the peace and remain in prayer, because it is working!
The pressure is on. Call your state representatives. Call the White House. Mail letters to your state representatives and to President Barack Obama. He needs something tangible in his hand to read. Divest your funds from the 17 banks funding this project. Three huge actions at Wells Fargo, CitiBank and JP Morgan direct action happened in NYC yesterday. If we can bankrupt them, they can’t fund DAPL. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you’re able to, I urge you to find a local credit union. Film yourself telling the bank you want to divest your funds, that you won’t support a bank that supports DAPL, and hashtag with #BankExit. We need to be a collective, strong voice. Organize. Help Standing Rock. You have the power to do so. We can do this!
Timeline of Events (More recent, see previous #NoDAPL blogs for all events):
- April 4, 2016: camps are created, youth asked LaDonna Brave Bull Allard if there was land to use, and she had some. Now, life at camp, that started with a handful then, to now, with upwards 10k people being there, depending on time.
- July 15th: the Standing Rock youth began the run to DC to deliver signatures to President Obama and to be a voice in the Nation’s capital opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- August 5th: Run for Water rally and protest that my sister and I put together for them.
- August 6th: rally and protest in front of the White House to tell the President, even though he wasn’t there, to oppose DAPL.
- October 27th: Standing Rock youth, occupy Hillary Clinton’s campaign Headquarters, to deliver letter, and demand she take a stance.
- October 28th: day 2, protectors still on frontlines. Tensions are high, as most were occupying the bridge throughout the night.
- November 2, 2016: Police and DAPL desecrate sacred burial grounds of two indigenous women, Alma Parkin and Matilda Galpin, who once owned Cannonball Ranch, that now DAPL owns. US Army Corps of Engineers ordered Morton County to tear down man made bridge that protectors made to cross, and pray on the hill. They were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, mace, and excessive force with batons. Some had hypothermia, one person was coughing up blood, many had welts.
- November 3, 2016: hundreds of clergy members came to camp, and the frontlines, to offer prayer, and negotiate with the police. They honored and sang a Dakota hymn, in English and in Dakota (to honor the Dakota 38+2, who were taken, and hung in the largest mass execution).
- November 5, 2016: Youth arrive from Arizona, have completed their 1,000+ mile run to Standing Rock!
- November 9, 2016: DAP has stated they will continue pipeline without 408 Permit, which is the last permit that is needed.
- November 10, 2016: #NoDAPL Solidarity lockdown action at TD Bank in Boston, MA (One of the banks funding the pipeline).
- November 11, 2016: DAPL and Morton County, are rounding up wild buffalo, trapping them in fenced areas, and then have been transporting them to undisclosed locations. Report of them being slaughtered have been made.
- November 12, 2016: Man in truck, drives through protectors, and fires 7 shots into the air. Man works for Four Square Concrete out of ND.
- November 12, 2016: NoDAPL/Stand with Standing Rock solidarity action in Annapolis, MD!
- November 14, 2016: US Army Corps of Engineers release statement that construction cannon occur on or under Army Corps lands. Further review and discussions are needed.
- November 15, 2016: United Nations denounce ‘inhumane’ treatment of Native American protectors. Send legal observers to camps and frontlines, as well as Amnesty International.
- November 15th, 2016: National Call to Solidarity Action: All 50 states participated, over 300+ actions. Indigenous Youth Council member, Eryn Wise, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, and Shailene Woodley came to DC, to lead march to US Army Corp of Engineers, and then to White House. Senator Bernie Sanders made an appearance to stand in solidarity, and to motivate the people. He also mentioned to declare Standing Rock a federal monument.
- November 15, 2016: DC Stands and FORCE, team up, for morning rush hour direct action, “We Are Still Here” at Union Station in DC. Focused on #NoDAPL, standing with Standing Rock, the injustices on Indigenous people, as well as honoring and remembering our missing, murdered indigenous women across Turtle Island.
- November 16, 2016: ETP CEO Kelcey Warren states that they wished SRST had engaged in conversations previously to the pipeline being built, SRST came with audio recordings of their opposition back in 2014.
- November 16th, 2016: George Washington University, Native American Political Leadership Program, hosted Water is Life panel that included Eryn Wise, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, SR Councilman Robert Taken Alive, and Jacqueline Pata of NCAI.
- November 18th, 2016: Largest bank in Norway pulls its assets in Dakota Access Pipeline.
- November 20, 2016: Protectors go to remove cars and put out fires, open blockade, to let people drive through and witness first hand what is going on. Authorities fire back with water cannons, tear gars and concussion grenades on the protectors, when it’s 25 degrees out.
- November 20, 2016: One youth, of the Indigenous Youth Council suffered a seizure from the flash grenades.
- November 20, 2016: Sophia Wilansky is hit with concussion grenade on her arm, faces up to 20 surgeries, may face amputation still. Two men speak out on what they witnessed as they tried to help Sophia. If you would like to donate to her medical expenses, here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/30aezxs
- November 21, 2016: Congressman Raul Grijalva releases statement on the inhumane and hostile treatment on the water protectors. Congressman Grijalva has been a huge voice in opposition to the pipeline, has visited Standing Rock, the camps, and has voiced the need for a bi-partisan hearing on this issue.
- November 25, 2016: ND Governor suspends Morton County Sheriff.
- November 25, 2016: Colonel John Henderson issues demand for protectors to vacate Oceti Sakowin camp by midnight, December 5th.
- November 27th: US ACE states that they will not forcibly remove Protectors. They cannot evict Protectors from Treaty lands.May be subjected to tickets and will be considered “trespassers”
- November 27th: LastRealIndians, Standing Rock, and Organizers, host WATER IS LIFE march and rally in Washington DC, from Department of Justice to the Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument. Later that night, Dave Matthews host’s benefit concert for Standing Rock at DAR Constitution Hall in DC.
- November 28th: 17 members, formally worked in the Obama Administration, state their support for Standing Rock and their opposition to the pipeline. They also stress the urgency for the President to take immediate action. Former boss was on the list!
- November 28th: ND Governor files executive order for mandatory evacuation of Oceti Sakowin camp. (see Native in DC facebook page for press conference videos.
- November 30th: ND Governor states they will not block supplies, http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/north-dakota-governor-will-not-block-people-taking-supplies-camps/
- December 1st: Veterans arrive to Oceti Sakowin. Click here to view footage.
- December 4th: Celebrations. Power of Prayer wins. But it isn’t over. Department of Army grants NO EASEMENT for DAPL to continue construction. Here are remarks from SRST Chairman Dave Archambault regarding the decision: http://standwithstandingrock.net/standing-rock-sioux-tribes-statement-u-s-army-corps-engineers-decision-not-grant-easement/
- December 5th: Electronic monitoring equipment fails, pipeline leaks 176,000 gallons of crude oil, in North Dakota, into creek, about 150 miles away from Standing Rock. Discovered by land owner.
- December 5th: Veterans Stand with Standing Rock at the US Capitol building. Congressman Raul Grijalva spoke to Veterans and supporters on the US ACE decision to deny the final easement needed to continue with construction, what Standing Rock has created, what to expect, and how Solidarity has changed everything. It was a great morning, great speakers!
- December 5th: Veterans have arrived in Standing Rock, approximately 2 thousand, from all over, have come to serve as human shields between law enforcement and the Protectors. From Our Revolution:
- “An incredible moment of healing at Standing Rock: Hundreds of veterans ask Native elders for forgiveness.“We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain… We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.” -Wes Clark, Jr.“
- December 5th: SRST Chairman Dave Archambault calls for Water Protectors to return home.
- December 6th: Panel Discussion in DC with Indigenous relatives who shared their
experience at Standing Rock and how to help SR from afar. ORGANIZE! It starts with the people!
- December 9th: Paul Peltier (Leonard Peltier’s youngest son), passes away in
Washington DC. The family comes every year to advocate in DC and raise awareness about their father, to ask the President to grant clemency. Prayers and Love to the family! #FreeLeonardPeltier
- December 9th: Court date: ETP vs USACE. Judge James Boarsberg, pushes hearing back into new administration, may require Federal government to approve project. Filings to be in January 9th, DAPL to respond by January 30th, the Tribe has 10 days to respond, new hearing in February.
- December 10th: Washington DC, Joanne, Carolyn and Rachel, along with our DC Stands with Standing Rock Coalition hosts rally and march at US Capitol to the EPA! It was an awesome, beautiful day. It all came together perfectly!
- December 11th: The Spirit Riders, begin journey from Crow Creek SD to Mankato MN to honor the Dakota 38+2. Largest mass hanging in US under President Abe Lincoln. These men were taken. Horse Nation! Some travel by horse, by running, and the weather is usually brutal during these journeys, but people have come together for them, all along the route to honor the ancestors and the riders.
- December 12th: LastRealIndians keep the sacred fire going, by establishing the “Oceti Oyate” camp, the All Nations camp, after Oceti Sakowin camp dismantled. Chase Iron Eyes believes that the people should be able to stay if they want to, once those drill pads are gone, the Protectors can then, go home. Thanks, Chase! You all are awesome!
- December 15th: oil dependent city, Corpus Christi, TX, received noticed to not drink tap water. The oil refinery had a chemical leak. Issued notice to residents to buy bottled water. More and more… leaks. I see a domino effect occurring.
Thanks to every who is continuing to be a voice and help Standing Rock! Despite some of the traumatic and horrific actions that have happened in Standing Rock, it has brought people together. I have been able to meet so many people, some who I have been wanting to meet for a long time, people that I look up to, and hearing everyone’s story, motivates me to keep fighting for our future generations! So here is a virtual *hug*! You rock.