Today is December 1st. It’s the start of a new month…the last month of 2016.
It is also the Global Day of Action for Standing Rock and #NoDAPL. For those who don’t know, Standing Rock is a Sioux tribe reservation that has been protesting the construction of an oil pipeline (the Dakota Access Pipeline) that will disturb their burial lands and run under Lake Oahe, their sole source of clean water. They have been blocking the continued construction of the pipeline for months now with unarmed protests and prayers. They have been clashing with a militarized police force that (among other things) has held protesters in dog crates and used water cannons in below-freezing conditions.
If you are wondering why there’s been very little of this in the news…well, that’s the funny part. And by “funny” I mean concerning. You would think that Standing Rock has all the pull of a major news story: It’s got politics and environmental concerns, human interest, militarized police and race concerns. It’s got the little guy standing up against big corporations. Maybe the news black-out has something to do with those big corporations being oil companies and the little guy being Native American. Maybe it’s got something to do with this pipeline having been originally having been planned to go near Bismark, but being rerouted due to concerns about contaminating the drinking water.
Whatever the reason, the main stream media is just now starting to really pick up the story. The silence is, finally, over. And this month looks to be critical in terms of #NoDAPL–on December 4th, a group of veterans arrive at Standing Rock to act as human shields to protect the water protectors. There is a financial deadline of sorts on January 1st for the pipeline. I know I must be a bit irritating, constantly reposting stories about Standing Rock on Facebook and Twitter…but this is truly an issue that I feel deeply and strongly about.
So why do I feel so strongly about Standing Rock and #NoDAPL?
Well, it touches on many of my own “crusades” about respecting the dignity of all people and upholding the Golden Rule. (Fun fact, I first heard about Standing Rock through my church, which responded to the request for help sent out by the Episcopal churches on the Standing Rock reservation.) The Sioux tribe has insisted on the tone of these protests being peace and pray. I am not advocating civil disobedience or violence of any kind.
I am standing with Standing Rock because the thought of an oil pipeline running through a cemetery where members of my family are buried, disturbing their remains sickens me and I cannot ask the Sioux of Standing Rock to quietly accept what I would not.
I am standing with Standing Rock because I would not want an oil pipeline to run under my source of potable water, risking both my health and well-being of my community.
I am standing with Standing Rock because I believe that this Earth is our home and we have a responsibility to take care of it.
I am standing with Standing Rock because I do not think the coming generations will thank us if we choose cheap oil over clean water, and corporations over communities.
I am standing with Standing Rock because I believe that the suppression of the rights and voices of Native Americans has gone on for far too long.
So during this month of action, I will be calling my representatives and authorities in North Dakota every day, and doing everything I can to support #NoDAPL. I ask everyone reading to considering doing the same.
If you wouldn’t want an oil pipeline to disturb your family’s cemetery, please join.
If you wouldn’t want an oil pipeline to contaminate your drinking water, please join.
If you wouldn’t want your family to subjected to systemic suppression, please join.
Thank you and God bless you!