So many came, there were logistical problems getting enough shelter for them. Everyone was helped and fed, but the numbers were just not expected and it strained resources of the Lakota. The weather did not help – there was a very bad blizzard. The positive outcome was that the mainstream media had to take notice, the Army Corps had to decline the pending permit to drill under the river. There was too much pressure and the presence of our military veterans was not going to help public opinion in favor of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department or the North Dakota governor.
Month: December 2016
Relighting the Fire
A recording of a live announcement from Oceti Sakowin Camp today 12/11/2016
Move to higher ground, for safety. Attack the corporation on every legal front. Get control of the narrative by having press conferences. Daily reports are essential to keep people informed, that way rumors do not spread and everyone is constantly reminded of how this issue is not over.
Primary Source Material about The IRA of 1830
A message from young warriors: We who are not leaving. 12/10/2016
Clearly, Energy Transfer Partners are still working: drone footage from 12/9/2016
When you are in camp, you can hear the construction going on. I heard it when I was there and they were told by The Army Corps of Engineers months ago to stop construction. Just scroll back to previous posts in October.
Message to Chairman Archambault
I agree with Chairman Archambault about his intentions and where he is coming from. I have watched and read about how the tribal council has tried to handle this problem. On the other hand, the powers arrayed against the indigenous do not play nice. They could care less about prayers, they laugh at good intentions and always have. As long as money and profit are the ends to the means, the corporation will be ruthless. Ruthlessness in business is an asset for them. They want you to go away, walk away in peace. When you walk away, you will lose. If you stay and force them to do something publicly, they absolutely hate that and with public opinion on your side, with actual world opinion on your side, you will win. That is why there is a media blackout and media control of the narrative. I want you to revisit the Civil Rights Movement and how it was won, and how it was successful. #1 There were clear goals laid out, and there were always legal strategies used and made very public. #2 Then, there was the public opinion strategy which required sacrifice. Many were hurt, many were arrested, many were brutalized, and many were killed. All of it was on national TV. I witnessed it back then as a child and it affected me. Every day there were protests, and there were police actions filmed on unarmed peaceful citizens. #3 The next strategies used were speeches and organized marches that spread the message through word and song. This worked on the people and forced the powerful elite to make concessions. If at any time the people had relented and relaxed, nothing would have been won. What has been missing from this very important fight for our water is accurate mainstream media coverage, detailed and repeated public messages about what needs to happen, what is the clear, stated goal. And very importantly: the constant peaceful actions need to continue. As long as the public witnesses that people are laying their lives on the line for this, that this is THAT important, you will get their support in increasing numbers. Water is THAT important. ANY battle will have sacrifices and I know when I entered Standing Rock, I went in with my eyes wide open and my heart wide open, knowing that I could be killed or seriously hurt – that this movement is that important. More important than my comfort and my safety. See, as long as that pipeline is being built, all of our safety is currently being put at risk. In fact, Chairman Archambault is totally correct in saying that safety is the main concern. You cannot walk away from cultural sites and burial places being destroyed, you cannot walk away from the people who went in willing to sacrifice their comfort, their lives, and their financial security. In fact, just as with the Civil Rights Movement, this thing became bigger than this one pipeline and this particular reservation next to this particular river. We need to record everything, walk away from nothing, and know that we will protect our people as much as we can, but this is a battle and we are battling for all of those unknown millions of future generations. This is bigger than just us now. Chairman Archambault, I was honored to be a guest at your home. I respect you and your words. Just as I know you care number one for the safety of the people, know that many people have totally changed their lives to support this movement and as you pointed out, it is not just at Standing Rock, it is all over the United States. But you have the special honor of being on the front line – Standing Rock is now a symbol and a monument to a world struggle by indigenous people against the destruction of their lands and water, and a world struggle to end the reliance on fossil fuels and to end climate change. I want you to think carefully about the untold numbers of people that will die if we do not change course. Now.
Who is Protecting the Water?
Today I finished this video about some of the people I met. This was filmed over just a few short hours. I met many more people in the days I was in Oceti Sakowin. It was a very incredible experience to share so much, so deeply, with so many people, about something as needed by all as – water.
While I worked on this video, I saw that the veterans are arriving at Standing Rock. I am saying prayers that the increase in media coverage, and in citizen involvement, will change this situation and the pipeline will be stopped. It must be stopped.