Local Actions Planned Thursday Against Banks Backing DAPL; Veterans Stand For Standing Rock, and More

From the National Day of Action at Army Corps of Engineers headquarters in St. Paul.
From the National Day of Action at the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters in St. Paul.

The Camp of the Sacred Stones and Red Warrior Camp are calling on allies to put pressure on the financial institutions backing the Dakota Access pipeline to divest, according to a Facebook post from the two groups, and reprinted below.

“It is time banks stop using our money to finance crude oil pipelines that violate indigenous treaty rights and put our drinking water and climate at risk,” it said. “It is time to end the escalating police violence at Standing Rock.”

“Until US Bank and Wells Fargo withdraw their money from the Dakota Access pipeline, we will withdraw our money from these banks.”

Sacred Stones Camp and Red Warrior Camp make the following requests:

1. Rally at a US Bank or Wells Fargo branch on Thursday, December 1, from 8am-6pm. There are multiple actions at several locations. Find an action near you. (This link let’s you type in your zip code to find the nearest action.)

2. Close your account between Dec 1 and Dec 15. Let US Bank and Wells Fargo know you have closed your account by posting a comment on their Facebook page. #DivestFromDAPL

3. Host an action at the Wells Fargo or US Bank branch in your neighborhood on Thurs, Dec. 1. We can provide signs and flyers. For more information contact Ulla@MN350.org

Banks have a role to play. It is time they decide which side they are on — will they continue to support the fossil fuel industry and police human rights violations — or will they protect the health of our communities, our water, and our climate.

Veterans to Stand with Standing Rock

A group of military veterans is organizing a trip to Standing Rock to support the Water Protectors. Even the military publication Stars and Stripes is reporting on the event, in a story published today headlined: Veterans travel to Standing Rock to join protesters, lend aid:

Hundreds of veterans will arrive at Standing Rock Indian Reservation this weekend to join the monthslong protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, bringing with them an influx of resources and attention.

The movement, called “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” will last from Dec. 4 through Dec. 7. The veterans are going with the goal of “protecting the protesters,” said Anthony Diggs, a Marine Corps veteran who is acting as a spokesman for the group.

As of Monday, the group had raised a half-million dollars to support the Water Protectors.

The Fight to Protect Water not Isolated to Standing Rock

In 2012, the Seventh Generation Fund released a video that foreshadowed the fight in Standing Rock. It is called Water is Life – Indigenous Perspectives on Water and talks about the Navajo nation’s struggle to protect its drinking water from uranium mining.

The video runs a quick 9 minutes, and has echos to Standing Rock, contrasting the indigenous view of “water is life” — and sacred — with the western view of water as a commodity. It is a reminder that the fight at Standing Rock is not an isolated event, but a symptom of a larger problem.

Standing Rock: A History of Broken Promises and Treaties

A helpful summary of “Broken promises of the past” suffered by the Lakota people can be found in the Colorado Springs Independent story: Indigenous locals travel to Standing Rock to join pipeline resistance. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the article for the timeline.)

Read the full list, but here are some examples:

The Fort Laramie: The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty created the sovereign Great Sioux Reservation, including large parts of modern day South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska. The United States unilaterally “walked back” that treaty with the 1876 Indian Appropriations Act, which declared “no Indian nation or tribe” would be recognized “as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty.”

The Black Hills Act: In 1877, the Sioux were trying to protect their lands from white prospectors seeking gold. Congress responded by passing the Black Hills Act, “which unilaterally takes that land for the U.S. without three-fourths of Sioux agreeing to it as is required by the 1868 treaty.”

Water Rights: “In 1908, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that tribes maintain water rights in original treaty territory, including Standing Rock, in what becomes known as the Winters Doctrine.” In 1944, despite that ruling, the Army Corps of Engineers “claim sole jurisdiction over the Missouri River through the Flood Control Act of 1944, otherwise known as the Pick-Sloan Plan. Four of the five dams built on the Missouri since have flooded Sioux land, displacing residents.”

This is the history that Standing Rock is up against.


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