At Last: Civil Rights Watchdog To Visit Standing Rock; Weekend Reading

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is sending a delegation to Standing Rock to learn more about what is happening on the ground, according to a story in BuzzFeed Friday. The commission is “an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency,” with a mission “to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws.”

Commission chair Martin Castro will be one of those traveling to Standing Rock. He told BuzzFeed:

“This is to me the closest thing to what we’ve done since the time that we would go down in the 1960s to the Jim Crow South,” …

“Ideally we’d want to observe and meet with all parties involved, from the Army Corps of engineers to the protestor who just got hit with the water cannon,” Castro said.

“Hopefully we will not only write a report about what we’ve seen, but also co-ordinate with players involved to see how matters may be improved.”

Click on the link above for the full article.

For more weekend reading, consider these two pieces, one on Native rights and the other on environmental implications of the pipeline:

The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines, by Winona LaDuke, from News from Indian Country:

As the US Army Corps of Engineers issues a December 5 eviction notice for thousands of people gathered on the banks of the Missouri River, we face our truth. Those people at the Oceti Sakowin and Red Warrior Camps, along with the 550 people who have been arrested so far, are really the only thing standing between a river and a corporation that wants to pollute it.   That we know, because absent any legal protections, and with a regulatory system hijacked by oil interests and a federal government in crisis, the people and the river remain the only clear and sentient beings.

In short, this is a moment of extreme corporate rights and extreme racism confronted by courage, prayers, and resolve. This moment has been coming. The violence and the economics of a failing industry will indeed unravel, and this is the beginning.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: NoDAPL is About Battle Between the Old Energy Economy and the New, from The Ring of Fire Network:

“So the only way the carbon cronies can keep their domination of the marketplace is by constructing a lot of infrastructure so that we are invested. The people who invested, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and the pension funds who invested in this pipeline now have to see oil going through this pipeline for years, even long after any justification for big oil is long gone.

And of course, we’re not going to buy it in this country because we’re going to be switching to wind and solar and electric cars. They’re trying to build the infrastructure that allows them to sell it to poorer countries to continue polluting the globe, and that doesn’t make sense for anybody.”

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