The group Indigenous Women Rise is making a strong statement in support of immigrants that the Trump administration is trying to keep out.
Once economically booming, the state of North Dakota is facing large revenue drops because of declining oil and agriculture revenue. It begs the question: If oil production is down, why build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)?
Today is the Native Nations Rise March in Washington D.C. What you can do.
U.N. Official: Trump administration retreating on Indian Rights
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has prematurely scuttled the environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a move both expected and discouraging. Meanwhile, the Sierra Club and thousands of Japanese protestors have joined the push to divest from the banks backing the pipeline, the Standing Rock Nation is struggling from declining casino revenues, and the FBI investigates DAPL protestors as potential terrorists.
Repercussions for both supporters and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) are piling up.
The City of Seattle is pulling its business from Wells Fargo, some $3 billion in accounts, due to both the bank’s support for DAPL and its bogus account scandal, news reports say. Meanwhile, the state of North Dakota is considering bills to toughen punishments for the kinds of protests taking place against DAPL, a legislative trend that is sweeping the country.
One bill in the North Dakota legislative hopper would remove liability for drivers who run over protesters standing in a roadway, as long as it is “unintentional.”
The Order includes 1,102 vowed sisters worldwide. The statement expresses their commitment “to stand in solidarity with our Native American sisters and brothers, especially of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.” Issued Nov. 30, it continues: “We stand with the community of Standing Rock … in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and their peaceful efforts to protect their water and sovereignty.”
A number of Protestant denominations have issued such statements. (They are archived on our page on the Dakota Access Pipeline.) This is the first statement we have seen from a Catholic order.
Wells Fargo has agreed today to meet with Standing Rock elders about the bank’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). It was a victory for non-violent protesting. The decision followed a four-hour “lock-down” at Wells Fargo’s downtown Minneapolis headquarters, sparked non-Native allies opposed to DAPL.
Thanks to Unicorn Riot for providing a live feed of the event. (It is still on line and available for viewing.) It was not clear from what I saw what group (if any) was leading the protest. Six people had locked themselves together in two groups of three. Tubes connected their arm to form a chain to keep people from accessing elevators. A number of other people were in the building’s lobby providing moral support and communications.
The action succeeded in getting a meeting with Jon R. Campbell, Head of Government and Community Relations for Wells Fargo & Company. The group hoped for a press release and a public announcement. They settled for a letter. Continue reading →
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.”
More than 100 people braved a cold evening to hold a vigil Tuesday night for a young water protector who sustained a serious arm injury, the result of ongoing excessive force used against those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sophia Wilansky, 21 of New York, was carrying water to unarmed people on the front lines when she was struck by a concussion grenade, according to a report in Indian Country Today. She had to be airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where she underwent a lengthy operation to save her badly damaged arm.
The Indian Country Today story included a statement by Wilansky’s father:
Both her radial and ulnar artery were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well. All of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown away. The police did not do this by accident—it was an intentional act of throwing it directly at her. …
I died a thousand deaths today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now alien arm and hand.”
We have a backlog of updates to report on Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (The blog didn’t get much attention the past few days as Healing Minnesota Stories was participating in an incredibly powerful three-day Bearing Witness Retreat, an interfaith event organized by Clouds in Water Zen Center. It witnessed to Minnesota’s participation in the Native American genocide.
Here are DAPL updates from the past few days:
As tension escalates, a court decision on the pipeline might not come until 2017
Under freezing conditions, law enforcement uses water cannons against water protectors
Pressure on banks financing DAPL has first success
U.N. Human Rights expert denounces abuse of free assembly rights
North Dakota legislators cancel annual “State of the Tribes” address amid security concerns, damaging tribal relationships
Scores arrested nationwide in DAPL protests
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Can’t Promise Pipeline Won’t Leak
Water is Life: Drought kills 102 million trees in California
Hundreds of people opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline gathered today in downtown St. Paul to ask President Obama to stop the project altogether. They carried colorful homemade signs and chanted in a call-and-response,”Mni Wiconi … Water is Life!” The rally started in Mears Park and participants then marched to the nearby local headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — an agency that holds a key to the pipeline.
This was part of a National Day of Action against the pipeline, sponsored by indigenous and environmental groups. Locally, the sponsors ranged from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Honor the Earth to the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. According to an MPR story, this was one of 300 rallies held across the country, including 10 others in Minnesota.
The rallies focused on the Corps of Engineers offices. The pipeline company needs an easement from the Corps to bore under the Missouri River. Yesterday, less than 24 hours before the rallies, the Corps announced that the project needed more study. (More here.)
Following the rally, approximately 50 people splintered off and marched to Wells Fargo Place. It was an effort to draw attention to the fact that Wells Fargo is one of the 38 financial institutions providing credit to the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners. This is part of an effort to embarrass these banks into pulling their funding. This tactic has had some recent success. (We recently wrote that DNB, the largest bank in Norway and a pipeline financer, is now doing its own investigation into the project. More here.)
Public pressure on banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline appears to be paying off.
Norway’s largest bank, one of 38 financial institutions providing loans for the project, announced it is conducting its own objective investigation into the treatment of the Standing Rock Sioux and whether their rights are being violated, according to an article in Yes! magazine. Continue reading →