This week a multiracial national delegation of over 100 representatives from 20 movement organizations for social, economic, climate and environmental justice are headed to Standing Rock in a show of solidarity for indigenous survival and sovereignty as leaders on the ground continue to protect the water and halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This delegation, organized under the banner of “Honoring 524 Years of Resistance to Colonialism in Defense of Mother Earth,” is a collaboration between the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), and is led by people who are on the frontline of extractive industries, environmental racism and police brutality in their own communities. From places as far away as Miami, Detroit, Seattle, and Chicago this delegation is made up of People of Color, LGBTQ people, women, and immigrants, who see the connection between their own struggles and the long history of indigenous sovereignty.
The delegation takes place amidst the unwarranted escalation of violence and human rights abuses by militarized forces and state law enforcement against Native water protectors and other nonviolent allies. Nearly 200 people from the Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone Camps were treated for injuries after they attempted to remove a barricade that had been erected by police earlier this fall and obstructed their safety and security. A statement released by the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) said, "The Morton County Sheriff's Department, the North Dakota State Patrol, and the Governor of North Dakota are committing crimes against humanity. They are accomplices with the Dakota Access Pipeline LLC and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners in a conspiracy to protect the corporation's illegal activities.”
Both CJA and GGJ denounce these human rights abuses and call on the state and local police to stop using tax money to punish peaceful water protectors. The delegation will work closely with the indigenous leadership on the ground, including IEN, and Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3) to support wider efforts to denounce abuses, take action and organize others in our home communities to increase their show of solidarity. As many people gather with their loved ones for the US holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to remind people of the families, nations and cultures that have been torn apart by the centuries of genocide, land grabs and colonization waged against indigenous peoples.
“This moment is calling all of us to stand by our value for life, for justice, for our families, for Mother Earth; asking of us to stand together with Standing Rock. As a delegation of people who have seen the impacts of oppression and violence in our own lives, threatened by the incoming administration and climate change, we ask our communities to answer this call, use this moment to change American history in a way that supports indigenous movements and the protections of sacred water and sacred land for all our futures."— Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance
“Standing Rock is a clarion call to the world for the kind of proactive climate action we need in this moment, especially as we face a climate denier administration coming in. Trump will give carte blanche to fossil fuel industry—from cabinet positions to corporate contracts, the “dig, burn, dump economy” will be promoted as a so-called fix to economic devastation, and drive our climate and economic crisis even deeper. That is why many leader and members of GGJ and CJA are coming together to both witness this historic ongoing resistance and to show the water protectors at standing rock that the world has eyes on their struggle for sovereignty, human rights and environmental rights, and we are with them.”— Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
We are asking our community members to support by taking the following actions this week:
1. Call President Obama, 202-456-1111, and ask him to “Direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits under ‘Nationwide Permit 12’ and to stop the Dakota Access pipleline once and for all.”
4. Educate your community and friends about the real history behind Thanks-taking day.