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Resistance At Standing Rock: The People From Oceti Sakowin Camp

Resistance At Standing Rock: The People From Oceti Sakowin Camp
Fri, 12/9/2016 - by Alex Garland

David Rodriguez – What happens if the pipeline get’s completed? “There will be another thing. You have to keep on moving. Especially considering the nonviolent nature of things.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Absolutely. More importantly, this isn’t going to be the last time indigenous peoples are threatened or marginalized. The fight on that side continues as well. The one really good thing that comes of this is global attention, to the fossil fuel fight and the way American treats it’s indigenous people.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “I’m lucky, I’m not a marginalized person, I’m not a minority, and I live in a community that’s well educated and fairly liberal. It probably won’t affect me personally that much. Where it will affect me is emotionally and seeing what it does to other people.”

 

Tom Goldtooth – What happens if the pipeline get’s completed? “It’s not going to get built.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “The resistance will continue. We’re taking on all fossil fuel development and extraction on indigenous land and we will continue to address the issue of the market system around fossil fuels. There’s still a lot of issues with hydraulic fracking that’s happening in the Bakken Oil Field too. There has to be many fronts as far as shutting down this whole Bakken Oil Field production. That’s what it is, that’s what flows through the pipeline. There’s the issue around corporate accountability, around the market, and right now the markets down in the Bakken Oil Field and there’s really no solid prediction about whether it’s going to recover or not. So if we continue to put pressure on the market system and start to life up reliable clean energy as a viable alternative that’s one thing we will continue to campaign around. Part of the campaign is the issue around climate justice. The Missouri River, as far as long term projection of 50-100 years, the water level will go down. The glaciers are melting and they are the source of the Missouri River. When these municipalities and state governments start to look at the reality of the serious impact of the climate crisis, they will have to look at alternatives. The continuation of business as usual with the drilling and extraction and burning of fossil fuels is not a sustainable solution. Our participation here to try to halt the DAPL is part or our bigger campaign of keeping fossil fuels in ground. That will continue.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It does affect me and my family and our native people. He represents an old, outdated economic system that’s not sustainable. That economic system does not respect the living life cycles of Mother Earth. It’s an exploitative system built on the backs of people. It’s based upon unlimited growth. It puts economics before environment and protection of our water. He does not think highly of the rights of indigenous people. It’s going to be a long hard 4 years for us to defend who we are. We haven’t had any indication of his recognition and support of the rights of American Indian tribes and Alaska natives. One of the fundamental principles that we are putting forward is the right to prior and informed consent inn our relationship between our federally recognized tribes and the US Federal Government. Right now the existing policy is based upon consultation. There’s so many problems with consultation. For example, the failed policies here between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, DAPL, and the Army Corp of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers has failed in government to government policy around consultation. The tribe has continually requested that there would be adequate process that they would be input in the decision making for this pipeline and that was not done. Many of us who work on indigenous and native issues and we have put forward the need to strengthen the policy on consultation to a higher standard to be informed prior to any development and to have an arena of freedom to have dialogue that there be no coercion or pressure imposed by corporations or governments and that tribes be fully respected based on our sovereignty and self determination. We ask to be fully informed of any positive or negative impacts moving forward with development. We want the freedom to say no. They haven’t done a full environmental impact statement. I think that would have been the avenue to address the concerns of the tribe regarding negative impact to important cultural and historical sacred sites as well as addressing the environmental concerns to mitigate and clean up potential spill, ruptures and leaks on this fracked oil going through the pipe. That’s the basis of some of our concern.”

 

Amanda Weatherspoon – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “I think people will still continue to resist it. I think people will still resist the building of it and continue to band together." Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Yes, I think it’s all connected. I don’t think this is separate from anything else. It’s focused on this particular pipeline, but I think this spirit of it is connected to all the ways in which our natural resources are targeted and how it’s targeted into poor or marginalized communities. Yes. I think the focus can be transferred to any pipeline or any other environmental type of degradation.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “As a human being, any kind of fascist power being placed in that kind of office is dangerous. His appointees are dangerous, and most of all, the sentiment that he has put out into the world is very dangerous. It will affect me as an individual, but it also affects communities, and it also affects me as a minister and what I will have to do to step up to support people.”

 

Olivia One Feather – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “It’s not going to get completed. I really feel in my heart that all the powers that are here and all the spiritual, amazing love that is here is going to allow us to stope the construction and stop the black snake.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “It could. It also could be better if more people could engage and join those other fights and not necessarily take away from standing rock until we have completed our mission of protecting the earth and keeping the water and air clean for future generations. If they could join together as forces and if they are closer to actions, I think these kinds of camps could exist everywhere there is a pipeline if enough people would engage and do it.” Will the election of Donald Trump have an effect on you. “I feel like we should probably work our hardest to find a way to impeach him and maybe revise our government like Iceland did. How they overthrew their government and reelected new people. We could just bring the constitution back and strip some of the amendments that have been made and revise it because it’s an old system, it’s out of date, and it’s time for something new.”

 

Aliah Rogers – What happens if the pipeline is completed? “I honestly feel that there is so much building on so many levels right now, that even if it goes through, it’s going to be stopped at some point. I’m not so worried about that because I feel the power of what’s happening here. Even what’s happening with awareness of people in the United States and globally with issues of big oil and corruption and the total disregard of legality. This action is still calling people to attention to what’s happening. I really trust that there’s an momentum right now and a fire with this. I do not see it going out, at all. Even if it goes in, it will be stopped.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Totally. It already has. There are more actions happening because the energy of confidence, and inspiration and solidarity, it does spread worldwide. People are moved by this all over our planet. It’s going to continue to ignite fires of empowerment and resistance.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “As a white person and somewhat privileged, I would say very little compared to minorities. I don’t see him staying this position. I feel like in some ways he’s a perfect catalyst. With Hillary, people could have just stayed asleep, like “hey, we did good” and yet I feel like she’s just as complicit in some of these actions that are creating incredible harm. I feel like there is some benefit in Trump being there because it’s keeping people on their toes. I sense that we’re in such a place of change that anything can happen. I don’t see any person taking office actually lasting 4 years. I feel like there is such a readiness for incredible change. I’m on the strangely hopeful side with Trump because I feel like it’s going to create more change. With everything going on for myself, it’s important that I stay really open because we’re in such a time for potential.”

 

Joseph H Catches – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “I’m predicting that it’s not going to be completed. I really believe that with all the prayer and strength here that it’s not going to be completed. I believe it’s going to be eventually halted and torn completely down.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Oh yes, I really do. I think it’s already started. We’re getting world wide attention and it’s good. “ What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “He’s not my president. As far as affecting me, I’m going to go about my daily life as normal and take things as they come. He could push the button before we even think.”

 

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