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Resistance at Standing Rock: The People From Oceti Sakowin Camp

Resistance at Standing Rock: The People From Oceti Sakowin Camp
Thu, 12/22/2016 - by Alex Garland

Julian Charger – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “I really have no idea. I’m hoping it doesn’t because we all need water to survive. It would be bad if that pipeline busted and contaminated the water. I mean, did you see what happened in Alabama? We don’t want anything like that happening here and contaminate it. Those pipeline workers must not have hearts cause they don’t care. They must not drink water.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure right now.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It scares me. He thinks he can buy his way into or out of anything. I don’t like him very much.”

 

 

Sara Jean Banks – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “From my perspective it’s very symbolic, obviously there are a host of environmental consequences that could happen in the future if the pipeline is actually built. I also think it represents a lot of the priorities of our policy makers, legislators, and people in power and what their priorities are for people of this country.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I do. I think it’s hard to do, but I also think that given recent events and the climate of our country right now that it might be easier to take this energy and place it somewhere else then if this had happened 5 years ago because I feel people right now are more willing and feeling like they need to be united in different ways. I think it could be if they had the right leadership.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “As a teacher it affects me in a lot of different ways, I have already seen the affects on our students and how fearful they are for their families and just trying to help them deal with that. I think personally, in so many different ways. Specifically I think about my family who is Tunisian so they are all Muslim. I don’t think my sisters would be able to come visit me now. I think about how my family would be viewed and there’s so many different things have been talked about in terms of Muslims and coming in this country. I think of an Afghani refugee family that we mentor and I think about what their lives look like right now and what the future might look like for them if people really feed into this fear mongering that’s happening with Islam. I think about my kids and their parents and how many of my kids are not here legally, but this is where they belong and this tis their country. It might not affect me directly, but everyone I love.”

 

 

Benji Buffalo – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “It’s just like Iowa, when they went under the Mississippi, what can we do. It’s up to the president, it’s up to the army corps of engineers to stop it. I have no idea what we do if it gets completed?” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “A lot of people from Iowa came here, now they have a thing they want to do in Florida, it’s warmer down there.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It don’t ever affect me. I could care less about the president. If the law changes, the law changes. You just have to conform and do whatever they say. If it’s a law, don’t break the law. If things change and the economy changes, you’ve gotta go with it. There’s nothing you can do. It’s them with the money that control things. I’m not a puppet, I just live. Still go home, have to go to work. I still have to raise my kids whether Donald Trump is president or not.”

 

 

Chris Bakke – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “Once again, we’re ignoring the environmental concerns of a pipeline going through this water which is at the head of the Missouri River which will affect a lot of people if there were a spill. There’s a civil rights component here where I think if this was land owned by white people or were graves of white people that this wouldn’t be allowed to happen. It’s another statement that our society continues to ignore sub groups of Americans who aren’t white.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I hope so, but I’m not sure. This has been months in the making and this energy has taken a long time to get to where it is and it still isn’t very public. The awareness is still pretty low so I’m not super optimistic that it can pivot to other pipelines although I really want it to.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It affects us pretty immensely. I teach in a title 1 school in Denver, it’s about 35% African American, and 65% Latino and most of my students are terrified. I teach undocumented students and they’re afraid for the safety of their family. I teach LGBTQ students and they have no idea what their rights look like in the future. Right now it’s interesting to try and support my students and their families because of the intense uncertainty that’s been put into their lives and overall their sense of security and safety has been shaken.”

 

 

Magen Kilcoyne – What happens if the pipeline is completed? “I think it will set the stage for other companies, for other factions of the government to get free reign. If this pipeline gets put it, I think it sets the tone for our use of energy in general. I think this is a country that should be far and away above in gather and using alternative sources, but the money behind it is really setting that stage. I think if the pipeline is completed I think it has larger implications for others in other countries as well because it’s going to be continuing the exploitation if you will. I think it sets the tone for corporations and big money, gives them immunity, which is really dangerous moving forward.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I hope so. We marched in downtown Denver last weekend, with Denver public school students. It was really interesting, I’ve taken part in other civil disobedience it varies realms, but it was really interesting to me because the people who were downtown having a normal Saturday night were approaching us and I’m used to being defensive when an outsider approaches an action and I found that it was very different. These people were genuinely inquisitive and curious and were appalled when they found out that their media sources were not feeding them this information. I think if anything else this is an awakening in which people in various realms of our society, you see teachers, you see environmentalists, you see people of all different ages. I think it has definitely lit a fire that if given the proper attention through our more makeshift forms of media, I think it has that potential. It’s a bigger symbolism of big money vs. earth. The actions we’re taking are unsustainable. I think it not only takes this sort of resistance, but I also think it takes shifts in our standardized education curriculums. This group of teachers, we’re really lucky and being a social studies teacher, I’ve always fought that curriculum because it think it’s the agenda of the big money and government. I used to teach in Chicago and I’ve always been brave enough to say “fuck that curriculum” and I think we’re all at a school right now where we are given that license. I think it needs to happen under an umbrella of people. I think we need to shift what we teach our kids in school and I think we need to shift where we get our news. How else does it happen but from the bottom and it’s scary, but we’re teaching our kids to speak up even if your voice quivers. I sleep better at night knowing that we have riled up thousands if not 10s of thousands of kids in our generation of teachers. My hope is that it spreads and it might happen slowly, but it has to. “ What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It will affect me probably more indirectly. We have a very large population of students whose parents might not be documented, or some of them might not be documented and it’s been a couple weeks of fear. I know trying to process what happened as an adult, and then trying to calm thousands of kids. I think the election of Trump has awakened some of these schisms that I think if it had turned out otherwise might have been swept under the rug. I’d like to believe that this is the catalyst that might really shift people because so much has been brought to light. I think we need election reform but it’s one thing to complain about what the next four years is going to bring but I think it’s equally important to start raising questions about the process itself. We know the mess the primaries brought us , let alone the bigger picture. One thing I’m really proud about is how our mayor in Denver, Mayor Hancock has said that our families in Denver and Aurora are safe. We will not enforce those federal laws coming down. I’m hoping that this election will bring not only the people rising up to say no more to this big government that’s in bed with big media and big money. My hope is that local and state governments will step up and stand as obstacles to some of these policies passing. We can’t ignore this. It has polarized people, but I hope it ignites people to say this is not what we will stand for. I told my kids, I stand for you, I stand for your parents, and I stand for your grandparents who have fought so hard to have a decent life. When we’re gone, what are the next generations going to have. I’m standing today because it’s just not a time to sit.”

 

 

Matt Otterson – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “It won’t get completed, there’s no other way to put it. If they put the pipe in, the oil won’t go in it. We can’t contaminate the water. It’s not an option. That’s why everybody’s here.” Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I think it is already. A lot of people around us are fighters and they’re here camping right now. They already have their next destination planned and they’re timing it. They’re putting in as much effort here as they can to make sure everybody is safe and then they’re going to move to the next fight. For me, it’s not until this is done and everyone is safe and goes home.” What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “Same as it did before. They’re all puppets to me. I don’t believe that any of them have any say and I think that they’re chosen long before so that they’ll carry out the orders of the above and you watch them stress, and wrinkle up, and turn grey and shrivel while they’re in that position, so it won’t affect me at all.”

 

Comments

Thank You!! You are amazing. Thank you!!

God bless all the brave souls at Oceti Sakowin Camp!
May #energytransferpartners go bankrupt!

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