On December 4th many of us celebrated the (apparent? temporary?) halt in construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in gratitude and (and for me, a lot of awe & deep respect) of the dedicated, powerful & peaceful actions of the water protectors that are non-violently defending life, water, culture, future, Mother Earth, justice, peace, sustainability, stewardship and responsibility
.In case you still don't know what is happening, I want to have compassion about it, but seriously, what in the shit? How do you not know anything about this by now? If you were in a coma, I get that. I apologize for my criticism and judgement of you. However, my level of understanding and patience for "but I didn't know" or "no, I hadn't heard about this" are quite low. Blame it on the instant access to millions of bits of information at any given moment, available not just at your public library but also in the computer you hold in your hand just about 24/7. Blame it on my Mars in Gemini, I don't know. I wanna quit the blame game for good, guys. I am human. And on this, as well as all the socio-economic-politico-eco-humanity issues in America right now. No excuses.
There goes my habit for digressing.
So, ok, here are the basics of what is the Dakota Access Pipeline (dapl) and why you need to not only give a shit but take action, regularly, habitually.
From the corporation building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners website:
"The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new approximate 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the rapidly expanding Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand.
It will transport approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more – which could represent approximately half of Bakken current daily crude oil production. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners."
Sounds neat, if you are still in denial about the destructions of environment, animals, water, air, the globe, people, future generations that happens when we extract, transport & burn oil. Please learn more from honest, scientific, independent sources.
Here is the part that Energy Transfer Partners left out, from the No DAPL Solidarity website:
"The “Dakota Acces” Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent.Construction of the DAPL would engender a renewed fracking-frenzy in the Bakken shale region, as well as endanger a source of fresh water for the Standing Rock Sioux and 8 million people living downstream. DAPL would also impact many sites that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous nations.
The DAPL is a massive project being organized by a shady group of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies and banks. They have offices in cities around the world. Putting direct, nonviolent pressure on the corporations building and funding this project is critical for supporting frontline resistance to DAPL."
A lot has been happening, including the use of violent, aggressive, dangerous, unneccesary, inhumane, illegal, unacceptable force from law enforcement agents against peaceful demonstrators including the use of attack dogs, pepper spray, water cannons in freezing temperatures, concussion grenades (a peaceful protector may lose her arm), beatings, mace & arrests.
More than 300 peaceful demonstrators have been injured.
There are 1,300 law enforcement personnel at Standing Rock, from NINE different states.
I hope you are (still) outraged.
On December 4th the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers denied an easement, which means they didn't give permission for the pipeline construction to cross Lake Oahe. So this is certainly a good thing! Construction is halted, for now. It is not the end. This is not over. This still requires our attention, support, education of, advocation for and daily action.
From the NoDAPLSolidarity organization (same link as above) on action steps and important dates/information:
"The Army Corps of Engineers did not grant the final easement to drill under the Missouri River. You can read the Army Corps’ full statement here.
We are NOT asking folks to go to camp at this time, but we are asking for your continued support of our Protectors staying on the frontlines. Donating to the Last Real Indians #NoDAPL Aid fundraiser is the number one way to get monetary support directly to the Protectors for yurts, 4WD Pickups, snowmobiles, the rebuilding of kitchens, porta potties and any other winterization needs the Protectors deem necessary:
We want to stress that this fight is not over. We have successfully halted DAPL administratively, but need to continue to fight on all fronts. In addition to sending monetary and supply support to our front line Protectors, we must stop financial resources from flowing into DAPL.
December is a Global Month of Action. During this time we ask all of our supporters to continue to personally divest from the 17 banks who fund DAPL, and take direct action to shut these banks down. Here are historically, culturally and strategically significant dates to take action:
December 15 - Anniversary of Sitting Bull’s Assassination (Dec 15, 1890)
December 22 - North Dakota's violations of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights and Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples- Tell Morton Co and all Sheriff’s Departments to stand down!
December 25 - Global Day of Prayer
December 26 - Date of the Dakota 38 Hanging ( Dec 26, 1862)
December and the remaining winter months are very critical months to stay engaged and stay active, not only because the threat of DAPL’s continued presence at Standing Rock, but this timeframe has historical significance as well. The many attacks by the United States Government and military on our People, all took place in the winter. At a time when our resources are at their lowest, when our numbers are at our lowest and our ability to protect ourselves is at our lowest."
This is a movement and several issues for all of us. Isn't it time that the country named the United States of America recognized the ongoing exploitation, destruction, discrimination and abuse towards Indigenous people?! (uh, and People of Color, our brothers and sisters who identify as non-binary, LGTBQIA, women, children, Muslims, Jewish folks, soil, food, water, air .. .)
Isn't it about a time we honored SCIENCE, FACT, REASON & LOGIC, accepting that human activity such as burning oil causes problems for all life on Earth that are fatal, abusive, that disproportionately affects people of color and certain geographies, are irreversible BUT
we have brilliant, safer alternatives in renewable energy, the power to shift in our consumer patterns and embrace our personal responsibilities?
Have we not realized yet that convenience, profit, growth at all costs are not measures of success, of achieving greatness as being human?
Do you see that you are a child of this Earth, borrowing it from your great grandchildren?
There are opportunities every. single. day. to make small & big changes that benefit you, your family AND the world:
send an email,
divest from you bank,
read from an independent, reputable source,
learn about another culture from that very culture, not the white washed lens,
question your conditioning,
don't buy the processed shit wrapped in plastic shipped from across the world, think critically,
make choices from love,
drop the defenses,
listen to someone with a very different point of view without making it personal (this one is for white folks primarily),
make a protest sign & hang it in your store window & mean it,
know who you are buying from,
know what in the fuck you are buying,
learn about externailities,
stop being a mindless consumer,
tell the patriarchy that your body is your business,
show up - for yourself, your family, your community. When we each do this then the whole idea of "saving the world" becomes palatable, do-able, how it actually should be and needs to flow.
Please learn more (we all need this), talk about these things (it's on us), think about what is happening in the world (it's okay to get uncomfortable), take really fucking good care of yourself and recharge in HEALTHY ways (you deserve it & we need you), quit the numbing out (it's not living).
Some great places to visit specifically to learn & support the efforts of the indigenous led movement against the DAPL:
I love you. Thank you for reading. Please comment, share, privately email me - whatever.
Standing Up, Fighting Back and Not Going Anywhere,
In Solidarity and With Gratitude to all the Protectors,