It is not over yet, Energy Transfer Partners will not stop DAPL despite Army Corps of Engineer decision

Do not be so quick to celebrate, people who are rooting for the triumph of the Earth and her Water Protectors at Standing Rock. The ruling by the Army Corp of Engineers that they will not grant the easement for Energy Transfer Partners to drill under Lake Oahe. The Dakota Access Pipeline would rerouteif this were a complete win. But it is not. The forces behind DAPL having no intention of stopping their juggernaut towards completion.

In a response to the Army Corps of Engineers decision, they issues a statement that left no doubt as to their intent. The full text can be found here. The full text conveys a defiant tone that seems emboldened by the militarized actions that have bolstered the relentless actions of the pipeline interests. Indeed, a haughty and contempt filled tone laced itself throughout the jab directed at the current U.S. Administration.

The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.

To be sure, the powers that are in place at the reigns of this industrial machine are hellbent on seeing it run over, through, and atop the lands of anyone, and everyone, that get in their way. The message is crystal clear as the waters they wish to endanger.

As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.

This is not the time to despair, or give up. They are willing to take the fine, after all it is only monetary. The stakes for all of those with flesh and bone in this fight are much higher.  Do not back down, we are with you. Traditional Belief, Pagan, Christian, Gentile, Jew, African Traditional, and more, many of us stand with you on this line. That, and the broad backs and fierce courage of the righteous anger of over 2,000 angry veterans give hope that this fight is not going to be lost.

Image: 927 by Unicorn Riot

For direct information, please contact. This way you can find out exactly what they have to say. Let them hear your voice.

Energy Transfer
Investor Relations:
Brent Ratliff, 214-981-0795
or
Granado Communications Group
Media Relations:
Vicki Granado, 214-599-8785
Cell: 214-498-9272
or
Sunoco Logistics
Investor Relations:
Peter Gvazdauskas, 215-977-6322
or
Media Relations:
Jeff Shields, 215-977-6056

To my fellow Michiganders in Flint, stand ready. There may be some visitors headed your way as well. RT News reports that some of those veterans may be headed your way.

A dedication to those of you, and us, who stand with Standing Rock.

 

 

 

Veterans answer the call, and stand for Standing Rock

On December 4 – 8 Veterans for Standing Rock will march to “defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security” in North Dakota. They will stand to protect the citizens of our nation against forces which they have deemed so outrageous as needing a direct response. Veterans of the United States Armed Forces, e.g. U.S. Army, United States Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard plan to stand side by side with water protectors on site. For them, it is a matter of honor.

 

Original image source: Bykst
Original image source: Bykst

The utilization of Facebook to rally the troops proves to be effective. The event, named  Veterans For Standing Rock, is that of former law enforcement officer Michael Wood Jr., and Wes Clark, Jr., son of General Wes Clark.  He makes no hedging about his place.

“First Americans have served in the Unites States Military, defending the soil of our homelands, at a greater percentage than any other group of Americans. There is no other people more deserving of veteran support.” – Operations Order, Veterans for Standing Rock

 

 

 

 

15085493_10154051088203715_5081708063473497764_n

14980789_10154051088798715_7283878214633055043_n

 

14991870_10154051089203715_5932304312031147442_n15032846_10154051090228715_9035830674275021003_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This group got the green light of approval from Elders of the Lakota Sioux, and plan to work in full cooperation with them every step of the way. The vets will be on the front line and in uniform, acting as shield against the spear. They face a situation that is beyond volatile. Preceding months of engagement in this fight for water, they list mace, tear gas, sniper guns, rubber bullets, attack dogs, LRAD deployment, and pepper spray.

But perhaps the most punishing and detestable shock was the now infamous night November 20. Trapped on a bridge, water protectors were allegedly barraged with rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons, concussion and stinger grenades. Photographs, and live feed footage of these attacks and weapons were covered by independent and mainstream media sources.

Due to subfreezing temperatures, the use of water to force compliance endangered the water protectors to very real risk of life. A statement by the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council addressed the potential for fatalities in this statement.

“As medical professionals we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions”

Among the injured was Sophia Wilansky. Wilansky was bringing water to those caught on the bridge when she was hit by an alleged police weapon. Police dispute this and support that it was a weapon brought by the protestors at the site. The injuries to her arm are so severe that they expect at least 20 surgeries in the fight to save the limb. The confrontation also saw injury to one law enforcement officer.

  “authorities continue to defend our tactics.” –  spokeswoman Maxine Herr, Morton County Sheriff’s office

Civilians are also called to come forward. They should read the event page for specific information about what is to be expected at while at the camps. Those going should be prepared for cold temperatures and be reminded that they are there to serve with the protectors side by side.

It is likely they will arrive sometime around the same time as the The Bunk Bus. The escalation of tactics of pain compliance as part of the overall strategy of the DAPL, the Governor of North Dakota and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department show no sign of stopping. Medics are needed, as are medical supplies.

A registration is in place for those who intend to take part in this historic decision to muster our nation’s veterans on a grass-roots level. The form is located at Veterans Stand for Standing Rock – Roster.

To support the fundraising efforts, and coordinate your donations, visit Veterans for Standing Rock on gofundme.

 

 

An editorial about being an ally and what that means at Standing Rock

The Standing Rock Youth’s movement against the corporate, and armed, heavily funded destruction of their Sacred space and their Spiritual rights and agency calls to the masses for support. The hearts and hands of the world have followed their eyes as they react to the actions that are taking place in the action zones of engagement. Water protectors continue to see their ranks grow as sojourners from across the continent arrive and stand in prayer with them against the interests the jeopardize their water and destroy the graves of and relics of the indigenous peoples in this region.

In the rush to be allies, there is a need to be mindful and aware of the role that those who come to the site as allies play. In other words, allies are to be there to aid and direct attention to the goals of the Standing Rock Sioux. This means many things to many people, but the facts of the matter are that allies do not seek to spiritually colonize the movements they are there to support.

A public Facebook post by A. Nason, from Fort Yates, North Dakota hit this chord in such a way that it resonated to my very bones.

Back at Oceti Sakowin. What I’ve experienced today has been painful and gross. White men took over the Indigenous lead direct action training. I was talked down to again and again by non-Indigenous folk, acting like they own the camp because they hold down their own tent.

Then there was a call for all available women at the camp to go to the Spirit Fire for a meeting. Curious, I went. It was led by 2 white women, looked like the usual type you would see at the festival circuit or Burning Man. They made a circle and asked what “we as united women feel united by under the goddess, because we’ve seen what men have been doing and it’s so divided.” They policed how we talked, told us to not talk out of turn and to hold comments for later. Another white woman told the Fire Keepers, the men tending the spirit fire as it is their traditional role, to “keep it down and stop talking, because women are having a meeting.” My blood boiled, but I kept waiting. I had to walk away for a bit, but when I returned an Oceti Sakowin woman was speaking, and she felt the same pain I did. She told the women at the circle how disrespectful they were being by not honoring the ceremonial request to wear skirts, and that this is her home and make space for the other Indigenous women from this land. She asked me to speak up after, she could feel my energy.

I told the white women in this circle that they must keep Indigenous women centered here, especially the women from Oceti Sakowin. And where were the elders? Why aren’t our elders holding this? I told them how colonized this felt, how by telling us Indigenous women how to speak and when to speak that they’re perpetuating the harm that is continued to be done to us. I said how gross this made me feel.

I’m disgusted by the Burners and same types at camp. I’m not surprised that they showed up and are trying to take over our movement and our ceremony, but I’m not any less disgusted.

Indigenous folks coming up, guard your heart and spirits. POC allies, please hug us and love on us. We need it. White allies, collect your people. Center us. Keep Indigenous women and two spirited people at the center of this. Keep all Indigenous people in the main focus.

My heart is sick.

From Facebook, November 1, 2016

So, this is a letter to my Pagan folks and my neo Pagan folks, and my spiritual folks, hell, my folks. Please understand and take your time to read the following words repeatedly so that their meaning is not lost on you.

No matter your race, nationality, color, gender, politics, spirituality (Yes, I am looking at YOU my tree-hugging, Goddess worshiping brethren and sistren), economic status, or personal sense of entitlement, understand that this IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AS YOUR PERSONAL MISSION.

This is a divinely inspired movement by the Standing Rock Sioux that has filled with miracles and signs at every step of the way, and our personal ways and agendas have no place in the center of it. We are allies, NOT the leadership. THEY, not WE, have set the tone and the mores of this place in accord with THEIR society and culture. This is a Holy movement, yes I believe it is, and it is not in need of colonization and capitalization.

Let us remember what this is really about. It is not about “sticking it to the man”. It is not about being an anarchist. It is not about the counterculture. It is not about your Indigo this, or your Crystal that, or how many Lynn Andrews books you have read. It is not about how many Kenn Day seminars you have attended, or how many times your heart was broken by the Bernie Sanders movement.  To remember what it is about, visit the original site of Rezpect our Water and read the letters there about how their drinking water is in imminent danger by this project.

BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE

If you are going to the camps to stand with the protectors, keep your mind right. Be ready to spend hours in prayer. Be ready to do your fair share of work. You are entering a society, not a hippie festival or an anarchist camp. Get your hands dirty; be of help; bring a skill; bring supplies if you can; do not seek glory, seek solidarity and prayer.

PRAYER

That is what is taking lead in this. Spiritual warfare is the way, not hands and fists and weapons. Bring no weapons other than faith, and a willingness to serve.

RESPECT

This is their home, their lands and their Ancestors. This is not a photo opportunity. This is not a chance to get your continuing education credits, or activist street credibility. Leave your ego in your driveway. Respect the Traditions that are in place here and be mindful of what it means to be a Stranger and an Ally.

DO YOU EVEN MAGICK, BRO OR SIS?

If you are a magickal practitioner, or Pagan, you may wish to brush up on your manners. This is not a magical situation, but the book “Magickal Manners: A Guide to Magickal Etiquette” by Puck Shadowdrake is a good place to look in your metaphysical book shelf for a refresher about encountering other cultures and being a GOOD PERSON, not a hot dog or a culturally insensitive shame-bucket. Manifest that goal of aid, make sigils, use Andrieh Vitimus’ chaos book, do something useful in your own Traditions.

EDUCATE

If you cannot go to the site, but want to manifest change, then do it at home. Advocate, share posts, educate, and donate. Do circles and coffee nights about the situation and brainstorm on what can be done by those who are interested in assisting. Follow through on these ideas. Do Magick! Pray! Repeat!

BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

When the People were blockaded from the DAPL site, an eagle appeared and led them to an alternate route. When there was fire, the wind blew AWAY from the camp all night til it was extinguished. A golden eagle appeared and allowed them to approach and stayed for a while. The Buffalo Nation appeared in great numbers to help the water protectors. Canoes from several states made a route to render aid. Nations all over the world have heard the call and the injustice and representatives have arrived in great number on the lands where the Battle of Greasy Grass sought to extinguish this people.

DONATE AND RAISE MONEY

Donations of material support, cash, and supplies are needed. Travel expenses, legal expenses, and the funding of projects directly involved with this movement need continual support. Whether sending online through a personal Paypal to any of the sites, sending medical supplies, or natural healing aids, it is all part of the effort. If you can do this, do so. Allies are everywhere, not just the front lines.

SING YOUR SONGS

Many have forgotten the power of Singing. The power of the words and the emotions behind them can move mountains and melt stone hearts. They feed the souls of the warrior and the midwife, the child and the elders, the single and the group. Learn the songs, and use your own, write your own, sing them and make the world hear.

RECOGNIZE WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING.

These are the times of miracles, wonders, leaders, and the making of the new Mighty Ancestor stories. We do not have the right to take from that. All we have the right to do is what is good, right, honorable, and pure … as allies. We are not the stars of this story.

Remember that, fellow allies. Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux, not on top of them.

Miigs from a Soul Sister with Creek Nation ancestry.

 

BREAKING NEWS: DAPL vs Standing Rock Sioux water protectors at the river

Militarized forces have reached the water’s edge in the DAPL marching desecration of sacred burial sites, religious grounds, and sacred sites of the Sioux. Ancestral lands were cut off and people of faith were prevented from praying on the holy sites by armed assailants. Forces operating under the color of law and the direction of the Morton County government forcibly removed, and prevented religious access, to the sites.

Conor Handley shared these images publicly of the events on the ground today with these words. For the entire public posting, please follow the link.

“Today many of our protectors tried to cross the river to pray on top of a hill where Ocenti Sakowin ancestors are buried, this place has been desecrated by the police and DAPL…”

 

Protectors looked on with the Horse Nation. Eyes in atop the earthen ridge stared down at them, unmoved. The land awaited the next step as the battle of Spirit versus Might continues. Militarized police and forces from agencies of local and out of state assemble on the banks. Here in full gear, they await further orders. Their lines are mixed and are at the ready with chemical agents, firearms, and batons.

The current fight against the desecration and disturbance of these lands, as protected by the Original Instructions, is in the courts. On the lands, it is a battle of wills and spirit. Advocates and legal counsels are working feverishly to stop this encroachment. President Obama has yet to use his pen to stop this advance.

The onslaught does not stop at the water’s edge. Protectors stand on the banks and in the water itself to hold the line.  The forces of the corporate interests, and the law enforcement allied forces advance.

Image by Conor Handley
Image Source Facebook by Conor Handley

The push enters the water. The desecration of the land continuing, the water is next. Though no permits at this time have been granted to move forward with drilling underneath this location, DAPL and law enforcement policy makers are steadfast in their conviction to push the Sioux back in the wake of the juggernaut of corporate planning. The conflict of interest of congressional members at the heights of government are not a factor on the ground. Only following orders seems to be the order of the day.

Like a scene from “Apocalypse Now”, this patrol boat bears a conflicted load of agency pawns. Brute force used to enforce a yet to be decided right of way takes to the waves. The masks are to protect from the chemical agents that are being used as a force method against the water protectors. This, combined with bean bags, and rubber bullets, comprise the most used tactics of enforcement in this conflict.

Image by Conor Handley
Image Source Facebook by Conor Handley

This situation is still unfolding. Please visit the various sites on Facebook and the other social media networks in order to stay informed with up to the minute news and information. Unicorn Riot  has embedded press on the ground, so we urge you to visit them. This is a spiritual event, and Pagans and non Pagans may wish to keep themselves aware of all developments. Especially those who are very tied to the Earth. Water is Life.

The sight of the armed in holy lands is enough to raise alarm. If they are willing to disregard the treaties and Bill of Rights in the pursuit of oil, who will ever be safe? This question should be in every Circle, Coven, and Church this week.

That pesky first amendment and why it matters right now

Source: unsplash

So many of the issues in this election year of 2016 CE are hot buttons of emotion that one of the major rights that we have as a people being ignored is a travesty. It seems that the requisite action of any organized corporate or governmental organization engaged in controversial situations is to gag, deter, and arrest (usually unlawfully) the press. The citizenry’s rights to freedom of the press are in the United States Constitution. This is the truth, despite the odious creep and overreach of the forces that are hellbent on destroying that right with spurious interpretations under the color of law that seek to suppress the reporting that gives us the truth, without bias, from the front lines.

The journalist, the reporter, the press in its many forms, not the entertainers, are the “fourth estate”. They are the watchmen at the gate, the ear in the chamber, the eye on the arena, and the flow of information to the people. The press keep us honest, they find truth, they give facts, and yes sometimes they give opinions. Some of those opinions challenge what many would wish to hear, especially those in power, those in scandal, and those engaged in illegal, unethical, or egregious behavior. Money talks, and it buys the strong arms and stoic silence of those in the places of power who bear the duty of protecting the reporters.

With  the major news organizations being owned by very few entities, the flow of information finds itself colored, curtailed, and forced to find independent media sources that offer multiple outlets. Alex Jones, a media personality with a provocative brand that endears him to some, and outrages others, coined the term “dinosaur media” when referring to the traditional large name print and network media. In some ways, the hierarchy of the pay-your-dues brand of journalism has become the very crushing walls that are destroying many of the generational divided future news writers. In others, it is that very system that produces quality journalism relied upon to serve.

Source: unsplash
Image: Hector Martinez

However, the medium and the messages have expanded, and those on the front lines are under fire at all levels. Unless they become the talking head of delivering prepackaged news copy for our digestion from channels branded now as entertainment, it is more difficult to find the courageous photojournalists and writers who embed themselves in the news sites that matter physically. The threat, and implementation, of coercive and legally questionable tactics create a climate of fear and apprehension that has direct influence on what stories and facts you, the public, get to see.

One example is the situation at the Standing Rock Sioux and the DAPL parties. Smoky rooms and smoke and mirrors are at full steam in this situation, intimidating, arresting, and barring the free press from doing their constitutionally protected coverage of this event. From the groundbreaking small media company Unicorn Riot, to the esteemed Democracy Now, reporters are under politically motivated attack. Readers, there is something very  wrong going on here, when our government is using these tactics to hide what they are doing, and we should watch them closely because  What we are seeing is the encroaching death of the right to a free press.

To give some history on the events referred to here, let us first look at what befell the reporters from Unicorn Riot while covering a news stories. So far, four journalists were arrested while providing coverage of stories related to this news event. Two were arrested on September 13th, and two on October 7th, all clearly displaying press badges and self identifying.

During a September 13th direct action at a DAPL construction site, two Unicorn Riot journalists were targeted and arrested while reporting during a live broadcast. Our reporters were both wearing their press passes and stating “I’m press” at the time of their arrests…..

On October 7th, in Lee County, Iowa, after live streaming an action (from a tree perch outside DAPL property) during which two women locked themselves to a horizontal directional drill, another Unicorn Riot journalist was arrested and taken into custody. They have been charged with criminal trespass…  the same day as court was happening for one Unicorn Riot journalist, another was getting arrested by a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy for once again, allegedly trespassing while documenting a non-violent direct action that stopped pipeline construction. – “Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges for Covering #NoDAPL”, Unicorn Riot

Next, the story of Amy Goodman, world respected and known journalist. She, too, dared to commit the crime of press coverage at the site of the contested pipeline, and the actions of the authorities and gathered water protectors. She took photographs, and broadcast live on social media, the uncensored events that took place there with the mantle of the reporter on her shoulders. The now infamous footage of the dog attacks at the site did not sit well with the silent and tacit agreement to not cover this story by major media outlets.

This footage led to an arrest warrant being issued for criminal trespass, which has been changed to charges for participating in a riot. This fictive narrative by the powers that be seeks to now levy charges that could, if convicted, place this writer behind bars for up to 45 years. A transcript of her report can be found here at Democracy Now.

This morning, she broadcasted live regarding this case. Find the video at Democracy Now by following this link.

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/17/amy_goodman_broadcasts_from_north_dakota

Citizen journalists, investigative journalists,  and documentary filmmakers face difficult decisions and potential consequences for their work. They are on the front line. The protections afforded to big name media are not always recognized in their cases and anti SLAPP laws are not universal throughout the nation.  When the constitution was framed, it protected even the pamphlet maker. Now it would come into question whether live streams of content are equivalent in their protection.

Near v. Minnesota, ratified the Blackstonian proposition that a prior restraint — a legal prohibition on the press’s ability to publish information in its possession — will almost always violate the First Amendment. Near is a landmark, not just because it was the Court’s first decision to invoke the press clause, but because it established a fundamental precept of constitutional law — that once the press has gotten its hands on information that it deems to be newsworthy, the government can seldom, if ever, prevent that information from being published. –

On October 11, Deia Schlosberg, documentary filmmaker, arrested  in Walhalla, North Dakota, covered a story on a climate change protest which shut down four states where pipelines were carrying tar-sands oil from Alberta, Canada, into the United States. The film,How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change” was to include the direct actions of these activists. However the film footage was confiscated, she was held for two days without access to counsel, and she three felony counts of conspiracy have been charged against her for covering this story.

We need more investigative journalists, and we need to defend them. We need more news, not less. We need more stories and those to write them. Locally, here in Michigan, there is an opportunity to learn more about this on Sunday, October 30th at the “2016 Detroit Watchdog Workshop” by Investigative Reporters and Editors. Hosted by Wayne State’s Dept of Communication.  The irony of this is not lost on this writer, as this same institution has gone to certain lengths to silence award-winning columnist Steve Neavling’s Motor City Muckraker site’s ongoing reporting regarding the institution.

Suppression, intimidation, and the color of law are all being used to cut our press to minimalist writers fed their information after approved by the very persons that might stand the most to lose. This wave of censorship and stonewalling will only lead to the further erosion of our First Amendment right to have a free press. If you are not afraid of that this will mean yet, you haven’t been paying attention.

 

 

Offensive by land and air in North Dakota against Standing Rock gathering

On September 28, 2016, aggressive actions and assaults against the water protectors mobilized at the encampments dedicated to stopping the North Dakota Pipeline. Peaceful prayer services and gatherings suffered the actions of air and ground mobilizations. Armored vehicles and an as yet unidentified substance dropped from an airplane flying close to the ground were on site, as arrests ensued.

Traditional religious services are a major part of this movement. The continued pressure of organized forces of local and other agencies consistently are used to push back the blockages presented by the water protectors. Roads blocks, checkpoints, and choke points at access portals have as yet failed to prevent the gathering momentum of a movement begun by the youth of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Video footage gives the story gives a view of what went on there. Uploads of this video were consistently unable to retain their feed and integrity when fed to social media outlets, according to reports.

Warning: This footage from Thomas H. Joseph II, is not being edited, and is being presented in its entirety.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Law enforcement has brandished weapons and arrests are ongoing at Standing Rock


Breaking news from Standing Rock. Water protectors are under a sort of seeds at this point, as troops and authorities empowered by the government have brandished semi-automatic weapons and moved against them. Arrests include reporters and medical personnel. We are bringing you a live feed video that was uploaded from UnicornRiot independent new service under Creative Commons Share Alike.

 

http://livestream.com/unicornriot/events/6340986

Tensions have seemed to reach that pivotal point where action must take place. Peaceful protectors have encountered running with security forces before period but nothing has compared to this action. Please click the link above for up-to-the-minute footage as it is able to be released.

 

 

Indigenous supporters from Winnipeg, and Black Lives Matter in U.S. go to Standing Rock

The protection of water in the states has garnered the support of Canadian indigenous activists from Winnipeg, and U.S. group Black Lives Matter. They have begun to journey in small numbers to stand with the assemblage at Standing Rock in North Dakota, U.S.A. Support continues to grow for the efforts of the demand for the honoring of treaty rights and environmental protection from the proposed oil pipeline that would be built just up the way from the water system of the reservation.

A case is pending that will be decided on September 14, 2016 that will decide the fate of this project.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is suing federal regulators for approving permits for the pipeline that will move oil from North Dakota to Illinois. (The Associated Press/James MacPherson)

This is to be decided by a Federal Judge, and the petitioners have been granted the temporary victory of a halt in the construction. News is still developing on this situation at the time of this writing. The Standing Rock Sioux’s support camps continue to grow on the site while awaiting this decision, bringing material support and help.

This Sunday, Aug 28, the Black Lives Matter group issued a call for those coming to the site to visit them on activist row.

Standing Rock Sioux Reservation continues to demand dignity for their people and preservation of their land in fighting against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Indigenous communities in the Americas have long been the recipients of the most egregious kinds of state violence, and this is no exception. Black Lives Matter stands in struggle with the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Indigenous people everywhere. There will be no more business as usual. Resistance is a shared struggle and we are here for the long haul. – Black Lives Matter

While communications from the camp itself have been extremely blocked, independent media sources are still covering the event. The site has also been host to several spiritual events and even a wedding. Traditional foods, medicines, and teachings are thriving at the site.  Up to date footage and reports of this key millennial event are available at Honor the Earth.

Every good movement eventually finds the artists to inspire and spiritually feed the people. This one is no exception. The music of Buffy Sainte Marie inspired the following video project by Casey E. Leydon, published on YouTube Aug 14, 2016. From her album, “Power in the Blood”, 2015 Canadian Album of the Year, the piece is “Sing Our Own Song”.

Voices from Michigan’s political parties on Standing Rock situation

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water protection blockade in the Dakotas is developing at lightening speed, as the Seven Council Fires nations converge on the site of what is the first unified gathering of this size since the Battle of the Greasy Grass. Readers may know this battle by the name of Little Big Horn. In the front line of the defense against the threat of water contamination and irreparable harm to the lands, they are raising national questions of sovereignty, environmentalism, and the rights of the people of all nations in U.S. borders.

 

Tribal territory of the Great Sioux Nation- Public Domain: Nikater
Tribal territory of the Great Sioux Nation- Public Domain: Nikater

In Michigan, this is a particularly relevant issue, as our water is also under direct threat by fracking, lobbying by special interests, and environmental pollutants. In light of the elections coming in November.  I asked the Michigan political parties for their statements on this situation. What they had to say is plain spoken and clear.

Green Party Michigan
Green Party Michigan

 

 

 

The Green Party of Michigan had this to say.

GPMI is against these pipelines from Keystone XL to this recent one. So we support those who protest. We agree with their slogan that water is life and oil is death. We also believe in the sovereignty of independent nations of native peoples and respect their wisdom of basing policy decisions on future impacts onto the 7th generation.

Matt Orlando, Libertarian gave his own personal viewpoint.

Matt Orlando (L)Candidate - Michigan's Congressional 9th District
Matt Orlando (L)Candidate – Michigan’s Congressional 9th District

With as many spills that have taken place over the years I understand the concerns of The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well as Debra White Plume of the Oglala Lakota. Even with advancements in technology there are still possibilities of spills occurring. There are several cultural concerns as well that must be taken into consideration. For example The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has stated that that this area has sacred ancestral burial sites as well as other sacred sites. The thought of reducing our dependency on importing oil is great, however, not at the expense of Sioux sacred sites or our waterways.

I feel that The Standing Rock Sioux lands as well as the waterway should be off limits and construction should stop at the river. From there they can move the oil over land via tankers. I’ll gladly pay the few extra cents in gasoline to preserve The Standing Rock Sioux Tribes ancestral grounds and our waterways.

This issue is a hot one, as it concerns all faiths of this nation because “Water is Life”. Keep visiting this site for more updates.

 

The Fight for Clean Water

Do you know where your water comes from?

This week, amid a nearly complete media black-out, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began demonstrating against the construction of a pipeline through territory that was theirs, and under the Missouri River, less than a mile from their reservation…which gets its water directly from the river. The Dakota Access Pipeline will take oil from the shale fields in western North Dakota (acquired by fracking), and pipe it across 4 states into Illinois for processing.

DAPL route, image from Dakota Access Pipeline LLC, http://www.daplpipelinefacts.com/about/route.html
DAPL route, image from Dakota Access Pipeline LLC, http://www.daplpipelinefacts.com/

What started as a small protest with a couple hundred people now takes up two camps in rural North Dakota, and has also spread to the capital, Bismarck.  The various subdivisions of the Sioux tribes make up Seven Council Fires (called očhéthi šakówiŋ in Lakota) – traditional allies with a largely shared language, who came to each other’s aid when needed.  Not surprisingly, the various tribes of the očhéthi šakówiŋ have joined in, along with representatives of dozens of other Native tribes, from Alaska to Mexico (and there are rumors that Native Hawaiians are on their way too). 

In earlier planning for the pipeline, the route was scheduled to go north of Bismarck, but one of the reasons for rejecting this route was the risk of contaminating their water source.  If you’re at all familiar with US geography, you’ll remember that the Missouri river flows south and east from North Dakota and feeds the Mississippi River. Contamination of the river this far north risks the water source for anyone downstream, and wildlife habitats all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has appealed to the United Nations, citing failures to follow treaties, and a court order declaring the protests “unlawful” – as if one’s right to free speech is negated because a company has lots of money.

The protesters, calling themselves protectors of the water and of unči makȟá (grandmother earth) have been, according to internal reports, peaceful. The camps are asking for no guns, no weapons…just prayer. They are making sure all people, from young children through elders, are fed, clothed, and receiving medical care as needed. The state, meanwhile, has instituted road blocks to keep people away, has reported gunshots and pipe bombs, and has declared a state of emergency.

Mni wičhóni – water is life – is a common understanding in Lakota. The only thing we need more than water is air. 

You can help by signing this petition:  https://www.change.org/p/jo-ellen-darcy-stop-the-dakota-access-pipeline

Or by donating for supplies and/or funding for Camp of the Sacred Stones:  https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp