Thursday, 3 November 2016

Clean Drinking Water, Or Shareholders Bonuses?

        No you wont hear or see much of it in our babbling brook of bullshit that is the mainstream media, but there is a battle of resistance going on in Dakota that involves hundreds of people, has lasted for months and is still going on, in spite of a massive militarised police force doing its damnedest to break that resistance.  According to the indigenous people of the area and other experts, the Dakota Access Pipeline, apart from going through their sacred ground, will pollute the water supply of the area and further afield, as it crosses the Mississippi River. However, this is capitalism, and the welfare of the many must be sacrificed for the profit to the few. You can rest assured that the state will do the bidding of the corporate bodies who want this pipeline, and come down hard on those who will be harmed by its construction. As the resistance grows, so the state repression will morph into a brutal attack on their rights. Those resisting need all the support and solidarity that can be mustered, this is a battle for the rights of ordinary people against the juggernaut of the corporate world and its minders, the state.

This from Act For Freedom Now:
 Report Back from the Battle for Sacred Ground.
      For months, hundreds of people, including members of nearly a hundred different indigenous peoples, have mobilized to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. On October 27, police raiding the Sacred Ground camp encountered stiff resistance. We’ve just received the following first hand report from comrades who participated in the defense of the camp. Describing some of the fiercest clashes indigenous and environmental movements in the region have seen in many years, they pose important questions about solidarity struggles.

The Battle
     When we arrive on Wednesday, October 26, we can’t find our contacts, the friends and friends of friends who have been vouched into the secretive Red Warrior camp. Word around the camp is that eviction is imminent for Sacred Ground, the only camp in the direct path of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. The tribe claims this land is territory granted to them in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, and that they were using their own “eminent domain” to take it back when they set up the camp. We decide to set up at Sacred Ground and to figure out how to make ourselves useful in stopping its eviction.
The Sacred Ground camp is located about two miles north of the main camp on highway 1806. The main camp itself is just north of the Standing Rock Reservation, where two more NoDAPL camps, Rosebud and Sacred Stone, are located. Before arriving, we had seen images of barricades blocking Highway 1806 to the north of the Sacred Ground camp.
         When we walk to that site, however, we find those barricades have been pushed to the sides of the road, the northernmost one turned into a kind of checkpoint. According to the people at the checkpoint, they were ordered to remove the blockade by the camp leaders, who plan on allowing the police to enter and evict the camp.
      The “camp leaders” are hired Nonviolent Direct Action consultants. They are utilizing a classic strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience: they hope that the images of police evicting people in prayer will win them the sympathy of the public. The people we speak with at the checkpoint are clearly not buying this. But what can they do? Their elders have hired these people to stage-manage the moment.
         After some conversation with the folks on the barricades and with the “camp leaders,” it is decided that we’ll leave the road open until the police actually arrive, and then we’ll build up the barricades quickly in order to slow their progress. This will hopefully buy time to allow the people who want to get arrested while in prayer to assemble and prepare themselves. For what its worth, this plan was crafted with the approval of the “proper channels.”
         As soon as this course of action is proposed, some new organism bursts into life, and thirty people we’ve never met are loading logs and tires and barbed wire onto trucks in the middle of the night. A plan comes together for when and how to start blocking the road. The energy is electric; the possibility of a real physical defense of this strategically decisive camp is in the air and in people’s conversations.
“I don’t know who those ‘leaders’ are,” a Native guy tells us as we throw tires on the side of the road. “They’re not my elders. I came here to defend this camp, and I’m going to do what I have to.” We still don’t know where the fabled Red Warrior folks are, but we feel that we’ve found people we want to support in this battle.

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