Today is Thanksgiving, and I wanted to give everyone a reminder that while we are celebrating a holiday based on love and trust between pilgrims and Native Americans, we are currently waging a war against the very people who fed us and taught us so much as we colonized this country.
In North Dakota, preparation for the Dakota Pipeline continues.
For those who aren’t familiar with the pipeline, it is a 1,172 foot pipeline that will be built to transport crude oil. The biggest problem? The pipeline will disrupt the lives of thousands of Native Americans from the Sioux tribe, as it runs through land just outside the Standing Rock Reservation.
A section of the pipeline will run underneath the Missouri River, which is the main source of freshwater for the Sioux people who live in the reservation. If the pipeline should break, this puts access to clean water at risk for those who live on the reservation. A popular chant by protesters is “water is life,” an indisputable fact. Without access to clean water, no human population can continue to survive.
Furthermore, members of the Sioux tribe say that the construction of the pipeline will disrupt sacred burial grounds. I can say with confidence that if white Christian cemeteries were about to be unearthed for the sake of an oil pipeline there would be outrage. It is pure racism that dictates that the burial grounds of the Sioux tribes somehow hold a less sacred quality.
Protesters have been gathering to voice their anger for months. The situation has become progressively more violent; that is, from the side of the policemen guarding the pipeline. Reportedly, protesters have been pepper sprayed, shot at with rubber bullets, faced attack dogs, been injured by concussion grenades, blasted by water cannons, and more.
It is despicable that our government and police forces can stand for this kind of oppression, violence, and the violation of constitutional rights.
For a list of ways that you can help support the Standing Rock Reservation and the protesters, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/help-standing-rock-sioux-dakota-access-pipeline_us_583480c9e4b000af95eca013