ACTION ALERT: 2,000 US Vets to Dakota. Declare Standing Rock a National Monument
December 3, 2016 Charley Lanyon / New York Magazine & CREDO Action & The Ring of Fire Network
More than 2,000 US veterans are headed for North Dakota this weekend to form a human shield around besieged oil-pipeline protesters. More than 7,000 people are camped out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens tribal lands. President Obama can end this standoff now -- before Donald Trump closes in on the White House -- by declaring Standing Rock a national monument, forever protecting its cultural sites.
Thousands of Veterans to Form a Human
Shield Around Standing Rock Protestors Charley Lanyon / New York Magazine
(December 1, 2016) -- More than 2,000 US veterans are planning to descend on North Dakota this weekend, where they will make a human shield around the protesters there. More than 7,000 people are camped out in a massive months-long demonstration organized by the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they say threatens tribal lands.
The group, Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, has decided to protect the camp after the federal government called for its evacuation.
While the deadline for the evacuation has passed, both local authorities and the Army Corps of Engineers have confirmed that they have no plans to remove anybody by force, despite an emergency call from the state's governor on Monday to immediately vacate the camp.
Veterans Stand for Standing Rock is headed by former US Marine Michael Wood Jr. and Wesley Clark Jr., whose father is retired US Army General Wesley Clark.
Another notable member of the armed forces, Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic representative from Hawaii and a major in the National Guard, also said that she would join the protest effort on Sunday.
Tulsi Gabbard ✔ @TulsiGabbard
I'm participating in the #noDAPL protest because of the threat this project poses to water resources in 4 states serving millions of people.
The veterans say they want to give the protestors a break and also shine a light on what they say is the violent, inhumane treatment campers have experienced at the hands of authorities.
"We want to give them a moment of peace so we can take a little bit of pressure off," explained Ashleigh Jennifer Parker, spokeswoman for Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, who served in the Coast Guard.
"People are being brutalized, being thrown into crowds. They're spraying old women, elders of the tribe with tear gas and pepper spray and this is just unconstitutional," Parker said. "I can't believe the media hasn't taken more of an interest in this."
The Morton County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that it is aware of the veterans' plans, but offered no other comment.
ACTION ALERT: Tell President Obama to
Declare Standing Rock a National Monument CREDO Action
(December 1, 2016) -- The standoff to stop the Dakota Access pipeline is reaching a fever pitch, and this may be our last chance to halt construction before Donald Trump takes office.
Militarized law enforcement and private security firms are harassing, assaulting and jailing hundreds of non-violent protesters who are fighting for indigenous rights and to curb climate change. They are arresting journalists for doing their Constitutionally protected jobs and attacking nonviolent water protectors with tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons.
And now, North Dakota's governor has issued an evacuation order for the protest area, and the US Army Corps of Engineers has told protesters to leave by Dec. 5 or face criminal charges. (1, 2)
President Obama can end this standoff now -- before Donald Trump closes in on the White House -- by declaring Standing Rock a national monument, forever protecting its cultural sites and halting the Dakota Access pipeline's construction once and for all.
Without decisive action by President Obama before his term expires, it is all but certain that Donald Trump's administration will allow pipeline construction to continue. During the campaign, Trump "vowed to 'unleash' unfettered production of oil and gas," and his potential energy secretary picks are extremely close to the fossil fuel industry. (3)
Making matters worse, Trump reportedly owns stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the primary developers behind the multi-billion dollar pipeline construction, and in Phillips 66, which owns a quarter share of the project. (4)
The push for a Standing Rock national monument is picking up steam and has the backing of progressive powerhouse Sen. Bernie Sanders. In a recent speech to #NoDAPL activists in front of the White House, Sen. Sanders called on President Obama to stop construction of the pipeline by whatever means necessary, saying "to President Obama, in any way that you can: stop the pipeline. And if there are other approaches, such as declaring Standing Rock a Federal Monument, let's do that." (5)
This is our last best shot to stop the Dakota Access pipeline once and for all. President Obama has a chance to do right by the indigenous community, environmentalists and the American people.
By declaring Standing Rock a national monument, he can help stop the violence against indigenous people, slow runaway climate change, protect sacred Native sites and drinking water and stop Trump from profiting from this dangerous pipeline.
Sign the petition The petition to President Obama reads:
"The Dakota Access pipeline would fuel climate change, cause untold damage to the environment, and significantly disturb sacred lands and the way of life for Native Americans in the upper Midwest. Declare a national monument at Standing Rock before you leave office and do everything in your power to protect sacred Native sites, defend the First Amendment and halt the pipeline's construction."
(1) Dana Farrington, "N.D. Governor Issues Evacuation Order For Pipeline Protest Area," National Public Radio, Nov. 28, 2016.
(2) Doualy Xaykaothao, "With camp set to close, protesters resolve to fight Dakota Access Pipeline," MPR News, Nov. 28, 2016.
(3) Matthew Daly, "Oil pipeline: Trump's stock in company raises concern," Associated Press, Nov. 25, 2016.
(5) Sydney Robinson, "Bernie Joins NoDAPL Protests And Urges Unique Solution: President Obama Should Declare Standing Rock National Monument," The Ring of Fire Network, Nov. 16, 2016. Bernie Joins NoDAPL Protests to Urge Unique Solution:
Declare Standing Rock a National Monument The Ring of Fire Network
(November 16, 2016) -- Joining the NoDAPL protest on the White House lawn for the second time since protests began, Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the crowd and offered a unique solution for the ongoing struggle.
Sanders has been calling on the president to halt the pipeline for months to no avail, and on Tuesday, the progressive Senator called on President Obama to stop the pipeline by whatever means necessary.
"To president Obama, in any way that you can: stop the pipeline. And if there are other approaches, such as declaring Standing Rock a Federal Monument, let's do that."
It's an out-of-the box solution that only a political outsider might have considered -- it is easily within the president's power, and would show progressives that to at least a small degree, Obama still wants to honor and protect those who he serves. Will he do it? When pigs fly. But if Sanders were president, he would do it without blinking. That is the difference between a progressive and a corporatist.
The Senator joined protesters on the national day of action, which spanned more than 300 cities across the nation -- and the globe.
Continuing his remarks, Senator Sanders addressed the dark shadow ahead of the fight against the pipeline and all other environmentally disastrous energy gathering processes.
"We have a new president coming in who wants this country to become more dependent on fossil fuel. What we have got to tell Mr. Trump and everybody else; we are not going silently into the night."
Though the ongoing protests have been fraught with fear and conviction, the victory by Donald Trump ads a much more ominous deadline to the deal; come January 21, all environmental efforts will be fought by a climate denying president who has deep financial ties to Big Oil.
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