Standing Rock Solidarity Events Held in Atlanta, Decatur
(APN) ATLANTA — Activists held two events, one in Atlanta and one in Decatur, in recent weeks in solidarity with the Native American-led protests at Standing Rock, in South Dakota, against the Dakota Pipeline, which have been ongoing for months.
Vigils and rallies for Standing Rock are popping up everywhere across the country, and even in other countries.
In Decatur, an impromptu prayer vigil by Ella Johannaber–whose daughter was arrested at the Oceti Sakowin Camp–gathered over thirty people to pray for Standing Rock on Sunday, October 30, 2016.
This prayer vigil will be ongoing at E. Trinity and N. Candler next to the Kimball House restaurant every Sunday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, November 04 over 200 people, mostly young people, gathered in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park to oppose the Dakota Pipeline and support the indigenous people at Standing Rock.
In Solidarity with the Water Protectors, they marched from Woodruff to the CSX railroad tracks near Decatur Street, and shut down the U.S. Southeast’s main freight line for hours, preventing materials for a new pipeline from being shipped.
A few people started a fire on the tracks and then split, leaving the others to clean up the mess and be threatened with arrest.
Jonathan Yellowhair, a Navajo man, responded with this message on Facebook.
“It is not ‘burn with Standing Rock,’ or ‘destroy with Standing Rock,’ or even ‘fight with Standing Rock.’ We are here to Stand with Standing Rock,” Yellowhair responded to those who started the fire.
“If you want to destroy things in our name then at least have the gumption to stay and face the repercussions and not hide behind a bandanna like a coward because when you run away it puts all the repercussions and weight on my people,” Yellowhair said.
All these prayer vigils and rallies in Atlanta and around the country are in response to the brutal attack on Indigenous people by over three hundred militarized law enforcement officials from several states including the National Guard in riot gear.
The Native Americans and their supporters are being treated like an invading army of terrorists, instead of peaceful water protectors trying to save their land and water from corporate pollution and greed.
In late October 2016, they were attacked with rubber bullets, beanbag bullets often at close range, large canisters of tear gas and pepper spray, Tasers, and large sound cannons to hurt and damage ears.
Over 140 men, women, children and journalists were arrested from the frontline Oceti Sakowin Camp that stands directly in the path of the pipeline.
In jail, they were further humiliated by being stripped searched and put in what some called “dog cages.”
Private media drones were shot down by law enforcement.
The land at issue is purportedly private land sold to the Energy Company; however, in reality, it is the unceded 1851 Fort Laramie treaty land which native people own.
The camp is a symbol of ongoing injustice and oppression by the State and U.S. Governments that collaborate with the energy corporation to steal their land, pollute the water, and commit human rights violations against the indigenous population who resist.
Amnesty International and the United Nations are sending delegates to investigate the escalating levels of repression, violence, and intimidation against tribal members and their supporters by state law enforcement, private security, and the National Guard.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault has also called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to monitor police and military civil and human right abuses to indigenous people.
Rev. Jesse Jackson called what is happening at Standing Rock “environmental racism.”
The fears of native people regarding the pipeline polluting the water are realistic: Since 2010, over 3,300 incidents of crude oil and liquefied natural gas leaks or ruptures have occurred on U.S. pipelines, according to the Center For Effective Government.
Starting early 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux were asked numerous times by the Core of Engineers and builders of the pipeline to attending hearing and make comments about the proposed pipeline. Not once did they respond. All the violent protests have occurred since mid-summer 2016. The protesters had a woman October 27 fire 3 shots from a .38 pistol a the police; fortunately she missed. (She is charged with attempted murder.) Protestors have burned law enforcement cars, thrown rock and Molotov cocktails at law enforcement. The protestors have cost tax payers millions of dollars. Will they pay for damages–no tax payers be damned.
The pipeline is the safest means of transporting oil from the large Montana N. Dakota oil field. Present transport is by rail tank cars that are very dangerous as shown by the accident in Canada several years ago that killed 47 people. The pipeline reduces cost of transportation $10 per barrel of oil transported and is cleaner because far less fuel for transportation is used. This $2 billion per year savings will be given to users of petroleum which makes gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil, plastics, paint solvents, etc.
Demonstrators like these, along with the rioters now protesting the Trump election, are causing great losses to the tax payers. Do these people pay their share of taxes–doubtful. Lock them up and make them pay for their damages.
The Dakotas have been a site of conflict since the original wounded knee in the 1800’s. Read Leonard Peltiers autobiography about the activism of him and what led up to the second Wounded Knee in the 1970’s read “Prison Writings: My Life is my Sun Dance” by Imprisoned Lakota Sioux 15/16 AIM leader Leonard Peltier who has support from Willie Nelson, Robert Redford,Pearl Jam many members of the Canadian and Dutch Parliament and many others.
Thank you for the info, Paul. I hope this time we will stand on the iright side of history, to protect the water and land and civil rights we all will need to survive.
There is another solidarity rally in Atlanta tomorrow at CNN, 11:30a.m., Tuesday, 11/15/16. There are plans for a community altar.
I hope people don’t forget the main issue here, which is to protect the water. That’s what these people are trying to do. So many who are wealthy believe that such a thing is negligible, and violent protesters make it more violent that it needs to be. People need clean drinking water more than oil, period.