Post-Election Action Report #1
I guess I’d better put my money where my blog post is.
So far, I’ve called Paul Ryan’s office in support of the Affordable Care Act, and signed some petitions. I’ve also made some donations.
This past week, I’ve been learning about the Dakota Access Pipeline and have grown increasingly concerned about this direct situation as well as implications for the future, i.e. legal precedents in a Trump administration intent on “using” the nation’s natural resources to reduce reliance on foreign oil (or whatever he says today that he wants to do).
I’m kinda bummed.
- The Standing Rock Tumblr site offers a rich selection of coverage on the conflict. The ones I’ve most appreciated:
- The Dakota Access Pipeline Map Everyone Should See
- An interactive time-lapse map shows how Native American lands were taken by the U.S. federal government. The source map offers highly detailed information. The time-lapse map is based on work by University of Georgia historian Claudio Sant to accompany his book West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776.
- And several others.
- The Lakota Nation founded Sacred Stone Camp, a spirit camp “dedicated to stopping and raising awareness of the Dakota Access pipeline, the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river. We reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands.”
- The Dakota Access Pipeline’s Fact Sheet
- Earthjustice is a legal organization intent on enforcing existing environmental laws. They’ve got an extensive review of the case of the Sioux Indian Tribe and the coalition of tribes that have come together to oppose and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Seems well-researched & comprehensive: Dakota Access Pipeline Protests: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
- In an Octboer 2016 article about Standing Rock, New Yorker writer Sierra Crane-Murdoch frames the Standing Rock action in the long history of conflicts over treaty rights between the federal government and the Native American Indians. But it also blends the historical perspective with stories of the protest camp today. It’s a short, powerful read. She writes:
“There are echoes of Wounded Knee in the conflict that has sprung up near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, in North Dakota. Since midsummer, thousands of Native Americans have gathered at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers to protest the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which would cut just north of the reservation border, crossing sacred sites and imperilling Standing Rock’s water supply in the event of a rupture. In July, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that approved the project, arguing that it had failed to consult with the tribe as required by federal law. While the suit has played out in court, the protesters have said that they will stay until the pipeline is stopped, through winter if they must.”
- Another New Yorker writer, Bill McKibben, wrote a perspective of the pipeline’s history, A Pipeline Fight and America’s Dark Past in September of 2016. It’s another short, thought-provoking read about the larger historical and future implications of the conflict.
- Last Sunday, police took violent action against protestors, firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and fire hoses into the crowd in subfreezing weather. ABC News covered the incident here. The stories from the protestors are horrible. One woman, Sofia Wilansky, remains in a hospital where they are trying to save her arm after it was struck by a concussion grenade. Some witnesses say law enforcement agents deliberately aimed for her. A Seattle doctor volunteering in the medical area reported the “people had sheets of ice hanging from them.” His observations of the Morton County Sheriff’s actions were reported on Seattle’s radio station, KUOW. You can read that here.
- In the interest of equal time, there’s the Standing Rock Fact Checker. Here’s how they describe themselves: “The Standing Rock Fact Checker is a project of the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) – a partnership of more than 40 civic, business, labor and agricultural groups who support the economic development and energy security benefits associated with infrastructure projects in the Midwest.” Their most recent blog post is titled Federal Government’s Absence and Indecision Only Creates Unrest and Illegality.
- Teachers, would this not make an awesome longterm case study for an English class, about rhetoric, building arguments, assessing information?
- Information about Oceti Sakowin.
“The Oceti Sakowin Camp represents a first of its kind historic gathering of Indigenous Nations. The most recent such assembly of Tribes occurred when the Great Sioux Nation gathered before the Battle at the Little Big Horn. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe supports the peaceful and prayerful message of the Oceti Sakowin leaders and desires to assist with options for the their Camp before winter sets in.”
- Oceti Sakowin Camp’s Organizational Allies
Here’s what I’ve done:
- Called the Army Corps of Engineers and asked them to rescind permits and deny easements for the pipeline. Army Corps of Engineers phone line for public opinion: 202-761-8700
- Called the White House to ask for the same things: 202.456.1111 or 202.456.1411. As of this writing, the lines are jammed (good work, people!) so I’ll call later. I also just found a new number that I’ll try: 1-303-816-3559. Don’t understand why a White House number would not have a 202 area code, but we’ll see.
- Donated to the official Crowdrise Support Fund for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against DAPL
What I’ve Learned
- Talk is cheap.
- I need to set aside time during the day once or twice a week to make calls.
- I need to read and learn before blinding hitting the phone. That, too, takes time.