Call for “emergency actions to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism.”
In the wake of Tuesday’s announcement that the Army Corps of engineers will ignore a required environmental impact study and grant final approval for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock issued a call for an “international day of emergency actions to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism.”
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, the coalition of Indigenous Water Protectors, who have organized the Sacred Stone Camp in opposition to the US$3 billion pipeline since last April, declared this the “last stand” against the massive pipeline project which threatens the sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the drinking water of millions, and called for people to organize emergency actions all over the world on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
“We encourage groups across the globe to connect our prayers for the water with other fights against fascism and the domination of people and Mother Earth (deportations, Muslim ban, attacks on labor, deregulation of wall street, other fossil fuel projects, censorship of the press and academia, etc),” the group said in their statement.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has consistently asked for people to go home, and we understand this,” the group noted. “Regardless, water protectors remain on the ground at the Sacred Stone Camp, determined to stop the black snake, and we support them. If you go, expect police violence, mass arrests, felony charges for just about anything, abuse while in custody, targeted persecution and racial profiling while driving around the area,” they warned.
The coalition called on allies to “Connect with other struggles. Think long-term movement building,” and suggested groups taking action Wednesday should “choose the target that is most strategic for building long-term collaborative resistance in your local area,” adding that, “we are in this for the long haul.”
The call for an international day of action came just hours before the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, who have adamantly opposed the project which crosses their treaty territory, announced their own response to the easement announcement, saying they will seek an injunction to immediately halt construction until an environmental impact study is done.
“The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk. We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated. This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across our treaty lands. The Trump administration – yet again – is poised to set a precedent that defies the law and the will of Americans and our allies around the world.”
Archambault reiterated his nation’s request that people no longer come to Standing Rock itself, but instead turn their attention towards pressuring Congress and the Trump administration by joining them for a planned demonstration in Washington, D.C. on March 10.
“Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself. Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration,” Archambault said. “Please respect our people and do not come to Standing Rock and instead exercise your First Amendment rights and take this fight to your respective state capitols, to your members of Congress, and to Washington, D.C.”
“As Native peoples, we have been knocked down again, but we will get back up, we will rise above the greed and corruption that has plagued our peoples since first contact,” he added. “We call on the Native Nations of the United States to stand together, unite and fight back. Under this administration, all of our rights, everything that makes us who we are is at risk.”
Once the easement is officially granted, which is expected in the next 24 hours, drilling is expected to begin immediately and last until either the Standing Rock Sioux can win a restraining order, or the pipeline is completed. The Dakota Access Pïpeline company has said they expect to complete the pipeline in 83 days, if construction re-starts.
Two weeks ago U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order to advance construction of the controversial pipeline, overturning a decision by the previous Obama administration to halt construction until an environmental impact study could be completed.
Late last week several courts issued temporary injunctions on another Trump executive order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S.