IGD had the opportunity in the past few days to travel up to Standing Rock and speak with a few folks about the current struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline or DAPL, where indigenous peoples and those allied with them have been encamped since April with the intention of blocking the pipeline from crossing the Missouri River.
The Missouri river is the longest river in the so-called United States and is part of a water shed that provides water to the largest swath of land of any water shed in the country. To say that protecting this water is vital is an understatement. The threats posed by DAPL are the same those posed recently by the Keystone XL pipeline, or any pipeline really. The current route proposed by DAPL would cross the Ogallala Aquifer as well as the Missouri River in two spots. What we know about pipelines is that they inevitably rupture and the risk of contamination to the drinking water of millions of people is an unacceptable risk.
In the last week there has been a ramping up of tactics deemed necessary to block the pipeline. On Thursday, October 27th there was the most intense conflict that had been seen to date, with police and military vehicles burned, barricades erected and burnt and intense levels of repression from the police brought in against those blockading this pipeline from completion. Hundreds of people have been arrested and injured. As time goes on the charges faced by participants at Standing Rock have become more severe upon arrest. Red Fawn Fallis, an indigenous woman and water protector who had been at Standing Rock for months, was arrested brutally and is currently facing attempted murder charges.
It was with this ramping up of conflict in mind that we headed out to speak with folks on site. What follows are interviews with two folks, one person from the Red Warrior Camp and one person from the IP3, Indigenous People’s Power Project Camp. The IP3 camp has been providing direct action trainings since September, having trained nearly 1000 people since then. Since establishing their camp and trainings there has been a clear increase in direct actions, such as lock downs to equipment.
In these interviews you’ll hear the background noises of the camp, sometimes the work at hand and sometimes songs and drums in the distance. These sounds are constant across the camp, as the people there are in constant ceremony as well as preparation for the coming winter. You’ll also hear a buzzing type sound in the background, which is especially present during the talk with Red Warrior Camp. That sound is the surveillance aircraft that flies over the camp 24 hours a day now, often flying quite low and throughout the night.
The situation at Standing Rock will continue and many people up there made clear in numerous conversations that they won’t stop fighting this pipeline, nor any more to come. Without further ado, thank you to IP3 & Red Warrior folks for taking the time to talk with me and share their voices with It’s Going Down!
We want encourage folks to check out the social media updates from Red Warrior Camp for more information, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more info about IP3 you can head over to their website, ip3action.org.
Fundraising efforts are still in full effect. As winter approaches and the black snake comes ever closer to boaring its way beneath the Missouri, the funds raised are vital to continue this fight. Please be sure to check out Red Warrior Camp’s Gofundme page.
Finally, we want to encourage people to take very seriously the call to action. If you cannot make it to North Dakota, you can do more than just make donations. You can take to action in the streets, on the railways, at the banks and corporations that are funding DAPL. The fight isn’t just on the prairie and if this battle is lost it won’t just be the Lakota people who suffer the consequences. This is a fight against capital, against the pipeline and it’s world. Fuck the pipeline!