Tag Archives: Native American rights

Stand with Standing Rock Protestors: Vigil on 30th October

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Halloween is the modern-day, commercial version of the ancient ritual of Samhain. It’s a pagan festival celebrating the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, the dark season.

But it’s also a time of the year when the veil between the living and our ancestors is believed to be thinnest.

So this year, on 30th October, the day before Samhain, I feel drawn to honour the call to join a world-wide vigil – of the living and our ancestral beings – for those at Standing Rock in America who are defending ancestral land from the laying of the Dakota Access Pipeline, being constructed by Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners.

These fields in central North Dakota are where the pipeline would cross the longest river in the United States—the Missouri River—putting drinking water at risk for millions of people and desecrating sacred indigenous land.

Appalling state-sanctioned violence has been unleashed against Native Americans seeking to protect their sacred land from the installation of the pipeline, which was was redirected from an area where it was most likely to impact white people and inflicted on Lakota land guaranteed to the Native Americans of that area under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.

The people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation are often called Sioux. They are the members of the Dakota and Lakota Nations.

This violence against Native American protestors and their supporters engaged in peaceful protest is a continuation of the violent suppression of Native Americans since the first white   invasion in the 1600s.

It stands in stark contract to kid glove treatment meted out to the armed thugs who carried out an armed occupation of the  Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days and who recently were acquitted at trial, patently because they were white and right-wing reactionaries.

As the commentator Robert Reich put it: “On the same day that a jury acquitted the Bundy brothers and their fellow protesters for taking over federal land in Oregon last January, police in North Dakota today used pepper spray gas and a painful high-pitched siren, and then arrested 117 Native Americans and others for protesting a private oil pipeline across land they say belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe under a 19th-century treaty. In other words, it’s fine to mount an armed insurrection so your cattle can graze for free on federal land, but not if you want to protect your sacred burial ground or your only source of water from a private for-profit oil pipeline company.”

I think what is absolutely brilliant is the arrival of a herd of bison out of nowhere, a message of support from Mother Nature, which reinforces the traditional hold the Lakota have on their land:

Thousands of Wild Buffalo Appear Out of Nowhere at Standing Rock (VIDEO)

On the same day that a jury acquitted the Bundy brothers and their fellow protesters for taking over federal land in Oregon last January, police in North Dakota used pepper spray gas and a painful high-pitched siren, and then arrested 117 Native Americans and others for protesting a private oil pipeline across land they say belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe under a 19th-century treaty. The people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation are often called Sioux. They are the members of the Dakota and Lakota Nations.

I’ve put in links below to add more details on events at Standing Rock, but I hope that the widest possible support is extended planet-wide for Native Americans standing up for their rights, because the violence perpetrated against them is the same violence which is perpetrated against any individuals or groups who stand up to the forces of the Establishment for the rights of the ordinary people.

State violence at Black Rock

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