The Ecology Center stands with Standing Rock, a Native American, youth-led movement for justice, clean water, and a stable climate. Thousands of miles away in North Dakota, a proposed pipeline was rerouted to protect the water supply of the mostly-white residents of Bismarck and is now putting the water for native communities at risk. We stand with the Water Protectors, the people at Standing Rock who have led a nonviolent protest to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Missouri River, a sacred site half a mile from their water supply. Despite months of outcry, this oil pipeline project is close to completion. To learn more about the background of the Dakota Access Pipeline, read this article.
Standing Rock represents an intersection of social justice and environmental movements that the Ecology Center deeply supports: Native American resistance to centuries of human rights violations and broken treaties; the push for safe, clean drinking water, which the Flint crisis has also underscored; and the peaceful, organized resistance to expanding fossil fuel infrastructure.
In 1992, Berkeley replaced Columbus Day with the first Indigenous People’s Day celebration, in recognition of 500 years of resistance from 1492-1992. Ecology Center leader Mark Gorrell and his partner Nancy Gorrell, were key players in organizing and facilitating the City’s official commemoration. (Picture of sunrise ceremony on Indigenous People’s Day, October 10, 1992; Mark Gorrell second from right). For many years, the Ecology Center has hosted the Buffalo Field Campaign, an ongoing effort to protect wild buffalo and raise awareness of their cultural and ecological importance. Today, the Ecology Center partners with myriad regional partners to stop the extension of fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens our land, water, air, and health – like coal terminals, oil by rail, and refinery expansion.
Just like us, millions of people have expressed their solidarity with Standing Rock. Join us in supporting this movement. Specific actions you can take are below.
[Excerpted from The Nation]
- Donate. There are numerous places to give, including the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Legal Funds. You can also purchase and send one of the items on the Sacred Stone Wish List to help water protectors stay warm and dry as we enter the winter months. From 11/25 – 12/18, the Ecology Center Store and Farmers’ Markets are collecting some materials to send to Standing Rock. Click here for details.
- Go to Standing Rock. Standing Rock protectors have put the call out for those who are able to come and join them. Keep in mind that extra bodies means extra strain on activists’ limited resources so if you go, prepare to be as self-sufficient as possible. You can find more information on what to expect if you go to the camps here.
- Raise awareness via social media using the hashtag #NoDAPL.
- Call or e-mail government representatives and Energy Transfer Partners executives and tell them you oppose the construction of the pipeline. Or call Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and ask him why a private pipeline required a militarized police force from seven states to intervene.
Here are some phone numbers and e-mail addresses to get you started:
a. Jack Dalrymple, governor of North Dakota: (701) 328-2200, www.governor.nd.gov/contact-us
b. Army Corps of Engineers (demand that they reverse the permit allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline): (202) 761-5903
c. Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army Corp of Engineers: email@example.com, (703)697-8986
Energy Transfer Partners
d. Lee Hanse, executive vice president: (210) 403-6455, Lee.Hanse@energytransfer.com
e. Glenn Emery, vice president: (210) 403-6762, Glenn.Emery@energytransfer.com
f. Michael Cliff Waters, lead analyst: (713) 989-2404
g. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, 701-667-3330, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sign the White House petition calling for construction to stop.
- Support solidarity rallies. A great way to start is by plugging into your local progressive and organizing networks on social media and signing up for mailing lists. Groups such as Black Lives Matter and Our Revolution have already organized local rallies and, in some cases, even bused people to Standing Rock.
- Learn more about this important struggle: there are great articles out there about what those on the ground are experiencing, what Native people have to say about the resistance, how Native Americans are resisting modern forms of colonization, and how DAPL was rerouted away from white North Dakotans. Here are some to get you started:
“Militarized Police Are Cracking Down on Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters,” by Zoë Carpenter, The Nation
“How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective,” by Kelly Hayes, Transformative Spaces
“Pipeline route plan first called for crossing north of Bismarck,” by Amy Dalrymple, The Bismarck Tribune