In 1847 as a famine created by both climate and man was unleashing death and destruction across Ireland, a group of charitable people across the Atlantic ocean raised money for those affected. They raised 170dollars and these people who managed to raise such a considerable amount of money were themselves without any prosperity but gave what they had because they knew the hardships famine and opression brought, they were Native Americans of the Choctaw Nation.
We arrived at the Standing Rock encampment late afternoon on Thursday as the sun was beginning to go down. Driving into the site was truly amazing: it is enormous! It is a village of about 500 (probably more) tents, vans, RVs, etc, some of them huge and housing dozens of people. Lots more people who are participating in the daily activities, as I am, are staying at the Sioux-run Prairie Knights Casino Hotel. The hotel and casino are enormous too.The land defining the reservation is vast and the scenery is beautiful, calm and wide. Thousands of people have participated in the protest since it started in the spring.
The Black Workers for Justice support the struggles of the indigenous peoples to defend their land and treaty rights and their struggles for environmental justice. And in this moment we are in full support of the resistance of the Standing Rock Sioux to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We call on all people to support them politically and materially.
This year’s massive buildup of resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline follows closely on the heels of the victory over Keystone XL pipeline, something often credited to feverish organizing by 350.org. But years before 350’s involvement, there was the Indigenous Environmental Network, which launched that movement and its “Keep It In the Ground” messaging. This time, with nearly 200 tribes unified behind the Standing Rock tribe’s opposition to the pipeline and more than 3,000 people gathered at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, Native Americans are clearly leading the movement.
For a minute this morning, I asked myself if conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks might be about to follow Chris Hedges into the far left. Or perhaps wander off into the woods to find a commune.
Brooks has written an interesting column in which he suggests that maybe Americans, especially millennials, want more than material comforts in our highly individualistic society, that they want community.
Ecuador’s Indigenous movements have launched an uprising to challenge the government’s opposition to bilingual education and its support for an extractive-based economy.
On August 2, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) began a march from the southeastern Amazonian province of Zamora Chinchipe that will arrive in the capital city of Quito on August 13. Upon its arrival, the Indigenous march will join a general strike called by the Workers United Front (FUT) in opposition to the government’s labor policies.
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