“Mni wiconi – Water is Life. We have to kill the black snake.”

The Oceti Sakowin Camp, and the massive indigenous-led movement opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), is ongoing and necessary.

pano_20161203_113326

Despite a temporary suspension of permissions for the pipeline by the Army Corp of Engineers, Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the $3.8 billion DAPL pipeline refuses to respect the latest Army order to stop construction.

And although the Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault is encouraging campers to go home because of the severe weather conditions, tribal member John Bigelow, an official spokesperson for the Oceti Sakowin Camp, spoke to a packed press conference eloquently and at great length about the need for those who can stay safely in the North Dakota winter to do so.

ADVISORY: OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP IN NOT ACCEPTING NEW ARRIVALS DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS! PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL HERE AT THIS TIME. (I would anticipate that travel will become possible after this latest storm passes.)

Mural at Red Warrior Camp in Standing Rock painted by Raul Gonzalez.

Mural at Red Warrior Camp in Standing Rock painted by Raul Gonzalez.

Mr. Bigalow mentioned that the taunting flood lights which fallow the pipeline’s relentless march across the nearby hills are still illuminating armored personnel carriers day and night.   He explained that the actual drilling pad designed to send the pipe under the nearby lake is totally enclosed on two sides and overhead by a wooden construction which makes it impossible to tell when they are drilling.

Standing Rock tribal member John Bigalow carefully explained why the Oceti Sakowin Camp must remain despite extreme weather conditions.

Standing Rock tribal member John Bigalow carefully explained why the Oceti Sakowin Camp must remain despite extreme weather conditions.

“As water protectors, we have a responsibility to be stewards of the water.  We’re not going anywhere,” he insisted as a howling blizzard rolled in across the North Dakota plains and all roads out were closed.  

Surviving this week’s blizzard at the Oceti Sakowin Camp was certainly challenging – especially since I’m used to weather the weather in Chiapas, Mexico, but with support from the entire camp it was possible. I strongly urge my friends and all the supporters of Schools for Chiapas / Escuelas para Chiapas to continue supporting Standing Rock, now more than ever!

If you can donate a few dollars or send some supplies now, you can do so through the offiical web of the Oceti Sakowin Camp: http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/

Daily orientations and frequent press conferences take place within the White Dome.

Daily orientations and frequent press conferences take place within the White Dome.

If you can spend time in the camp, please do so.  Stay as long – or as short as works for you.  (Christmas and New Year’s at Standing Rock?)

If you can sponsor a family member, a local tribal member, a friend, or a co-worker to travel to Standing Rock, North Dakota and stay here – please do so.

Whoever comes with a good heart and respect for indigenous leadership will be cared-for and welcomed.  Come as self-sufficient as possible for outdoor living under artic conditions, knowing that the Oceti Sakowin Camp is now in full winter mode and everyone who comes will be expected to work cared for each other.

The camp / community is deeply organized and provides a great deal of support for those living here – be assured that your money is no good here.  Everything is totally free of charge!  img_1299

There are many warm places to sleep (more are being completed every day) and there is unlimited free food always available from a number of camp kitchens.  There is also free health care, free winter clothing, free sanitation, water and hot coffee and tea, story-telling, solar electricity for light and for charging phones, legal support, music in many indigenous languages, self-policing, and free propane for heaters.  Volunteers in the massive warehouse-sized tents full of free bedding, high quality clothing, technical supplies and more will help you find what you need.

Most importantly there are thousands and thousands of positive, helpful, smiling people working in solidarity to stop the DAPL pipeline while maintaining a prayerful, positive attitude in the face of challenging winter conditions as the time of Trump approaches.  If you can pray or organize or agitate or teach for support for #NoDAPL please do it now.  And please don’t stop until there are no more pipelines and our Mother Earth can begin to heal.  

As they say at Standing Rock, “Mni woconi – Water is Life. We have to kill the black snake.”

There are thousands of winterized structures for sleeping and many kitchens offering free food every day. This is the Two Spirits section of the camp organized by LGBT peoples.

There are thousands of winterized structures for sleeping and many kitchens offering free food every day. Construction is proceeding despite blizzard conditions.

This is a massive, unarmed, and prayerful indigenous-led gathering with activities for everyone who wants to pitch-in and help.  You really don’t have to worry about the scary pictures of front-line actions since most people never even go to those areas.
 
During your stay you can work in a kitchen, sort donated clothing, shovel snow, feed horses, build winter structures, collect trash, chop wood, repair cars, go shopping in town for supplies, or any of a thousand other tasks.  And probably most importantly, you will share and learn with the thousands of endlessly fascinating people gathered here to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (#DAPL).

So come to the Oceti Sakowin Camp and send whatever support you can organize for the camp.  It’s really important to do so at this critical moment!

Written and edited by Peter Brown (pedrocafe@schoolsforchiapas.org). Use this url to link to this blog post: http://www.schoolsforchiapas.org/standingrock/

ps.  Finally we wish to share the words about the struggle at Standing Rock from the Indigenous National Indigenous Congress (CNI) of Mexico and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) which was  published on Dec. 2, 2016.  “– From the collective heart of the originary peoples of the National Indigenous Congress, we pronounce our absolute respect for the territory of the Sioux people, in Standing Rock, North Dakota, where more than 200 tribes are organizing to stop the plunder the capitalists are trying to impose through oil pipelines which destroy water sources and ceremonial sites. We condemn the brutal repression these tribes were subject to this past November 20, and the repression planned against them with the announcement of an ultimatum to vacate their lands. If we originary peoples had ever responded to the ultimatums of the powerful, we would have ceased to exist centuries ago. To the Sioux People we send a brotherly embrace and we reiterate that they are not alone, that their pain and rage are ours, also. We call on the originary peoples of the United States and Mexico, on the free media, and on civil society to strengthen their solidarity with this historic struggle.”  http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/12/06/despite-aggressions-the-consultation-continues/

**********************************************

Official camp web page: http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/

Tribal video: http://standwithstandingrock.net/

The Water Protector Legal Collective (formerly known as Red Owl Legal Collective): http://waterprotectorlegal.org/

Dec. 7, 2016 communication from the camp:  https://www.facebook.com/OcetiSakowinCamp/photos/a.1005331956278703.1073741828.1002053226606576/1047047958773769/?type=3&theater

Written and edited by Peter Brown (pedrocafe@schoolsforchiapas.org). Use this url to link to this blog post: http://www.schoolsforchiapas.org/standingrock/

Comments