How to Stand with Standing Rock

Masses of people show up each day to participate in what is one of the most historic and significant protests of our generation. Upon arriving, there are several services that are provided including a volunteer center which acts as a FAQ kiosk of sorts. There, people can find access to different parts of the camp in order to lend a hand wherever possible.

People who have been there for two months or more have already found their place in the community and help out by trying to guide newcomers in the ways of camp-life. And there are no shortages of duties. Often times, people find their niche quickly and are able to contribute immediately. However, this is not always the case for everyone who shows up to Standing Rock.

As the population grows, an infrastructure is needed(or at-least a revamp of the current one…) to help prevent any sort of social awkwardness and having duties that need to be done off the bat is one way to solve this issue. Knowing what people are good at and assigning them to specific camps that need specific jobs to be done on a daily basis can help prevent confusion about the needs of the encampment as a whole. Jobs include: cutting wood for winter, building of shelters, organizing food and help in any of the kitchens, waste management and recycling, transporting and distribution of supplies and resources, to name just a few.

If people are there for the weekend(the Weekend Warriors), the best way to go about helping is to speak directly to the community. Focusing on where resources go and how they are used for the benefit of the whole is also something people can do in order to provide feasible sustainability. It is important to ensure the safety of those who are going to stay during the winter and helping them fortify existing shelters and building new ones can advertently save someone’s life.

Although it may seem like Lord of the Flies, with some camps being completely isolated to the outside and remain in their inner circles, perhaps it is for good reason. With the constant flow of people, it is hard to discern an infiltrator from a protector. And these camps set an example for others. Even though they stay separate, how they operate as a camp is not only admirable, but it is also inspiring.

Security risks increase as people bundle up for the freezing temperatures in the coming weeks. As winter creeps closer and closer every day, active awareness to this in the community can provide a sense of security within the encampment.

To also take in to account the increasing issues pertaining to Climate Change and how crude oil and other obsolete forms of energy have contributed to it, this movement is integral to the lives of millions of people who depend on clean water. DAPL’s argument is that it will cut costs on transportation of crude oil and ultimately lead to jobs is not a sufficient enough reason to put whole populations at risk.

During one peaceful protest, an employee brandished a weapon, strikes a woman with it, and proceeds to run someone over in pure anger and hate. Several rounds were fired off into the air as he sped away; and these are the people they hire for the jobs that they create. As protectors helped a woman off the ground, it is hard to believe that these people exist in this world who have no compassion or empathy. It may very well be the “American Dream” that they are working for, but this dream is a nightmare to many people and effects the lives of families who have already been subject to oppression for centuries.

Engagement with DAPL workers can be seen as both counter-productive and the only way to deal with the situation at hand. Many of those who tend the actions conduct themselves peacefully and urge others to do the same. But sometimes, the only way to stop something is to destroy it. Delaying progress on the pipeline is a tactic that some see as the only way to get people to understand the urgency of what is happening on Turtle Island. Where prayers and peace fall short, there are those who answer the call by throwing their physical bodies on the gears of a machine that will not stop because people are asking nicely.

Understanding that people are going to North Dakota for personal vendettas is not something that should be taken lightly. There are many out there who seem to be filling out their own agendas.

Standing Rock is a Movement that is aimed at protecting sacred lands and water and there are those who seem to think that it is some kind of festival or even a spectacle to be captured on social media outlets; tainting the image of the people who will be affected once all of the tourists have left. The more people that are there in solidarity is important, yes, but having warriors that are willing to put their lives at risk is something else entirely. These same people fight for the well-being of their families and millions of others like them and taking photos of it will only go so far. Yes, bringing awareness to the world via social media is great and all, but that does not stop a drill from tunnel ling under the river.

Not all of what happens at Standing Rock is police scrimmage lines and tear gas. Healing and prayer is a major facet to life in the encampment and to the people who currently inhabit it. One thing that some wish to portray to the world is how they deal with adversity through prayer and unity. This will not, as mentioned before, stop the drill from getting closer.

Funneling resources and materials to individuals who are qualified to manage it will greatly attribute to the success of the movement happening at Standing Rock. There are currently people who are able to build structures that are cost effective and able to provide adequate shelter, but the way that monies are acquired can be somewhat confusing and ineffective. And with more people who are willing to take on these monetary ventures and who are trustworthy, the efficiency and fluidity of the camp can be increased whilst providing constant jobs for the community to engage in with each other.

As it is right now, there is no need for clothing and certain staple foods such as beans, rice, and flour. Not that they won’t need it in the future, but instead of adding to the existing surplus, donations can be made in other ways such as checking off items on a materials list for someone in need of resources.

To help out in any of these ways is something that should be shared and brought to people’s attention because it can end up as a major factor of someone’s survival on the plains of North Dakota.

If you or anyone you know are going to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity, understand what you are getting in to and safe travels. This is a movement, not a moment!


One thought on “How to Stand with Standing Rock

  1. Pingback: inLeague Press @ NoDAPL - inLeague PressinLeague Press

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s