With little time left before the evacuation deadline arrives at North Dakota’s Oceti Sakowin camp, protesters on treaty land at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have issued a plea: Come help — now!
The water protectors have endured months of police brutality, water cannon attacks in freezing temperatures, and even a previous mandatory evacuation. Last time they were ordered to evacuate they refused to leave, and they are still there.
In a viral video shared by social justice journalist Shaun King on Monday, a group of indigenous women remind viewers that demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline are about much more than a single issue. They’re about clean water, police brutality, treaty rights and the rights of future generations, reported News Mic.
“In the history of colonization, they’ve always given us two options: Give up our land or go to jail. Give up our rights or go to jail,” one woman says in the video. “And now, give up our water or go to jail. We are not criminals.”
My friends in Standing Rock just sent this to me & asked me to share it. They are surrounded by militarized police RIGHT NOW. pic.twitter.com/plR0Tfaagc
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 21, 2017
Monthslong demonstrations at Standing Rock are scheduled to end Wednesday; the United States Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have issued an evacuation order for the morning of Feb. 22, according to the official website for the Oceti Sakowin camp.
After the Army Corps of Engineers refused to approve the final permit necessary for the pipeline to do the legally required tribe consultation and environmental impact study, the companies funding DAPL construction, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, immediately vowed they would not back down. Many Standing Rock demonstrators, meanwhile, were skeptical of the decision to halt the project and refused to leave, even as blizzards battered Oceti Sakowin camp and a mandatory evacuation was ordered by the governor.
The protesters were right to be skeptical. During his first week in office, President Donald Trump, formerly a shareholder in Energy Transfer Partners, ordered the approval of both the DAPL and the Keystone XL pipeline. The CEO of ETP said he expected that to happen as he has “donated” over $100,000 to Trump according to Reuters.
“They’ve been trying to take us down for hundreds of years,” one woman says. “They can keep trying, and we’re still going to be here, and we need help. There aren’t many of us left.”
The protectors are asking for help immediately. Anyone able to help is being called upon to step up and stand up for human rights.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)