This is a post I didn’t plan on writing. In fact, some little hopeful piece of my brain hoped that somehow, some way, Trump would be unable to restart the construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. But alas, no.
And as much as I am angry and sad and frustrated about a decision based out of white supremacy, disrespect of actual land laws and some pretty sketchy looking conflicted interests, it’s time to look to what we can do. Firstly, as the word trump means fart in the UK, I’ve resolved to only refer to him as president fart from now on. No capitals.
But asides from that, here are the other things you can do, no matter where you live. This is unlikely to be a perfect list, as the news just broke yesterday we are still waiting on official statements. This post will be updated as more information comes in.
Switch your bank accounts
17 global banks directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline, including UK banks such as HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland. One of the fastest things you can do is to pull your business from these banks, and go for an ethical alternative. It’s also important to let the banks know exactly why you are closing your account, you can find a full list of the 17 banks and their contact details HERE. The suggestion of what to say is something along the following lines, (I would suggest you to share your letters/messages to banks publicly on social media also):
“As a customer of your financial institution, I reject the notion of my money helping to support your investment in the Dakota Access pipeline, an inherently dangerous and unjust oil pipeline that threatens air and water quality in many states, and violates sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. I urge you to give up your financial stake in the Dakota Access pipeline immediately.”
Check Leotie Lovely’s list to find an ethical bank in your area.
Social media brought the Standing Rock situation much more into the public eye, don’t let people forget now. Use social media to share information and raise awareness. In the coming months ask media outlets who may be ignoring or twisting the news to cover the events factually and coherently. Call them out on social media, send open letters or contact them directly. This is not a time for alternative facts.
Donate Your Money
*UPDATED* – From Shaun King
We need you to donate your best donation. We need you to ask everybody you know to join you.
Ask them in person. Ask them on the phone. Ask them on Twitter & Facebook. Ask them via email. Forward this email to them if you need to ok? But in such an email, make the request personal.
As always, 100% of your donation goes directly to the legal aid. Just know, that as you read this email, Energy Transfer Partners, and all of the banks behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, have hired the top law firms in the world to defeat us. I have sources inside some of those law firms who have reached out to tell me just how hard they are prepared to go.
Here are your options:
DONATE to the Water Protector Legal Collective.
DONATE to the Lakota People’s Law Project.
DONATE to the Red Warrior Defense Fund.
DONATE to the Red Fawn Legal Fund.
DONATE to Earth Justice.
If you live in a city on the Missouri River, talk to your local representatives
If you live downstream, spills affect you too. We’ve heard a lot of ‘American jobs’ rhetoric, but oil spills will decimate farms and farmers in the Midwest who rely on the Missouri river for their water supply. Other midwestern cities, including Kansas City, have declared their opposition to pipeline construction and stand in solidarity with water protectors. Yesterday local activists began talking to their council in Columbia. The more united cities can be, the stronger they can be.
Pressure, wherever possible
If you’re in the USA, call your local congressman/woman, as well as the White House and submitting complaint forms.
– Contact your local elected officials and inform them to stop the DAPL and to seek environmental energy practices in your area.
– Call the North Dakota Governor’s office and tell him to demilitarise the actions of Morton County Sheriff 701-328-2200
– File civil rights complaints with the Department of Homeland Security. Specifically, file complaints regarding the total disregard of civil liberties and constitutional rights to pray and assemble by Morton Count Sheriffs Office and their partnering law departments.
– Contact the White Houe via their Facebook page, send a letter or call 202-456-1111
– Call Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline owner ― Lee Hanse, executive vice president, 210-403-6455; Glenn Emery, vice president, 210-403-6762; Michael (Cliff) Waters, lead analyst, 713-989-2404.
Support Local Tribes
If you live in a country with Indigenous people (eg. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), find ways to support those local to your area.
‘Tribal Nations have been protecting the environment for thousands of years and honoring their treaties is the most effective method of preserving nature, since treaties are held as the supreme law of the land.’ (source)
Let us not forget that this issue can ultimately be traced back to white supremacy and a disregard of the validity of people of colour. Ask how you can be of assistance, how you can practically support and be an ally to those groups. If you are white, remember this is not about being a white saviour, but recognising your privilege and using it to dismantle toxic structures of power by supporting those who need it. This is not about you, but you can help. In the USA you can find those local to your area here.
The issue here is also a fossil fuel one. If investment was being flooded into clean energy and removed (divested) from coal, gas and oil the pipeline wouldn’t even be necessary. Read my post on divestment HERE, a campaign that has produced real results in the past and can again. There are groups across the world that you can get involved with.
Physically Going to Standing Rock
This one is still a little in question. On January 21st protestors were asked to vacate the camps in order to prepare for the Spring thaw. At this point statements are still to come on how yesterday’s decision affects this, so I can’t confirm whether there will be a request for protestors to return. If you are a person who is able to go to, I would recommend you stay updated on the situation on the situation by following Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on facebook for updates.
If you can’t go to Standing Rock, find a local rally or protest in your area. If you can’t find one, think about organising one yourself.
This post will be updated as and when information and updates become available.