Resistance at Standing Rock: The people from Oceti Sakowin camp

Water protectors answer a fundamental question: What happens if the pipeline gets completed?

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SOURCEOccupy.com
Photo Credit: Alex Garland

Seanna Riley – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “We won’t have clean water. We’ll be drinking oil.”

Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I guess, but I’ve gotta stay here and keep fighting.”

What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “I mean, he’s pretty racist. We can’t really help anything since he’s rich. Bernie Sanders would have been a good choice.”

Standing Rock, Alex Garland, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Standing Rock Sioux

Mateo Cadena – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “We won’t stop. They might get it in the ground, but it doesn’t mean these warriors are going to stop. We’ll keep on keeping on.”

Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I think the energy created here is special because of the place here, because of the people here and what they stand for. I feel that in a different location they’re not going to have the same kind of spiritual backing. Native land is special, it’s all native land, but right here, these people are standing real strong.“

What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “It doesn’t, I live here now. Until he comes here, then I might have something to say about it. Until then, he can do whatever he wants elsewhere. Right here, right now, this is where I’m at. I don’t feel like this election is going to affect this camp at all. People are still going to be here. People still feel the same way if not more passionate now.”

Standing Rock, Alex Garland, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Standing Rock Sioux

Joe Ku’e Angeles – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “They say it can help out the economy, but we think it doesn’t really help. Oil’s not the way to go anymore and the money should be diverted other places. This style of energy is not the way to make an investment. They’re gonna lose their timeline, so the money’s not going to be there for them.”

Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Oh definitely. It’s worldwide now. Me from Polynesia, our story is the same. We’re based on the land and the best thing for people is the land, how to understand and be bound to that. There’s a new kind of consciousness so I think the whole world is saying we need to do something different.”

What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “Trump’s idea for America is not what we need. My awareness is your awareness. The next four years is going to be difficult. We’ve gotta stay out of the violent side.”

Standing Rock, Alex Garland, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Standing Rock Sioux

Ash Arpan – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “Theres a strong risk of polluting this environment, not only the water, but it could break anywhere along the line. There have been breaks on similar pipelines in ND and other parts of the US.”

Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “I think so. It’s a good example of how to make some changes”

What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “I don’t think Mr. Trump is very sympathetic to indigenous people. I think in this general area, it doesn’t matter if you’re indigenous or white, we’re kind of forgotten out here in the middle of nowhere.”

Standing Rock, Alex Garland, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Standing Rock Sioux

Synthia Kennedy – What happens if the pipeline gets completed? “Death, really. If the Missouri River gets polluted, it goes to the Mississippi, then to the Gulf. The Mississippi and the Great Lakes support a lot of the watershed. Oil will seep into the rest of everything. There’s nobody that can escape. The tress will be poisoned, the animals that depend on those rivers, all the people who depend on that water, not only to drink, but for food, and they will die. The only people the pipeline benefits is corporations. Nestle has tock in DAPL and they also bottle water. The only people who can survive it are people with money and even then it’s not guaranteed. “

Is this resistance movement something that can move to another fossil fuel fight? “Absolutely, I think this is showing people that not only will indigenous folks won’t stand for this, but everyone is not going to stand for this. We all depend on the water. Quite simply, water is life. Not to coin a phrase that everyone is using but it is the fundamental of life. Without water, none of us supply. If we have no plants, we have no life, we have no air. The planet is under attack. If you think of the planet as a living organism, which it is, the rivers and watersheds are it’s blood supply and your putting a pipeline through a river is putting an IV directly into the water supply, into the earth’s veins. It’s not a matter of if the pipeline ruptures, it’s about when. If people understood how to work the pipelines safely, we wouldn’t have thousands of oil spills every year. The Gulf is still contaminated, it’s still not safe. Doing this, especially this far up in the water supply is suicide.”

What affect will Donald Trump’s election have on you? “Too many fucking ways. When I was 16 I was helping on HB1722 which includes gender identity and gender expression under the equal employment act and with his election everything I have worked for, everything I have fought for since I was a kid in HS is null and void. The potential that my life, my right to be considered a person is at stake. That coupled with this, it’s like I have a loaded gun to my head at any given time. The fact that he’s made it this far is appalling to me. The fact that we allowed somebody to stand up on stage and say all that stuff about women and about queer folks and about people of color and about disabled folks is appalling to say the least. That being said, indigenous folks and queer folks, we’ve survived worse. We’re not going down without a fight. Whatever that looks like is whatever that looks like. Nothing here is safe, it’s an active war zone. I pity anybody that is on his side or anybody that try to strip the rights of indigenous or queer folks, because we’re not going to take it. I don’t know if he know’s what he’s gotten himself into.”

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