Indigenous women of Standing Rock issue 
heartbreaking plea for help ahead of evacuation

By <>Claire Lampen
February 21, 2017

With just over a day to go before the evacuation 
deadline arrives at North Dakota's Oceti Sakowin 
camp, protesters at the Standing Rock Indian 
Reservation have issued a plea: Come help — now.

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, 
brutality, treaty rights and the rights of future generations.

"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."

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.

Peaceful protesters gathered there 
to score a victory in early December, when the 
Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit that 
would have allowed construction of the Dakota 
Access pipeline to continue along its previously 
planned route, under Lake Oahe. The Standing Rock 
Sioux Tribe opposed the pipeline on the grounds 
that it threatened ancient tribal lands and could 
pollute a crucial water source, the Missouri River.

Fireworks over Oceti Sakowin on Dec. 4, 2016 as 
demonstrators celebrate the decision to 
effectively halt construction on the Dakota 
Access Pipeline.Source: <>Scott Olson/Getty Images

Yet the companies funding DAPL construction, 
Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics 
vowed they would not back down. Many Standing 
Rock demonstrators, meanwhile, were skeptical of 
the decision to halt the project and 
to stay, even as blizzards battered Oceti Sakowin camp.

The skepticism was warranted: Within his first 
week in office, President 
<>Trump — 
formerly a 
in Energy Transfer Partners — signed two 
orders enabling resumed construction of both DAPL 
and the Keystone XL pipeline. According to King's 
tweet, protesters are currently "surrounded by 
militarized police" who will 
the camp Wednesday and evacuate protesters.

The women in the video urge supporters to come 
stand with Standing Rock, and fast.


Here are several sketches -- interviews done in 
the course of recent demonstrations -- from my 
new series, "Profiles of Protest in the Trump 
Resistance Era" for WBAI radio / Pacifica.

Rally at Brooklyn Boro Hall culminating general 
strike of Yemeni bodega owners, which shut down 
many small stores in the Atlantic Avenue area of Brooklyn on February 2, 2017.

14 minutes. Mitchel Cohen reports from a protest 
of more than 1,000 people who marched on Senator 
Charles Schumer's apartment in Park Slope, 
Brooklyn, Tuesday night, condemning Schumer's 
votes in favor of 3 of Trump's cabinet 
appointments, and demanding that Sen. Schumer and 
other Democrats "join the resistance" and stop 
placating the Trump administration and Wall Street.

12 minutes - Participants in the "No Hate, No 
Fear, Refugees are Welcome Here!" rally and march 
of 18,000 people in New York City Sunday, January 
29, 2017, beginning in Battery Park.

3:24 minutes - A wonderful 3 minute piece 
interviewing a couple of 90-year-olds at the women's march in NYC.

This one sketches 3 women at the gigantic Women's 
march on January 21, 2017. Just 1:24 minutes ....

 From the streets of NYC's inauguration night 
protest, as thousands marched from Foley Square 
down to Trump's building on Wall Street.

Immigrant Rights Rally in Washington Square Park 
Jan. 25, 2017, with 3,000 people participating.

Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen