Sioux Nation Honours Native American Protestor Against North Dakota Pipeline

This is another interesting video from The Young Turks’ reporter, Jordan Cheriton. In it, he covers a ceremony by the Rosebud Sioux tribe to honour one of their members, Happy American Horse, for his courage in protesting against the North Dakota Pipeline. This is an oil pipeline being tunnelled through the tribe’s territory, which threatens to pollute their water. As the chief in this simple ceremony points out, water is life, and ecology is important to Native American spirituality and identity. Mr American Horse is awarded an eagle feather, the traditional Plains Indian mark of a courageous act. The guy chained himself to one of the digging machines and stayed there to stop them digging, despite his understandable fear and calls from the workers to start it up, and so kill or injure him. Also present at the ceremony is Black American activist, who leads a chant of the words of one of the great Black American civil rights leaders, and a Black Jamaican. This last man, who describes himself as from the land of Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, also unveils the Jamaican flag to honour Mr Horse’s courage. Marcus Garvey was one of the pioneers of Black emancipation in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was his belief that there would be a Black messiah from Ethiopia that laid the foundations for Rastafarianism. There are also a couple of White Green activists present, as well as Cheriton, who also add his words of encouragement.

I’m reblogging this as, although it’s very much an American protest, it’s part of the same struggle that’s going on over here as well in the campaigns against fracking. Quite often, those companies despoiling the awesome beauty of the American countryside are the same people wrecking the awesome beauty of the British environment, and poisoning our water like they’re poisoning those of the poor, the marginalised, and ordinary Americans over the other side of the Atlantic. These are the same companies supported by the Republicans, Shrillary Clinton and the Tories over here.

The coverage of the ceremony is another example of the way YouTube and the internet is transforming politics. Yeah, there’s a lot of rubbish and craziness on there, but it also allows activists to see, talk to and be informed about activism by ordinary people right across the planet. It’s why YouTube has now got frightened of this power, and is issuing stupid restrictive guidelines in case it puts off advertisers. It’s why the Tories want to censor the Net, all under the guise of protecting the vulnerable from Paedophiles, of course.

But at it’s best, the technology does help to fulfil Reith’s dream of bring nations and people’s together. ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’ is the quote from the Bible that’s written above the BBC’s entrance. This is also part of it.

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7 Responses to “Sioux Nation Honours Native American Protestor Against North Dakota Pipeline”

  1. Sioux Nation Honours Native American Protestor Against North Dakota Pipeline — Beastrabban’s Weblog | FIRST NATION Says:

    […] via Sioux Nation Honours Native American Protestor Against North Dakota Pipeline — Beastrabban’… […]

  2. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for this post Beastie, although this issue is over the water it does concern us all, western Europeans may not feel indigenous but dependence on our beautiful earth is just the same and we are all part of the system that is making our ecological web very fragile.

    I saw this video from Democracy Now at the beginning of the week; it shows Native Americans trying to stop pipeline trucks from working on the land and being successful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZcx2zEo4k

    And some info from Telesur about the notorious G4S being involved in the policing of the protest, with the lengths the pipeline companies will go to: “The FBI has also been sent to investigate “laser strikes” against a surveillance aircraft circling the camp. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said the planes were there to ensure public safety, but people at the site said they were used to disrupt cell phone signals.”

    REF: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/G4S-Admits-It-Guards-Dakota-Pipeline-as-Protesters-Get-Attacked-20160906-0036.html

    The National Lawyers Guild (USA) stands with the Rock Sioux Tribe on this issue: https://www.nlg.org/news/announcements/nlg-statement-solidarity-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-against-dakota-access-pipeline

    but a Washington D.C. judge has ruled that pipeline construction can continue! REF: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/7/standing_rock_sioux_tribe_s_lawyer

    As a reminder FRACKING is back on the UK agenda (after 5 years) as Ryedale council voted in May to allow Third Energy a fracking licence apparently backed by some greenwashing in Barclays bank which owns 97% of Third Energy via Barclays Natural Resource Investments (bank’s private equity division) even though Barclays has a ‘Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure’ since earlier this year!! REF: https://www.home.barclays/news/2016/08/pioneers.html

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for this extra info, Michelle. Western Europeans may not feel indigenous in the same way as the First Peoples of this planet, but I have seen New Agers describe themselves as ‘indigenous’ when protesting against what they see as the despoliation of an valuable archaeological or natural site. And certainly many people do feel solidarity with them when it comes to the destruction of the environment by big corporations.

      It’s good to see the lawyers’ guild backing the Sioux nation in their struggle with the oil company. On a more negative note, I’m not surprised that G4S is involved. It seems that if there’s something grubby going on, with non-Whites being brutalised, such as at the detention centres for asylum seekers they were supposed to be guarding, they’re there. I’m also not surprised that Barclays is a majority shareholder in a fracking company. I can remember how they got the nickname ‘Boerclays’ by anti-apartheid activists back in the 1980s for their support of apartheid South Africa.

      At the same time, I can remember a report in the Sunday Express about the Sioux people campaigning against another British company that was trashing their environment at the same time. This was the Hanson Trust, which had a cement works polluting the river going through their lands. My father used to work for Courage’s brewery, which was taken over by Lord Hanson, along with the tobacco company W.O. and H.O. Wills. Hanson sold Courage’s after a couple of years, after their lawyers thwarted his attempt to copy Robert Maxwell and raid their pension fund. Hanson tried to promote his company’s image with an advertising campaign, which talked up how well it was doing in the Land of the Free. You may remember the slogan ‘A company from over here, doing rather well over there.’ Yes, by ripping off and treating like dirty Brits, Native Americans, and, I have no doubt, the ordinary blue collar White and Black Americans as well. It shows just how grotty multinationals are and always have been, ever since they emerged under imperialism.

  3. Michelle Says:

    An update the US government has temporarily suspended construction but the pipeline construction company is not happy ans they are fear mongering about setting precedents: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/10/us/judge-approves-construction-of-oil-pipeline-in-north-dakota.html?_r=0

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for that, Michelle. Unfortunately, this hasn’t prevented the company from doing incalculable damage with desecration of the Native communities graves and archaeological sites. I hope the protestors win, but they’re up against the corporate power of big oil. Disgraceful.

  4. Michelle Says:

    Update on Amy Goodman from Democracy Now who reported the attacks on the tribes protesting the pipeline company’s bulldozers: https://www.popularresistance.org/arrest-warrant-issued-for-journalist-amy-goodman-after-covering-dakota-access-pipeline-protests/?

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Yes, I saw it reported on a number of liberal news channels on YouTube, including her own show, Democracy Now, where she read out the news herself. Which must have been a slightly surreal experience. She made the point that she and her crew had been wearing their press badges clearly and that this is all about the oil company trying to punish her for showing the company’s goons attacking the protesters.

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