|Photo/ Indian Country Today|
September 9, 2016
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) condemns the ongoing state and corporate violence against the just resistance of the Dakota Sioux Standing Rock indigenous people to the violation of their land and treaty rights by the Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline. Energy Transfer has vengefully bulldozed a historic tribal burial ground and with state sanction assaulted peaceful protesters with private security dogs. Both acts represent another atrocity in the long history of forced removal and genocide against indigenous peoples by an occupying white power structure. Contrast these brutal tactics with the cautious treatment of far-right-wing racist white hate groups that have tried to privatize federal lands. We hope that the federal government’s recent decision to reconsider the building of the pipeline on native land will lead to the permanent end to the construction of the pipeline.
Building the pipeline on indigenous land is an assault by capital, with the assistance of state and local governments, against the water, land and natural resources of the people of our first nations. Major banks and financial institutions, including public pension funds, have massive investment not only in Energy Transfer Partners, but the fossil fuel industry in general. This resistance by the Dakota Sioux peoples to the irrational and dangerous pipelines that take fracked shale oil from western North Dakota 1200 miles to Illinois is part of a growing movement against the dangerous long-distance transport of crude oil that has already led to numerous emergency situations, including the train derailment that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013.
We need to further build a multiracial climate justice movement to reverse the failure of federal and state governments to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Massive public investment in sustainable energy, in contrast, would contribute to the fight against global warming and provide meaningful jobs in regions facing mass unemployment, including indigenous communities.
Thus, DSA supports the indigenous people and their allies gathering on Dakota Sioux land to defend indigenous peoples’ rights. We also call on our members to support the next national day of protests in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux on Tuesday September 13th. For more information, see here.
In addition, DSA will mobilize its members to participate in nationwide protests in support of the Dakota Sioux on Indigenous People’s Day, October 10th (a.k.a., “Columbus Day”). Furthermore, we call on our members to express solidarity and give financial support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by going to the website standingrock.org. We also urge our members to write their elected officials to demand a cessation of the pipeline construction and to oppose the use of the National Guard and other government security agencies to repress the peaceful Dakota Sioux protesters.