If you don’t know what’s really happening at Standing Rock in North Dakota, you’re not alone. And if you think you know what’s happening, but you’re confused – join the club.
It’s a lot to process. Election anxiety is bad enough without one more thing to worry about, right?
But knowledge is power. The more we understand, the less intimidated we are. Facts help us make better decisions. And as hard as it is to swallow, Standing Rock is a HUGE DEAL no matter who wins the election. Unfortunately, it’s an issue most of us know the least about.
We can’t fix what we don’t see. Welcome to the blackout.
Here’s what’s happening:
Native American men, women, and children are fighting for their basic right to water, free speech, and land that is rightfully theirs. The Dakota Access Pipeline is being constructed before their eyes – eyes that are repeatedly maced and beaten by police whenever they open their mouths in protest. They’ve been shot with rubber bullets, arrested, and allegedly put into cages – simply for exercising their right to peaceful protest.
Here’s what’s not happening:
Mass coverage by leading US News outlets. Legal reparations. Actual freedom of speech.
Oil is power, like knowledge is power: whoever successfully controls both, wins.
There have been too many fake headlines of Obama ‘halting’ the pipeline, based on his decision to ‘let it play out for a few weeks.’ What he actually means is that he’s putting it off until after the election, so that the next President can deal with it.
This is what I’ve put together, based on what I’ve heard from those involved. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that ‘I heard’ is not enough. The UN is investigating human rights violations. Independent publications like The Guardian are doing what they can. But I still have so many questions.
The best way to truly understand is to show up. So I’m going.
You deserve to know what’s really happening. Social media has helped matters somewhat, but with so many false news stories floating around (seriously, this is the year of fake news), it’s hard to know what’s real, fake, or exaggerated.
Instead of waiting for the truth to come through, I’m going out to get it.
Mainstream media is a business, built on making money. It’s not really motivated by humanity and facts. Yet it has SO MUCH control over how we think, feel and vote. Fake news and blackouts are as bad for your integrity as they are for the stories themselves. Nobody wants to be misinformed, myself included. So, I’m going to collect facts and offer support to those who are suffering.
My friend Kevan and I are collecting items for donation. When we get there, we’ll be offering manual labor and supplies to help keep people from freezing/starving this winter. If you live in LA and would like to donate supplies, please fill out the contact form. I’ll be happy to deliver for you. But no matter where you live, it’s possible to send survival gear and necessary items directly to the camps.
Disclaimer: I have friends and family who work for the oil industry, and I care deeply about their well-being. I also have loved ones who have been endangered by the oil industry, and I care deeply about their well-being.
I’m choosing to be open about my personal views from the beginning (transparency, hello), but gaining understanding of both sides is my #1 priority here. Without understanding, knowledge is useless. End of story.
Standing Rock (and what it represents) is a big deal, no matter where you live or how you vote. If freedom of speech is at stake for the Native Americans of North Dakota, so is yours.
I don’t want to look back on this and see myself hiding behind a computer, ranting my frustration until the next issue came long. I want to have actually done something. Helped out. Shown up.
So I’m going to Standing Rock.
See you soon.