Action, Debate and Solidarity at Standing Rock

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Call to Action, For your information

In from Freedom Socialist and Radical Women

Report from the frontline

Actions, debates and solidarity at Standing Rock

By Gina Petry, Saturday, November 19, 2016

The cold is coming in, but the mood of Standing Rock is warm. Patrick Burns and I continue to learn each day about the thousands of people at camp –where they are from, what moved them to come, what they want to contribute, and where they think the movement needs to go from here.
I participated in a ceremony led by the International Indigenous Youth Council calling for the release of Red Fawn Fallis, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, who has been accused of shooting at police and charged with attempted murder. Many who know Red Fawn say the accusations are inconceivable and call her a political prisoner. Over 500 people attended the ceremony for Red Fawn near the river. It was followed by a group take-over of a bridge that is blocked by barbed wire and a row of armored vehicles. Though many cops showed up on the other side of the bridge, there were no confrontations or arrests. There is debate going on about orientation towards law enforcement. Some want to try and win the cops over, but many others have been vocal about police repression and know we cannot trust them.

Both of the ceremonies I attended were led by women. There is conscious encouragement for women to step forward, be leaders and speak up. Native women speakers encouraged all women to unify and stand together with our brothers and everyone struggling for justice.

Patrick continues to work hard on construction of winter-ready housing structures. He’s sharing his skills, tools and political ideas with the crew he’s on. Patrick also started connecting with a camp of unionists from many places in U.S. who are building rank-and-file support of organized labor for Standing Rock. They were thrilled to meet another union carpenter who wants to get more unions to show solidarity.

Many people are excited to hear about socialist feminism and the existence of Radical Women and Freedom Socialist Party. I have had several conversations about the greed and destruction of capitalism. Everyone has agreed we need a new system!

There are only a couple days left in our week here. In this short time, we have only scratched the surface of all that is encompassed at Standing Rock. The connections we’re making will strengthen our ability to confront the battles that are coming.

Gina Petry, the Organizer of Seattle Radical Women, and Patrick Burns, a union carpenter and activist with the Seattle branch of the Freedom Socialist Party, responded to the urgent call for on-site support to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will jeopardize the country’s water supply by running toxic oil conduits under the Missouri River. They will be in North Dakota through November 20.

he Water Protector Legal Collective desperately needs money to cover bail and legal costs for arrestees — please click here to donate

 

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