18.05.2017 Pressenza New York

This post is also available in: Italian

Tour of Standing Rock native defenders in Europe

From May, the 20th to June, the 20th 2017

Several European citizen’s movements and organizations are currently organizing a tour in Europe for Standing Rock native defenders and their allies who oppose the DAPL pipeline and other fossil fuel projects on their territories.

Context and intentions

Currently, the main focus of worldwide grassroots movements involved in climate issues is the protest against fossil fuel infrastructure. The struggle is articulated around two axes: a broad divestment campaign, and non-violent civil disobedience actions. The purpose of the European tour of Standing Rock defenders is to further these actions.

At Standing Rock, the indigenous people resistance, led by women and youth is emblematic and exemplary. Mobilizing thousands of people locally and throughout the United States for a year already, they managed to maintain a posture of dignified non-violent resistance in the face of brutal repression and very difficult climatic conditions. Standing Rock defenders have been able to create important alliances with different native and non-native groups across the country (veterans, religious people, Black Lives Matter, etc.), showing how the climate issue can combine our struggles in a period of repetitive and violent attacks against us all.

This fight is essential for the defense of the environment as well as for the defense of human rights; for people’s participation in projects which impact our territories and communities; for the struggle for self-determination of native people and the respect of their free, prior and informed consent concerning projects on their lands of Turtle Island (North America) ; and for the future of future generations.

Today, the brutal repression of Standing Rock defenders by the Trump government calls for a strong solidarity response.

Even if the oil now runs in the veins of the DAPL, the battles continue against the «black snakes» – including the Keystone XL pipeline, which will route the oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico and several other projects approved by the Trump administration. Resistance is growing throughout Turtle Island (North America).  The activists evicted from Standing Rock have spread across the country, creating a dozen new points of resistance. In addition to physical resistance, hundreds of legal actions against the DAPL are being engaged. Divestment campaigns are growing and winning victories in the United States and Europe. The climate-sceptic counter-attack of the Trump administration threatens the climate at the global level. However, our grassroots resistance – coordinated and determined – can defeat it.

For these reasons, Standing Rock is an exemplary struggle which can inspire others in Europe and merits our support. The tour will be an opportunity to learn more about the Standing Rock mobilization, to allow an intercultural sharing of experiences and mobilizing practices, to strengthen ourselves collectively, to decolonize our solidarity practices and to legitimize, popularize and put into practice actions of non-violent civil disobedience for the climate. All this will be associated with artistic and festive moments of sharing.

Cities on the Tour

The tour will take place from May, the 20th to June, the 19th 2017. We are planning a minimum of 3 days per stop (travel and rest included). The key moments with fixed dates include:

Paris, May, the 23rd, during the stockholders meetings of several big French banks (BNP Paribas, Société Générale)

Brussels, May, the 24th, for the big demonstration against the visit of Donald Trump, and the one against the NATO summit on the 25th

The Netherlands, May 28th to the 2nd of June, to connect with the resistance against coal, gas, and nuclear energy, to support local activists mobilizing for divestment actions, and to show solidarity with territories affected by earthquakes

Köln, June 3rd-4th, to link with the fight against lignite in Germany and all over Europe

Geneva, June 6th to June 8th, to attend a UN work session on the responsibility of transnational companies and push for Swiss banks and institutional divestment.

Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, June 9th – 14th, to participate in various meetings such as the Fearless Cities Meeting and also social movements and city council representatives, as well as mass-demonstrations.

Bologna June 9th-11th, to join the Environmental G7 counter summit and demand the respect of first nations rights.

Rome, from June 15th – June 16th and Naples, June 17th-19th, to meet the Naples city council, discuss the local transition and connect with the No Trans-Adriatic Pipeline movement.

Program

The organizations involved in each city will be free to organize their stop in their own way, within the general framework, the objectives, concept of action agreed upon. Ideally, the stops would include:

  • An important effort to inform and mobilize as widely as possible – beyond the usual activists, reaching in particular: the precarious and racialized youth, circles interested in indigenous cultures, associations for human rights, groups implied in disinvestment actions, etc.
  • A moment of exchange and meeting (practices and experiences)
  • A moment of information: talk-debate
  • A mobilization, including if possible a wide demonstration and a civil disobedience action (ideally related to the divestment of European banks which finance the DAPL)

Standing Rock Defenders

Rachel Heaton is a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe of Auburn, WA, (Duwamish descendent). She is a member and one of the indigenous leaders in the Seattle Action No DAPL Coalition and co-founder of Mazaska talks whose strong mobilization forced the City of Seattle to divest $3 billion dollars from Wells Fargo, one of the many banks invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Since the beginning of the Standing Rock movement, she has travelled several times back and forth to North Dakota (between August-December) bringing her children to camp to support the efforts at Standing Rock through fund-raising efforts, holding ceremonies and providing help and support to other water protectors at camp and locally. Planting seeds of resistance from Standing Rock Camp in her community, she has made manifest the links between DAPL and local destructive projects around Seattle, empowered others to get involved in the struggle and raised her voice to show that indigenous people are devoted to making this world a better place for us and our future generations. She has also worked for her Tribe in the Department of Education for the last 19 years.

James Robideau is a member of the lake spirit nation of north Dakota. He is the president du Dakota Youth Project, road man from Wounded knee and spiritual leader in Europe, activist and co founder of the American Indian movement. He dedicates his life helping natives people and tribes to survive in a non indigenous society. (James will only participate in the stop in Paris)-

Nataanii Means, is an Oglala Sioux and Navajo activist and hip-hop artist, son of the historic American Indian activist Russell Means. He has been supporting the #NoDAPL movement at the Oceti Sakowin Camp from August until the expulsion of the camp in February. This young water protector has been on the front lines of the non-violent resistance despite the police brutality and several arrests. He is also very active in divestment actions and campaigns across the country. Native hip hop artist, he also raises awareness through his music on Native American issues and inspires/empowers indigenous youth. He is now touring in the United States with the Voices of Water: Wake Up the World Tour and dedicated to sharing his front line narrative through performance, public speaking and divestment actions.

Rafael Gonzales aka. Tufawon (Dakota/Puerto Rican), With his latest project The Homecoming, Southside Minneapolis rapper and producer Tufawon returns to his local roots with a new global perspective, having realized the dream of exploring the world highlighted on his previous effort, The Send-Off. With smooth and soulful boom-bap production, Tufawon expands on the themes of politics, culture, social awareness, and self-care that has defined his approach, showcasing the growth that travel and personal development have brought to his life and his work. Rafael Gonzales put his music career on hold to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. With a genuine connection to a team of water protectors, he found a home at the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp north of the Standing Rock reservation. For 4 months, he fought alongside his new family of warriors and comrades both on the front lines and doing bank divestment actions. He is now touring in the United States with the Voices of Water: Wake Up the World Tour and dedicated to sharing his front line narrative through performance, public speaking and divestment actions.

Wašté Win Young Wichiyena Dakota and Hunkpapa Lakota from Standing Rock. She was present from August 2016 to February 2017 with her family camped at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers–on ancestral land her people hold title to under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 and 1868. This location was the epicenter of the #NODAPL movement also known as the Očeti Šakowin Camp. She continues to be involved in divestment efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL pipeline and other fossil fuel projects. She is the mother of 4 children and currently resides in the Long Soldier Community on Standing Rock.

Additional info on Standing Rock and its main actors

https://nodaplsolidarity.org

http://nativenationsrise.org

http://standwithstandingrock.net

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/3/5/1638879/-Native-Nations-Sioux-Water-Protectors-March-On-Washington-3-7-Through-3-10

http://www.ienearth.org

http://ww.honorearth.org

http://indigenousrising.org

Calendar of NoDAPL actions: http://everydayofaction.org

Organizations and Collectives

Alternatiba, Break Free Genève, Coordination Justice Sociale, Alternatives Canada, CETIM,  Agir Pour La Paix, Climate Express, INTAL, Transnational Institute (TNI), Ausgeco2hlt, Entrepobles, ANVCOP21, CSIA Nitassinan,  350.org, Friends of the Earth Europe,  i-boycott, I Love Therefore I am, Nuit Debout, UNIA Genève, CGAS, ATTAC GE,  GreenPeace Genève, Solidarité Tattes, CADTM, REFEDD, Women’s March Global.

In solidarity,

        Guillaume Durin        guillaume_durin@hotmail.com

+33 6 64 94 84 43

        Isabelle L’Héritier        lheritier.isabel@gmail.com

+41 78 705 98 05

        Olivier de Marcellus        elviejo@riseup.net

+41 793427025

Stand up with Standing Rock European Tour Organization Group

Advertisements