Rise With Standing Rock: Native Nations March on Denver

Denver, CO – On Friday, March 10, 2017, along with nearly 10,000 other marches and rallies around the world, a crowd of 1,000 people marched from Sunken Gardens park to the Colorado State Capitol.

The global call to action came from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous grassroots leaders to

call on our allies across the United States and around the world to peacefully March on Washington DC. We ask that you rise in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the world whose rights protect Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) for the future generations of all.

Standing Rock and Native Nations will lead a march in prayer and action in Washington D.C. on March 10th 2017.

For those who cannot march with us, we ask that you take peaceful action at home in your tribal nations, states, cities, towns, villages and provinces.”

The march listed the following demands:

#TakeTheMeeting // President Trump must meet with tribal leaders to hear why it’s critical that the US government respect tribal rights. This administration must work with us.

#ConsentNotConsultation // Tribal interests cannot continue to be marginalized in favor of the interests of corporations and other governments. Consultation is not enough– we must require consent.

#NativeNationsRise // The Standing Rock movement is bigger than one tribe. It has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment and future generations. We are asking our Native relatives from across Turtle Island to rise with us.”

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, tipi lodges, an event space, and a ceremonial fire were constructed on the National Mall in D.C. Overnight camping was not permitted, however 24-hour security was on site to protect the tipis.

From March 7-10, there were workshops, community events, and lobbying for Indigenous rights. The culminating march on Friday began at the headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers and ended across from the White House in Lafayette square where a rally ensued.

At the march in Denver, once the crowd arrived at the Colorado State Capitol, many people shared their thoughts including the Indigenous woman in our twitter video below.

I don’t have kids and I think about that a lot. I think about it because if I were to have a child and give them this world, what kind of mother would I be? Because I live in it now and I hate it. I hate having to live in this reality where as a Native woman, I’m ten-times more likely to get stolen. Ten-times more likely to get sexually abused because the system, America, has brainwashed Americans into thinking that I’m nothing. They dehumanize my body.”

According to the Department of Justice, Native Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience a rape/sexual assault compared to all other ethnic groups in the United States.

The family of Red Fawn Fallis, a water protector and political prisoner who was born and raised in Denver, also spoke at the capitol:

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington declined to temporarily stop construction of the final section of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which will be laid under Lake Oahe.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes argued a pipeline under the lake violates their right to practice their religion, which relies on clean water. They also argued that the pipeline threatens Native American cultural sites and their water supply.

Boasberg ruled against the tribes because he does not believe they will be unable to practice their religion after the pipeline is operational due to the fact that “there is no specific ban on their religious exercise.”

According to Boasberg, because Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco (which recently announced a merger with Energy Transfer), the corporation behind DAPL, did not propose a legally official ban on the tribes’ religious exercises at Lake Oahe, then the tribes should be able to continue to practice their religion.

However laying the pipeline under the lake is a desecration of not only their sacred water, but of their culture, religion, and of themselves as a people. Also when the pipeline is laid and operational, there is a high potential of a spill and contamination.

A 2015-2016 analysis conducted by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Disaster Map entitled “Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Accidents” (PDF) reveals that within those 2 years, there were 69 reported spills from pipelines, onshore facilities, storage tanks, and mobile transportation owned and operated by Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco.

In fact, according to an analysis of government data by Reuters, Sunoco spills crude oil more often than any of its competitors with 203 reported leaks since 2010.

On Friday, March 10, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe filed a notice of appeal (PDF) of Boasberg’s decision.

The tribe also filed an injunction pending their appeal (PDF).

Below are our videos from live streaming the Native Nations March on Denver:

Below is Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the [#NoDAPL] anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle from early summer 2016 to present:

March – May 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

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