Militarized aggression against Indian sovereignty at Standing Rock

When you read about the extreme aggression by North Dakota law enforcement against Standing Rock protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline it sounds like the military occupations in Kashmir & Palestine: tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, percussion grenades, water cannons in sub-zero temperatures.

Water cannons have not been used in the US against protesters since the civil rights movement in the 1960s although they are widely used in other countries. They are extremely dangerous, causing injuries to the eyes & internal organs as well as broken bones from falling. In North Dakota, it is 20-degrees below freezing with brutal winds howling down from Canada. It is utter depravity to spray freezing water cannons on hundreds of protesters who have no place for shelter & limited medical care. Hypothermia causes death.

The standoff at Standing Rock is just the beginning of this fight since the pipeline has yet to traverse South Dakota, Iowa, & Illinois. But this is a struggle that must be won. This kind of brutal disregard for indigenous rights has been a cornerstone of neoliberal economics for nearly 30 years. Thousands of native peoples on every continent have fought & are still fighting multinational agribusiness enterprises, oil companies, mining companies, hydroelectric operators which have dispossessed them, destroyed the environment leading to climate change, committed genocide & cultural devastation, murdered thousands who opposed them, led to the massive spread of urban slums & immigration.

The remarkable defiance of the Standing Rock Sioux is a part of the struggle waged by indigenous tribes around the world & is exposing neoliberal economics as the modern form of colonialism.

Our fullest solidarity with that struggle which will engage all of us in the fight for indigenous rights & national sovereignty, against environmental destruction, & for a humane & democratic world.