Thursday, December 1, 2016

Standing Rock

A small group of activists met in Olympic Plaza tonight to stand in solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota.

The Standing Rock Sioux are trying to block a pipeline from being built on their land. They are concerned about it contaminating their water.  Plans also have it running very close to their burial ground.

 National Geographic calls what's happening in North Dakota a "national disgrace".

I've seen videos of peaceful protesters, water protectors, being roughly arrested by ND police.  One of particular interest happened on Black Friday.  Posted live to Facebook by the Ingenious Environment Network, it showed a small group gathered at the local mall for a prayer circle.  They were being treated like terrorists by the local police; forced to their knees and placed in handcuffs. Some of the women were crying.  The police officer claimed they were being charged with trespassing.  Technically, the mall is within their rights to have people arrested for being on private property.  However, in contrast, on that same day in Calgary, fifty or more people gathered for a solidarity flash mob circle dance in Chinook Mall. No police. No problems.

The cause is gaining speed with celebrities and even military veterans giving their support.

Tonight in downtown Calgary there were a few bicycle police watching the speeches and prayers from a distance.  Again no problems. When the group marched down Stephen Avenue to Bankers Hall the police acted as an escort, stopping traffic when needed.  All I had on me was my point & shoot camera, but when has that ever stopped me? 

 Word has it that military veterans plan to join the protest in Standing Rock on that same day.  Wish I could be there.  Still, there's going to be another gathering in Calgary.  This time it's a Grandmother's walk starting at the Peace Bridge on Sunday afternoon (December 4, 2:00 p.m.).

Canada is also having it's own conflicts over pipelines.  Corporations and politicians need to realize that the time is long past where relying on pollutants to live is no longer viable and makes no sense.

I cannot join the many protesters assisting the Sioux in North Dakota, but I can lend my support here.  Sunday I will be walking with grandmothers.