3 Ways You Can Help The Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Other Than Checking In On Facebook

Solidarity is great, but here’s how to effect real, on-the-ground change.

3 Ways You Can Help The Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Other Than Checking In On Facebook Robyn Beck / Getty Images

Since spring of this year, Native tribes and environmental activists from across the United States have convened at Standing Rock, North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, in a movement that's gained global attention via the hashtag #NoDAPL. The pipeline was originally condemned by members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who claimed in a lawsuit that the Army Corps of Engineers approved construction without a thorough environmental impact assessment, and that they did not consider the impact to historical sites and local communities.

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“The Corps puts our water and the lives and livelihoods of many in jeopardy,” said tribal chairman Dave Archambault II in a statement acquired by the Grand Forks Herald. “We have laws that require federal agencies to consider environmental risks and protection of Indian historic and sacred sites. But the Army Corps has ignored all those laws and fast-tracked this massive project just to meet the pipeline’s aggressive construction schedule.” They're not being paranoid: According to EcoWatch, there have been 220 major pipeline spills in 2016. The #NoDAPL protestors aren't just fighting for themselves, but for the future of Americans living along the Mississippi River, and the entire planet.

The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline represent the largest gathering of Native Americans in over 100 years. But the response from authorities — attack dogs unleashed on protestors, journalists charged with trespassing, heavily militarized police — has brought the stakes of the struggle jarringly into focus.

This week, over a million Facebook users "checked in" at Standing Rock reservation in an attempt to confuse the authorities, rumored to be combing social media to identify protestors. The efficacy of the Facebook action is unclear, though protestors at the Sacred Stone camp told Snopes they support the tactic as "a great way to express solidarity."

Of course, there are more immediate ways of helping activists and protestors. Check out three easy ways you can do so below.


1. Call the major players and express your opposition.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple recently praised the police as "thoughtful under very trying circumstances," just before allegations emerged that protestors have been imprisoned in dog cages. You can call his office at 701-328-2200.

Senator Bernie Sanders, along with some other Democrats reps, wrote a passionate letter imploring President Barack Obama to withdraw the National Guard from the Standing Rock camps. "It is deeply distressing to me that the federal government is putting the profits of the oil industry ahead of the treaty and sovereign rights of Native American communities," he wrote. "Mr. President, you took a bold and principled stand against the Keystone pipeline – I ask you to take a similar stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline." If you agree with Bernie, call President Obama at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and ask him to suspend construction on the pipeline until a full and transparent consultation with the tribes is completed.

Sacred Stone shared an extensive list of individuals responsible for sending in militarized police.

And of course, here are key contacts for companies building the pipeline, via Powwows.com:

Lee Hanse
Executive Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Telephone: (210) 403-6455
Lee.Hanse@energytransfer.com

Glenn Emery
Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Telephone: (210) 403-6762
Glenn.Emery@energytransfer.com

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Michael (Cliff) Waters
Lead Analyst
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Telephone: (713) 989-2404
Michael.Waters@energytransfer.com

2. Donate.

Since starting over six months ago, the GoFundMe for the Sacred Stone camp has raised over $1 million, but much more is needed. Organizers provided a list of expensive amenities to keep the protest going including shelters, winter clothing, and food supplies. The update also claimed that the fundraising had attracted the ire of Governor Jack Dalrymple: "The North Dakota governor has threatened us with conspiracy over our GoFundMe support."

The Standing Rock Sioux are also accepting donations via Paypal. Yesterday, actor Mark Ruffalo and Native Renewables founder Wahleah Johns delivered mobile solar panels to Standing Rock Sioux tribal elders.

Funders for legal support is needed more than ever after police arrested at least 117 protestors at the end of October and attacked many more with pepper spray and sound cannons. Donate to the Sacred Stone legal fund here.

3. Join protests in your local city.

If you live in a major North American city, chances are there's a protest forming near you. Search Facebook and Twitter with #NoDAPL and join in. So far, there are upcoming protests in locations from Toronto to Texas.

November 01, 2016
3 Ways You Can Help The Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Other Than Checking In On Facebook