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On #NoDAPL and Paying Attention: They Sicced Dogs On My People Today

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“I know that movement moments are unpredictable, and that outcomes are unknowable. But when lightening strikes, it can spark cultural (and subcultural) shifts that crack the very walls that contain us.” – Kelly Hayes

nodpl

September 4, 2016Transformative Spaces

Dakota Access, LLC has declared war on my people — Native People — by attempting to snake an unwanted pipeline through Native land, drinking water and sacred sites. Today, this corporate force confronted peaceful Water Protecters with vicious dogs and pepper spray.

This is where we are now.

At least six Water Protectors were bitten by corporate attack dogs. Witnesses described some of the injuries incurred as “serious.” Dozens of protesters were treated for pepper spray exposure, and a horse was reportedly wounded in the attack.

But corporate violence was unable to beat back the gathering Water Protectors, and construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was once again brought to a halt.

Your awareness raising has been crucial and will continue to be. We are slowly, collectively forcing the mainstream media’s hand, and visibility is so key in this profound and dangerous moment. Please keep helping in whatever ways you can. I truly believe that this battle has the potential to propel us all a little closer to freedom — and to save Native lives.

My collective is not alone in asking for this solidarity, here in Chicago. Groups around the city, including Black Lives Matter Chicago, have joined the call for action and awareness. Both the Brown and Black members of Lifted Voices are deeply heartened by this. Our struggles are not the same, but they will always intersect. And we can all heal and build power by healing and building together.

Like anti-Blackness, the harms against Native peoples are often painted as distant cultural memories. But the Native struggle for survival and self determination is being fought for, here and now, on this very page of history. The #NoDAPL convergence is unfolding in an unprecedented manner, and it should appear in every newsfeed, and on every timeline. We need that assistance. And we need a lot more.

We need white accomplices to avidly betray and undermine white supremacy in this moment. Because sometimes, having a sense of honor means being a traitor to a hierarchy in which you are afforded privilege and power.

We need our non-Native allies to continue to lock arms with us.

We need everyone. Because we can’t do this alone.

If I seem a bit fixated lately, it’s because I am. These are my people, living through a frightening, yet heartening and extraordinary moment. I feel it in my veins, just as I feel the ancestral fire that has sustained us throughout this country’s attempt to erase and annihilate us.

I know that movement moments are unpredictable, and that outcomes are unknowable. But when lightening strikes, it can spark cultural (and subcultural) shifts that crack the very walls that contain us.

Remember, plot twists flip scripts.

Personal note: I can’t go back to North Dakota until my health is somewhat restored, but I will keep writing till my brain fries. I will also be speaking about this struggle on Friday, at a rally here in Chicago, and at the Chicago BGD Book Launch Party: for “The Solidarity Struggle” a week from today. Please join us if you can — in whatever way you can.
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