Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when the general public might give some thought to Native Americans. Unfortunately we know the long history of betrayal as settlers killed many Native Americans and forcibly took over the land of what is now known as the United States.
Despite the determined attempts of corporate controlled mainstream media to suppress what has been happening in North Dakota, the militaristic response of law enforcement and private security forces against Native American water protectors is becoming more widely known, thanks to people sharing what is actually happening via social media. Those journalists who have bravely reported from the scene, such as Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, have faced arrest and imprisonment in flagrant violation of freedom of the press.
Fortunately yesterday the New York Times editorial board published a scathing statement about the situation. “When injustice aligns with cruelty, and heavy weaponry is involved, the results can be shameful and bloody. Witness what happened on Sunday in North Dakota, when law enforcement officers escalated their tactics against unarmed American Indians and allies who have waged months of protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.”
Because so much of this has not been reported, I would like to use this opportunity to document some of what has been happening related to Quaker efforts to support the water protectors. Quakers very much avoid calling attention to themselves, and I know there are many Friends involved in many things related to this I am not aware of. But as Martin Luther King said, “a time comes when silence is betrayal”, and I would like there to be some documentation for history that Friends were not silent about this.
This is from Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Friend Scott Greenler on Facebook yesterday. “Friends, on thanksgiving day, I will be traveling to Cannon Ball, ND, to join the protesters at the Sacred Stone camp in the Standing Rock Reservation. I would ask that you all hold the protesters and private police in the light, and pray for a peaceful, respectful and ecologically sound resolution.”
This is a photo Des Moines Valley Friend Peter Clay has said I can share, which he took on one of his several visits to North Dakota, where he is now. Peter once took his kayak to North Dakota to participate in a water rally.
Bear Creek Friends Nick Knight and his daughter Shazi have participated in a number of the protests along the pipeline’s route in Iowa, and Liz Oppenheimer has published numerous things online supporting #NoDAPL. My brother, Randy Kisling, recently participated in a #NoDAPL rally in Madison, Wisconsin. Bear Creek meeting’s clerk, Jackie Leckband, has sent us many messages of support. Ellis and Win Standing have been working on water issues related to faming practices for many years.
West Branch meeting Friend Marcia Shaffer was arrested for blocking the Dakota Access driveway in eastern Iowa and was in a holding cell for 9 hours.
Lincoln meeting Friends Jean Eden and Lorene Ludy attended some #NoDAPL rallies.
Omaha meeting Friend Carol Gilbert’s interview at a #NoDAPL rally was televised. Omaha meeting Friend and environmentalist Marshall Massey has also published much online related to the pipeline issues.
Paullina meeting Friend Judy Plank, and Penn Valley meeting Friend Shirley Scritchfield have also been active in social media discussions of these issues.
Members of the North Meadow Circle of Friends meeting that I attend have been very involved in local #NoDAPL efforts here in Indianapolis. Here are Kevin Angell and Shannon Effler at our first rally in downtown Indianapolis this summer. Shannon has a long history of work with Native Americans.
And here are North Meadow Friends Fred White (a fellow Scattergood Friends School graduate), Gilbert Kuhn, and David and Dinah Duvall.
At this month’s meeting of Quaker Social Change Ministry at North Meadow, Friends JT and Evalyn shared their past experiences with Native Americans.
I am a member of Bear Creek meeting, and attend North Meadow Circle of Friends. I’ve been involved in organizing the three rallies related to #NoDAPL here in Indianapolis. Here we are at the White Pine Wilderness Academy, making signs for our rallies.
Our last rally involved going to two of the banks in Indianapolis involved in financing the pipeline, where people who had accounts in those banks, PNC and Chase, closed their accounts. Over $120,000.00 were withdrawn that day. I am closing my Chase account. Here is a link to many of the blog posts I have written about #NoDAPL.
Ra Wyse and Aghilah Nadaraj, who work at the Kheprw Institute (KI) that I have been involved with for several years now, were involved in creating the audio interview that accompanies some photos I took at our #NoDAPL rallies here in Indianapolis.
The New York Times editorial board statement concludes: “President Obama could step in to protect everyone’s safety and pressure the sheriff’s officers to stand down. Barring that, resolute protesters, a heavily militarized police force unwilling to budge, a company that refuses to consider an alternate route and an onrushing Great Plains winter — how can this possibly end well?”