The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition stands in solidarity with those fighting for justice at Standing Rock. As an organization that works for intersectional climate justice, this is not an issue that we can ‘choose’ to take a stand on – it is a cause inherent to our mission. What is occurring at Standing Rock is the product of 500 years of colonialism and violence against Native peoples, and represents the valuation of fossil fuels over native lives by the United States Empire.
The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is the direct result of increased financial investments in the fossil fuel industry. Although the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure should have been halted in 2010 in order to avoid climate catastrophe, continued investments in the industry allow the burning of fossil fuels to continue. Mount Holyoke College’s continued investments in fossil fuel companies directly supports the industry’s actions regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline and countless other fossil fuel infrastructure projects. The Climate Justice Coalition advocates for fossil fuel divestment in order to denounce the actions of these companies. By stigmatizing the industry through divestment, fossil fuel companies will have less control over the economy and political system, preventing them from exercising their power over marginalized communities.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is proposed to transport 450,000 barrels of ‘light sweet crude oil’ from the Bakken Fields of North Dakota for 1,172 miles to Patoka, Illinois. On its route, the pipeline will cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world), and under the Missouri River (the longest river in the United States). The pipeline is slated to be ready for service by January 1, 2017. Historically, crude oil pipelines are susceptible to explosions, which can sometimes be deadly. The Dakota Access Pipeline was rerouted away from Bismarck, North Dakota, which is a primarily white city. Instead, it now passes directly through sacred Native land.
First and foremost, this is a struggle about Native American liberation, self-determination, sovereignty, and survival. The #NoDAPL fight is a continuation of 500 years of colonial and neocolonial history on Turtle Island. Since European settlers first arrived on this continent, Native peoples have faced campaigns of assimilation, cultural erasure, and genocide. The United States government has continuously violated Treaties and taken land. This is not history; it continues today. The latest example of these human rights violations is the work of Energy Transfer Partners and countless banks and financial institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as law enforcement and politicians in North Dakota to construct a dangerous and destructive infrastructure project that is in violation of Treaty agreements.
We #StandWithStandingRock. We call on the Mount Holyoke community to #StandWithStandingRock. If you would like to know more about #NoDAPL, we recommend reading the articles we have listed below, as well as the official Standing Rock Syllabus. The Standing Rock Camp is preparing for a harsh North Dakota winter and they need donations and supplies. In addition to and beyond that, we need to decolonize every aspect of our lives: our education system, our workplaces, our food, and our energy. This is a fight for all of us. We demand a sustainable future for all of us. We continue to resist the expansion of the fossil fuel economy and we will support the Standing Rock resistance until the Dakota Access Pipeline is terminated.
#NoDAPL #WaterisLife #StandWithStandingRock #Solidarity #StandingRockSiouxTribe
Useful Articles About Standing Rock