Thursday, November 10, 2016

#NoDAPLChi Organizes Snake Dance and Rally in Support of Standing Rock

Chicago, Ill—Hundreds of Native Americans and non-Native allies will gather at Chicago’s Federal Plaza, 219 S. Dearborn St., on Saturday, Nov. 12th at 2 p.m. in support of Standing Rock. Through this celebration, #NoDAPLChi event organizers hope to showcase the resiliency of indigenous people through dance. 

The gathering will center around a snake dance—a traditional Hopi dance that originated as a water ceremony, in honor of the snakes that guarded the springs. Event organizers invite pow wow drummers, as well as Native dancers and singers to participate in the snake dance and share their own dances. The event will also include speeches [ From whom?] and end with a march down State Street. 

This #NoDAPLChi effort shows concern and support for the thousands of water protectors peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which threatens to span from North Dakota to Illinois and cross the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and endangering drinking water for thousands of people. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota, along with non-Native allies, have been fighting DAPL construction since April. Initially, the tribe’s concerns centered on the desecration of sacred burial sites and the contamination of the Missouri River. 

However, in the past few months, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department has led a violent and heavily militarized police response against unarmed protesters. The state of North Dakota has arrested journalists for covering the story. Dakota Access private security actively uses intimidation and violence against water protectors by sicing unlicensed security dogs on protesters, using pepper spray, and flying 24/7 surveillance planes, helicopters, and drones over the water protectors’ camps.

#NoDAPLChi invites the people of Chicago to stand together in the streets so our voices can’t be ignored on an issue that affects all of us. We want to:
Tell the multi-million dollar Energy Transfer Partners behind DAPL that we have a right to clean water and a right as Americans to say no to pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure. 
Tell the state of North Dakota and Morton County that we refuse to carry on the legacy of criminalizing Native Americans for protecting their land and what is sacred to them. 
Tell President Obama that Americans’ first Amendment rights are under attack every day in North Dakota, and he needs to act now to uphold the constitution and protect American citizens.

Tell the banks—who have invested $3.8 billion in this pipeline—that we as consumers and investors demand investment in renewable energy infrastructure.