What did we learn at Standing Rock?
Standing Rock is the model and the lesson for Camps A Rising. Camps A-Rising is asking for material support of donations—from good-hearted people, who may have good questions about Standing Rock, the model which Camps A-Rising hopes you will support. Here’s an attempt to answer a few questions by a person who spent much of the winter at Standing Rock.
Q. Wasn’t there a lot of trash left at Standing Rock by the water protectors?
A. Yes. The tribes did the best they could hauling it out but they were, quite predictably, overwhelmed. Also, the militarized opposition, for their own reasons, didn’t want us to restore the site. They preferred it look like a mess. It was a good public relations gimmick for them.
- Material donations poured into the camps via Subaru sedans, Toyota pick-ups and you-name-its. All this just before one epic Northern Plains blizzard after another. Imagine the huge effort necessary to organize and distribute supplies while taking care of the people in the camps under such circumstances. The tribal elders did an excellent job of this.
- Most importantly: From the first blizzard until after the snow melted people were cleaning the camp up:
- But then: The heavy equipment brought in by the sheriff scooped up and crushed still-usable supplies. And the gear and supplies to house and feed thousands of citizens was mashed into the mud. Without the eviction and unnecessary arrests we would have finished the cleanup task.
- Remember: Our effort actually worked. We wanted to gain the attention of the world and point out it is wrong to continue the same old, same old strategies of big oil while knowing we have better choices.
Q. Didn’t some Standing Rock campers engage in unlawful behavior including possible theft and don’t “these camps” foster lawlessness?
A. The vast majority of people at the camps were honest people committed to making personal sacrifices to save water we all desperately need.
Q. Were there paid Corporate infiltrators planted in the camps?
Yes, a lot. The Sheriff’s Department also used helicopters, airplanes and drones to keep their eye on a peaceful prayer camp.
Q. What’s to stop the negative stuff I heard about from happening again with the time, money and supplies that I may donate?
A. Lessons were learned, and we feel that with some common-sense organizing of material and other efforts for future camps, such negative impacts can be mitigated. This is the work we are asking you to support. Taken as a whole, I personally didn’t witness any more or less trash at Standing Rock than what is lying around in my rural neighbors’ or sometimes my own backyard. Camps A Rising and our allies have the experience and determination needed to continue the fight against big oil and to support a future for all of us.
This article places events into perspective: Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”