Hundreds of people have been arrested in recent weeks as part of a Native American-led effort to stop a proposed oil pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The pipeline is bring funded by TD Bank. On November 4 in Brattleboro, there will be a protest outside TD Bank. The protest will start at 5 p.m. at 215 Main Street. The bank closes at 6 p.m. At that time, the protesters will march to Pliny Park at the corner of Main and High streets. As of November 1, more than 50 people had RSVP'd at the event organizers' web page:
Amnesty International on October 28 sent a delegation of human rights observers to Standing Rock. Amnesty called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate police practices at Standing Rock. “Our observers are here to ensure that everyone’s human rights are protected,” said Amnesty spokesman Eric Ferrero. “We’re deeply concerned about what we heard during our previous visit to Standing Rock and what has been reported to us since. Under international law, arrests should not be used to intimidate or prevent people from participating in peaceful assembly."
Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Six people from the Valley recently traveled to North Dakota to support the Native Americans who are fighting the oil pipeline. Deb Tyler lives in Wendell, Massachusetts, near Amherst and Greenfield. She is a licensed acupuncturist. She went with Suzette Pena, who lives in Greenfield. “It was awe-inspiring to see so many tribes coming together,” Tyler told the Valley Post in a telephone interview last month. “There were about 3,000 people there on weekdays and 7,000 on the weekend. We stayed there in tents for five days, starting September 25. The people who are planning to stay there for the winter are building more substantial shelters. We brought money that was donated by people in the Valley. The people in the camps needed water purification systems so that is what we spent the money on. Alcohol, drugs, and weapons are not allowed in the camps. People go out on horseback or on foot from the camps to stop the construction using non-violence. The police had guns; they were scary. I have so much respect for the people who are out there stopping the pipeline.”
Tyler recommended this web page for information about the struggle:
Another good source of information is:
John Willis is a professor of photography at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. Marlboro borders Brattleboro. Cait Mazzarella, Christopher Lamb and Ben Rybisky are students at the college. The professor and three students said in a written statement that was published in the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper last month, "Recently, we returned from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the protest there against the Dakota Access Pipeline.... The four of us made the 32-hour drive out to North Dakota for a week. The decision to go was rather spur of the moment. Within 36 hours of deciding we were able to gather the support of area community members.”
“To everyone who helped we offer our sincere gratitude. We delivered 16 sleeping bags, wool blankets, five tents, two camping stoves, camping gear, winter clothes, boots and over $2,300. The funds some of you donated were given to the medical facility, school, encampment financial officers spending funds as most needed, families in need, purchase of tents and tarps, herbalist medical support, food for the kitchens and helping to make a documentary film. The need is great. If people would like to support the efforts, funds are greatly needed to purchase winter supplies. John Willis can accept Paypal donations at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are all willing to discuss the situation with anyone who would like....”
“We went to photograph the pipeline across the landscape from a main road. We turned down a public dirt road and were immediately pulled over by a policeman. When we asked if we were doing anything wrong, he responded by saying 'not yet' and they just wanted to 'check us out.' The police car was not alone. We were boxed in by eight cars including local police, sheriff, police from the next county, state troopers, Bureau of Indian Affairs Police and FBI. After 10 minutes of being checked out, we were told to leave, even though it was clearly public property and we were not doing anything illegal.”