Stand With Standing Rock: An Action Plan

☆ November 21, 2016

{My mother forwarded me an “Action Plan” for Trump’s impending presidency. The following is my response. Please share.}

Much of what you fear under a Trump presidency is happening RIGHT NOW under President Obama against the indigenous people of Standing Rock.

1) State-sanctioned racism. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was originally routed through Bismark, ND. The [white] people of Bismark said “no way, it’s too great a threat to our water supply.” So Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the DAPL, with the power of our government behind them, rerouted the pipeline through Sioux treaty land. Here is a map.

2) State-sanctioned violence against citizens. Attacks against the unarmed protectors at Standing Rock include the use of pepper spray (photo), concussion grenades, batons (video), LRADs, attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, and more. Also:
Women arrested for rioting (ie, walking in prayer) have been kept in dog kennels.
People have been held for 80+ days on trespassing/misdemeanor charges.
People have been shot in the head and back by rubber bullets at close range.
This woman may have her arm amputated after being struck with a concussion grenade (edit as per press release).
Another woman had her shoulder dislocated while she was being handcuffed.
Another woman was shot in the eye by LE and is now blind in that eye, likely permanently.
A man was hit with a club in the throat by law enforcement and sustained permanent damage to his larynx, can now barely talk.
((There are many more such incidents))
Stingrays and scramblers are monitoring and interfering with communication to and from camp.
Planes, helicopters, and drones buzz the camps (on private land) 24 hours/day despite private airspace laws.

Burial grounds on treaty land have been bulldozed and dug up for the DAPL. The Natives were kept away from this land by force – mace, mass arrests, beatings. Imagine a corporation bulldozing your sacred spaces, your grandparents graves, your memorials.

Last night, protectors tried to remove a blockade from Hwy 1806. In October, ETP and law enforcement erected this barricade by bringing in a pile of old vehicles setting them on fire. ON A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. This barricade of charred vehicles and razor wire means it takes twice as long for emergency services to reach Standing Rock via alternate routes, since Highway 1806 is still blocked. When the unarmed protectors approached the barricade last night, they were attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and sprayed continuously with a pressurized water cannon (think fire hose on steroids). The temperature was below freezing, mid to low 20s (ºF). According to reports on scene, law enforcement pivoted to tear gas the medics who were treating protectors for hypothermia and rubber bullet wounds.

This is our government right now. This is Obama’s America.

** The ACLU has been to Standing Rock; here is their report and their letter to the DOJ. Amnesty International has also visited Standing Rock, has condemned the excessive military violence and called on Obama to halt construction. Obama’s Attorney General has done nothing.

3) Mainstream media blackout and information manipulation. The big media outlets are not talking about Standing Rock. They are not showing images and video from Standing Rock. They share more details about Ivanka’s jewelry than about Standing Rock. Oh! And a journalist filming at Standing Rock faces 45 years in prison.

** The peaceful protests and non-violent work of the water protectors – and the attacks upon them by militarized police – have been going on since summer.

4) The US government using militarized force to defend corporate interests. This is the long and short of it. It’s not about where you stand on fossil fuels. It’s about the government taking Native land BY FORCE… AGAIN. It’s about militarized police using violence to defend corporate interests as they steal and desecrate the sacred land of the most marginalized group in the country. These people need your help and action NOW.

** It has been described as “a war zone” by US military veterans who have traveled to join the protectors.

Earlier this month, ETP was told to halt construction pending review of an easement by the Army Corp of Engineers. They have not stopped. They have built a giant wall around their work and are continuing to work 24 hours/day. And they have law enforcement protecting them.

Obama has done nothing to stop the theft of tribal land nor the militarized police violence against the indigenous people of Standing Rock. Hold Obama accountable.


1) Share this info. Talk about this. With everyone. “Thanksgiving” is a natural opening to discuss the abuse of indigenous people by the government.

2) Call your government. Here are tips for calling if you have social anxiety.
White House: 202-456-1111 & 202-456-1414
US Dept of Justice: 202-353-1555
Governor of North Dakota: 701-328-2200
North Dakota legislators: 1-888-635-3447 & 701-328-3373
Morton County Sherrif: 701-667-3330 & 701-328-8118
Army Corps of Engineers: 202-761-8700
Your Congresspeople: use the menu midway down on this page to find the names and phone numbers of senators and reps from your state (thanks to mlaiuppa in the comments for this addition)

3) Call your banks.
Many banks have invested in the DAPL: Wells Fargo, Citibank, Sun Trust, ING…. here is the full list, with phone numbers. MOVE YOUR ACCOUNTS. DIVEST. MOVE YOUR MORTGAGES. Inconvenient? Yeah, it is. Being an ally is inconvenient. They are banking (har har) on you not making the effort. Here is a handy, eloquent template.

4) Boycott.
Conoco, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 are behind the DAPL. Fill your car elsewhere.

5) Donate.
Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. Oceti Sakowin Supply List. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Or you can send money with people going to Standing Rock who you know will use the money for supply runs as dictated by the Natives. This is actually a very efficient way to contribute.

6) Travel to Standing Rock / Help an indigenous person travel to Standing Rock.
**Please see Caitlin’s message in the comment section (#13) regarding helping an indigenous person get to Standing Rock**
If you go, first carefully read this and this (better yet, read the entire website).
If you go, don’t go to watch – go to stand with the protectors.
If you go, make sure you are set up to handle the weather – it is cold and windy.
If you go, make sure you bring MORE than you take/use and won’t infringe on their resources.
Anyone who goes can stay at my house en route.

7) Learn more:
Dallas Goldtooth
Tara Houska
Ruth Hopkins
Yaz Like Jaws
How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective
The Financial Powers Behind The Pipeline
Dakota Access Is In Financial Jeopardy

Please add your additional suggestions and resources in the comment section.


27 Responses to “Stand With Standing Rock: An Action Plan”

  1. mlaiuppa
    November 21st, 2016 @ 3:26 pm

    As for #2, the most effective way to make your voice heard is to call the local office of all of your representatives. You will talk to staff but you will be heard.

    Writing to the state office of your representatives is also effective but not as effective as calling.

    So call or write your Senators and Representatives in Congress at their state and local offices. Your voice is most likely to be heard.

    Writing as in hard copy. NOT e-mail. They use an algorithm to batch e-mails for automated replies. All they do is count them, they don’t read them.

    Likewise, signing online petitions is equally ineffective.

  2. Phyllis Schmidt
    November 21st, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    White man just can’t seem to leave the American Indians alone…..generation after generation.

  3. Amy Bogard
    November 21st, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

    sharing, sending, tweeting etc. Thank you for this information.

  4. BuddyM
    November 21st, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

    That this is happening in our country to our fellow citizens is beyond disgusting.. I was in law enforcement for 30 years, and was assigned to SWAT for over five years as both an operator and an instructor. I have worked many demonstrations and if I had deployed rubber bullets and concussion grenades in the way that they have been used in N. Dakota, I would have been severely disciplined, re-assigned, and possibly criminally prosecuted.
    My prayers are with the people at Standing Rock and with the law enforcement personnel, who are clearly out of their element.

  5. Katie
    November 21st, 2016 @ 8:20 pm

    Sigh. As a ND resident, we hear completely different stories in news than the rest of the country. Remember, it is wise to look at all sides to get a bigger picture. Not saying local news is reporting in an unbiased way, but it definitely is in contrast to national media.

    That being said, I have a few things to contrast with the information posted.

    1. Our state is extremely rural. (Shreve, you can understand that living where you do.) The fact that protestors are claiming cell signals are being dropped is bogus. Even where I live, on the eastern, more populated side, I travel through areas with no signal and if I’m driving and get a phone call, I have to pull over to make sure the call doesn’t get dropped. With all the people in the area attempting to use cell towers to post to social media, it is really no wonder that they are experiencing problems.

    2. People were not kept in dog kennels. You can search for photos of the holding area the Morton County sheriff has at location. The mass amount of people arrested at a time is too much for this area to process. I guess they could have held everyone outside, in the cold, and then have people complain about that. Seriously, this is a low populated area!

    3. Missing from this information is the woman who managed to get shots off at officers. Law enforcement isn’t using real bullets but have been shot at themselves.

    4. There have been members of the Standing Rock tribe who are not in favor of the protests. Most of the protestors are from out of state. This is completely ruining any relationship between the tribe and the rest of the people here. From my experience, there are not racial strains like you see elsewhere in the country. This will start to change the longer this goes on.

    5. The protestors don’t have a clear message. Some are against the pipeline being placed on the current route and some are against oil completely. David Archambault II (SR chairman) owns a gas station right near the protest site. I highly doubt he would be endorsing the complete protest of oil. Others may not think that having a clear message is important but it sure would validate the concerns of the group.

    6. There is documented proof that protestors are not all peaceful here. And Mr. Archambault II is not standing up to them in order to maintain the integrity of this group. During the first mass arrest, which he knew was coming (law enforcement had tried to negotiate with trespassers for days), he was on the east coast doing interviews. How is that for a leader?

    What is right here is that Obama is doing NOTHING. His idea is to sit and wait. Meanwhile, all the costs of this protest are coming from ND tax payers. At first, there was speculation he was waiting until after the election but that has come and gone. It is getting cold here and people are camping in temps below freezing. They really need to relocate to a space where no one will get sick, injured, or die. As many protestors do not live in ND, they are not going to be prepared for our winters.

    It’s not just Obama not stepping in. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democratic senator, has not done anything either. It wasn’t until recently that our governor has said anything. I hate reading about all of this in the newspaper and my heart hurts for the damage that is going to be left. I don’t care that celebrities are trying to get involved and certainly Jesse Jackson’s visit did nothing to help.

    For those that made it through here, I do urge you to explore the other side to these stories. We all know that media outlets are biased and many have their own agendas. The narratives they share may not be what is actually happening.

  6. Ramona
    November 21st, 2016 @ 8:33 pm

    Bless you, Shreve for getting this to your list and beyond.
    Thanks also to the others who had suggestions, especially Buddy M.
    I have written a personal letter to President Obama, which states clearly, that this is headed toward another Wounded Knee situation, if action is not taken immediately to stop the brutality towards my sisters and brothers, and all the Water Protectors, who continue to pray peacefully, even as this is happening. The only thing that WAS stopping the police brutality escalation, was the amount of social media coverage and a few local stations. That has not stopped them anymore. They are out of control with no supervision.
    Mni Wiconi…Water of Life.
    Tonight, Mni Wiconi…are the tears falling from my eyes and heart.
    We need strong prayers…and more letters written.
    They all need our support…to stay strong.
    Let those who have the heart, eyes and ears to help…come forward.
    Thank You also, Shreve, for opening your home.
    I will pass the word as needed.
    Blessings to all…
    Ramona Coyote

  7. Ramona
    November 21st, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

    This was just released….By Senator Al Frankin.

  8. Kate Lenthall
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 12:35 am

    Jesus christ. So much of this is not only illegal but against every human right that exists. By all rights, native peoples should have been not only given back whatever land they wanted, but also been elevated to positions of greater power and impact, after all the bullshit white people have put them through. They were here first, and these people are just trying to protect what little land they have. It’s absolutely appalling that all the white people in Bismark had to do was say “oh no we’re worried about how this will affect our water supply”, but the folks at Standing Rock are losing limbs for the same reason. It’s gut-wrenching, and embarrassing, that any of this is happening at all.

  9. Megan
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 5:15 am

    Thank you for posting this. I will be sharing.

    However, I want to point out that changing banks isn’t just about being inconvenient. For mortgages, that would mean refinancing, which has a cost associated with it that a lot of people can’t afford. I will likely close my individual account with Wells Fargo, but my mortgage? No way. We just refinanced a few years ago, and we can’t afford to do it again.

  10. shreve
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 5:35 am

    M- You are totally right. Switching mortgages is only doable for those in the position of donating $600-$1000 for the associated fees (maybe more?). I didn’t mean to come across as dogmatic (and for the group I originally wrote this for, switching a mortgage would fall into the inconvenient category).

  11. shreve
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 7:03 am

    K ~ I thought all night about what you wrote, about looking at all sides when one side is being oppressed, when one side is being abused.

    I suppose I should have said “alleged use of stingrays and scramblers”, as I don’t have proof of their use. Just anecdotal evidence that what is happening goes beyond the quirks of heavily-used rural service.

    As for whether there has been absolutely no violent action from the protectors…. maybe that’s not true. I’m going to believe it because thousands of people who are there/have been there have been consistent in stating it is so. And I think if LE had been shot at, the retaliation would have been even worse than what we’ve seen. If you have video to contradict this, please link!

  12. shreve
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 7:12 am

    M(1) ~ THANK YOU! I was looking for a link for that and then forgot about it. Thank you thank you! Adding it to the post.

  13. Caitlin (via email to me)
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 8:00 am

    On my cell in standing rock and my comment wouldn’t post.
    Would you mind adding this?

    This is excellent, Shreve, and a very accurate report about last night’s actions. I’m in Standing Rock and today the tribal council asked that perhaps rather than more white people coming to Standing Rock, which they are deeply grateful for, that they put the resources towards sending an indigenous person instead. There are over 300 tribes standing together now, for the first time since 1861. This is a huge moment for them, and if more could come it would be awesome.
    Seriously, help indigenous people get there. And if you come there, come in prayer. Prayer, not violence.
    Thank you so much for this post, it’s wonderful and I am so thankful you have posted it.
    Love and prayer

  14. Ruth
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    Thank you for the concise description of what is going on.

  15. Katie H
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 9:23 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I will be sharing. I felt in my gut that my allegiance would lie with Standing Rock weeks and weeks ago, but I was lazy about researching it thoroughly enough to form a solid opinion, not to mention, as you said, it isn’t being reported on any major news. I was apathetic, and I regret that. After everything that went down this weekend I knew I needed to understand exactly what was happening so I could come at this situation with righteous indignation. Now that I know, I will act.

  16. Emma Bull
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    Thank you so much for boosting the signal on this. I’ve been following the protest almost since its inception, and the company’s refusal to so much as pause in its destructive course, and law enforcement’s steady escalation, infuriates me. We don’t pay for law enforcement salaries and equipment so that they can serve as free security thugs for a private corporation.

    May I link to this on Facebook and Twitter? It’s a very good, thorough list of available contacts and actions.

  17. shreve
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    EB ~ yes, link as you like!

  18. Jane
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 4:13 pm

    Standing Rock is so important. It is true that there might be exaggerations but the gist is true and well documented. The prejudice is very reaI. I am old enough to remember the takeover at wounded knee and this reminds me of that. It is incredible how different the response has been with this compared to the Bundy et al takeover of the wildlife refuge in Oregon. In general the responses to protesters have become much more militarized as departments have inherited equipment from the wars. Things will get worse under Trump as far as dealing with protests. I think the best way for most people to give support is to donate to the legal fund. Just my rambling 2 cents…

  19. Jane
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

    Also would like to mention ways to help American Indian people and tribes. For many years I sponsored a Lakota elder and a Navajo elder. I gave either monthly or a few times a year. I was able to get to know both and there families. There are programs that help youth in the same way as well. There is also an organization to help start up businesses on the Pine Ridge Rez with loans and likely some other reservations have this….

  20. shreve
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 5:01 pm

    J ~ Thank you so much for the info and excellent ideas. And the disparity between the gov’t response to Standing Rock and the gov’t response to the Bundys is INSANE. The Bundys were armed and taking over gov’t land! Grrrrr. Thank you again for your suggestions.

    For others interested in the loan/start up program, here’s a link!

  21. Karen
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 5:31 pm

    I am not Lakota and do respect the fact that all people have different values/mores… yet, I was surprised to see on their website that women who are ‘on their moon’ cannot not enter a kitchen where food is being prepared or touch food. This… this makes me very sad. I know they have their reasons for this, but it seems like such a limitation put upon women. I still hope the protectors are successful.

  22. Katie
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 7:25 pm

    Shreve, I have actually been thinking this over all day.

    First of all, I do agree that one would expect more of a response from law enforcement if they were being attacked. However, that just isn’t the way things get done here. I really don’t know how to explain it. This part of the Midwest is unlike any other.

    As for the woman who suffered an arm injury, there is now an investigation into it. And since I read about her earlier, more has been posted. This link talks about it: Yes, Rob Port is biased (as really, all media is… anyone who says otherwise is in denial). He presents the other side and has consistently been posted about the protest.

    Here’s the only video I have seen of the woman being arrested who shot at officers. This is also from Rob Port’s blog. The video was taken by a protester and it hard to see as people are blocking the scuffle.

    Here’s a letter from Al Carlson, majority leader of the ND house: I bring this in because there are cascading effects from these protests. Effects that are going to last long after the protesters have moved on to their next cause.

    I have read criticism that the National Guard has been called in. People are forgetting that we have small law enforcement in the state. Low population means fewer police force. These people are doing their jobs right now and some are facing backlash for it. Officers that were brought in from other states are not getting support. As it stands, the protesters have been trespassing on land owned by the DAPL. I know that treaties have been brought up that the land really belongs to the tribe and I have not researched that myself, but that is maybe a battle to have in court. And why was it not a big deal when a rancher owned the land?

    As for air traffic and such, ND is home to two Air Force bases. I live far enough away from the one in Grand Forks to not see any aircraft but I know even in Fargo, which does not have a base, there are military aircraft that goes through there. The other base is located outside Minot, which is not that far north of where the protest is. Not saying that explains it as I am not there, but it is a possibility. I imagine they do fly aircraft around routinely.

    Another point of contention/mystery is some livestock and horses that were killed with arrows in the area. No one has said that it was the protesters, so please don’t jump at me, but it is suspicious. I haven’t heard what has come from the investigations that the Stockman’s Association is doing. What I have heard from people, mostly verbally so no sources to link to, is that they think the ranchers themselves shot them. A head slap if there ever was one, I think. Can you imagine killing your bread and butter to peg is on someone else? And horses too? Ugh.

    If anyone is interested in reading the news on the protest from inside ND, the larger newspapers are the Bismarck Tribune, Fargo Forum, and Grand Forks Herald. I default to the Forum just because I grew up in the Fargo area.

    As I said before, I am a firm believer in looking at multiple sides. I believe that listening to/reading something that you disagree with can challenge your own viewpoint and may strengthen it or cause you do change your mind a bit. As long as this is done with an open mind, that is. A closed mind may not be able to fully take in opposition.

    I can’t say I agree with the protesters just because of how I see it playing out. I do wan to protect the environment and have the upmost respect for anyone who comes from a different background than my own. It is one reason I love to travel so much as I get to experience life outside of my cozy, Midwestern bubble.

    What I do not see coming across is that the oil is moving one way or another. Right now, it is going by rail. There have been derailments too! One that stands out happened in Casselton, ND (just west of Fargo). I did not see or hear protests about that. Fargo is the largest metro area in ND, after all. The Red River, which runs through, supplies drinking water the city and surrounding areas. Heck, the Maple River that is in Casselton is a tributary to the Red. Why are people who are against oil not going up against BNSF or CP? Why are they not stationing themselves in the Bakken and going up against the oil companies? All the large corporations are represented there and are scattered throughout Williston, Minot, and Dickinson. (No, I don’t really expect answers. these are just the questions that go through my mind.)

    I could go on and on about this topic. But, I think that may be enough for today. Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox a big, Shreve. I will leave with something I heard recently that rang true to me.

    Two men were looking at a cylinder. One, from the top, saw a circle. The other, from the side, saw a rectangle. Both were right but if they were to think that only themselves were correct, they would be wrong in that. (Not worded as eloquently but I think the point gets across.)

  23. DeeAnne
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 8:20 pm

    Even people who disagree with the idea of “sacred indian lands” should be able to look at the map above and KNOW that moving from a site where they cross one minor body of water versus the new site which crosses several MAJOR ones is a recipe for disaster.

    That said, I known several people on both sides of the coin down there and what is being shown on the media is not correct. there have been a number of officers quit over the issue. It is peaceful on the indian side but not so much on the military side and as if was stated before, the courts have ordered a stoppage that is not being enforced but instead protected AGAINST..

    We all lose by this on all sides, in all colors.

  24. Vee
    November 23rd, 2016 @ 11:02 am

    Some Thanksgiving its going to be this year. Am copying and pasting all of your words and sharing it on FaceBook. Hope that’s okay.

  25. Vee
    November 23rd, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    p.s: I linked this to Twitter and Facebook.

  26. Shreve
    November 23rd, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

    V ~ A-OK

  27. Katherine
    December 4th, 2016 @ 4:16 pm

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