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Sun Dec 18, 2016, 04:24 AM

For Indigenous People in the Americas, Standing Rock Illustrates Centuries of Conflict

December 16, 2016
For Indigenous People in the Americas, Standing Rock Illustrates Centuries of Conflict

by Lewis Evans


The recent announcement by the United States military that it would not allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to jeopardize the lands and water sources of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was a remarkable landmark for indigenous struggles in the Americas. Though the victory might well not be permanent, it is still worth celebrating. However, it is vitally important that we do not lose sight of the many similar struggles indigenous and tribal peoples are facing around the world. From the scrublands of Patagonia to the icy reaches of the Arctic, the images of the Standing Rock protests that have been splashed across the American media may prove to be not only an inspiration, but a decisive turning point.

Of the hundreds of powerful photos currently that have circulated online of the extraordinary face-off between the Sioux protestors and North Dakota police, one is perhaps especially eye-catching. It shows a young Native American man wearing jeans, cowboy boots, and what appears to be an improvised gas mask, on a horse looking out at a police barricade. Behind a makeshift wall of abandoned tires and wood is a phalanx of police in uniform and helmets holding wooden clubs. They are flanked by armored vehicles that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Iraqi or Afghan wars.

The image evokes civil rights struggles of the recent past. The police with their tan shirts and macho postures even look like the men in 1960s Alabama who were photographed using water cannons and setting dogs on African American protestors. As far as indigenous peoples across the Americas are concerned however, it has an even older history. Those police, protecting the commercial interests of a major oil company, are merely the latest representatives of colonial powers that have appropriated indigenous land and resources and ruthlessly crushed resistance since 1492.

If the Dakota Access Pipeline was the only struggle of its kind going on in the American hemisphere in 2016 it would be easy to focus human rights and environmental campaigning efforts. Sadly however, it is simply the best known and most widely publicized example of a conflict over land and resources that cannot be ignored, and which is unwinding as we speak.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/16/for-indigenous-people-in-the-americas-standing-rock-illustrates-centuries-of-conflict/

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Reply For Indigenous People in the Americas, Standing Rock Illustrates Centuries of Conflict (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 OP
Sunlei Dec 2016 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2016, 06:00 AM

1. what happens when 'Corporations are people'. They legally use (abuse)USAs private property 'laws'.

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