Protests have been taking place for the past five months against the proposed $3.8 billion dollar, multi-state oil pipeline that would transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, it will run through ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and threaten sacred sites as well as potentially contaminating the Tribe’s water source.
Jenn at Reappropriate writes about why this is an issue that Asian Americans should support:
Right now, hundreds of Native protesters hailing from multiple tribal nations have come together with non-Native allies to form a united front demanding a halt to construction of the Pipeline. As Asian Americans, we must add our own voices to this mix.
Asian Americans are relative newcomers to the American political project. Although Asian American history stretches back centuries, the vast majority of today’s Asian Americans are recent immigrants whose presence in this country can be traced back only a few generations. As non-White people, we face profound racism as part of our daily experiences in this country; for many Asian American activists, the injustices endured by our Asian American brethren demand most of our time and energy.
But, as Asian Americans, we must also remember this: we do not and can not live on this land in a political vacuum. We cannot divorce our presence on this soil today from the blood-stained history of how this soil came to be called America. We cannot avoid the consequences of the American Dream we chase, which describes pursuit of personal and political wealth within an American capitalist system rooted in the destruction and exploitation of indigenous peoples and resources.
The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are taking place miles away from most Asian American population centers; but, this does not mean that this fight does not impact us. This fight does impact us, because this fight must impact us.
The fight for racial justice is not a fight that can be won with racial isolationism. Racism is not eliminated when we work to end the oppression for some while we overlook, or even help sustain, the oppression against others. Our activist fore-parents knew a truth some within our generation appear to now have forgotten: we must resist the forces that might divide and conquer us through silence and disregard. The fight to end racism requires that people of colour work together in solidarity, mutual support, and radical love.
To support the priests and halt the construction of the pipeline, here are things that you can do:
Sign this petition on Change.org created by youth members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Sign this petition over at We the People, the White House’s official petition site, demanding an official response from the President.
Call or email the Army Corp of Engineers using the contact information and suggested language outlined.
Donate to the DAPL Protest fund; if you prefer to use snail mail for donations, check this page.
Contact your elected officials and demand that they take a stand on the Dakota Access Pipeline. In particular, demand that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, take a public stance against the Pipeline.
Challenge mainstream silence on this issue by sharing independent news coverage published by the Native community about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and using hashtag #NoDAPL on Twitter and other social media.
If you are an Asian American or non-Asian American person who wishes to write about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests for a predominantly Asian American audience, I invite you to please check out how to submit your writing to Reappropriate.
To read more, go to Reappropriate: Asian Americans, We Cannot Be Silent on the Dakota Access Pipeline | #NoDAPL