Veterans Return To Standing Rock To Act As Human Shields Against Police

By Amanda Froelich | True Activist

Since April of 2016, “water protectors” who oppose the construction of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have been camped out near Cannon Ball, ND. Even throughout the harsh winter, they’ve remained on the plains, as they maintain the belief that the land which the DAPL passes through rightfully belongs to the tribe due to an 1851 treaty. Activists also believe that its development may potentially contaminate the Missouri river and uproot sacred burial ground.

Throughout the summer and fall, thousands of people from across the nation and around the world flocked to North Dakota to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. This list includes well-known actors and actresses, such as Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Shailene Woodley. Until early December, tensions at the protest camps and nearby on the front lines only continued to increase. Mass arrests occurred, and many protestors were maced, hosed down with water canons in sub-freezing temperatures, and tased. Some were even shot with rubber bullets.

A dramatic change took place over the first weekend in December of 2016, when over 2,000 veterans arrived at the Standing Rock protest camps. The men and women explained that they felt what was being done to the indigenous peoples was an injustice and that they were willing to put their lives on the line for a cause they felt is worthy. On December 4th, the U.S. Army Corps denied an easement to the parent company of the DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners. The victory was celebrated by activists present and elsewhere. However, a statement by the company soon made it clear that the oil company had no intention of re-routing the pipeline. This news inspired hundreds of “water protectors” to remain behind, despite the plummeting temperatures and impending winter storms.

Since the easement was denied, the world has heard little of the protestors or the DAPL. Once again, that changed just days after Donald Trump became the new President of the United States. The business tycoon-turned-politician signed an executive order that will allow the corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river. The lack of regard for the environment or the indigenous people has once again inspired veterans to return to North Dakota.

Reportedly, dozens if not hundreds of brave men and women are making plans to venture to the Sacred Stone camp to serve as human shields for those who are striving to preserve the Missouri River and its resources for future generations. Reportedly, they are hopeful that their presence makes it harder for police and government officials to try and remove hundreds of protesters who remain camped near the construction site.

Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock last Friday, told The Guardian:

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force. We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

When veterans camped out at the site in December, many put their skills to use by performing a wide range of service, such as cleaning up the camp, volunteering in the kitchen, assisting as medical support, and protecting those on the front lines from police. They’re prepared to do the same again.

“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Matthew Crane, a US navy veteran.  “We’re not going to stand by and let anybody get hurt.”

For many veterans, the process of protecting those who are protesting something that affects all citizens has been deemed to be a “healing” process. This is because many regret their involvement in the Iraq war. Luker, a Vietnam vet from Boston, confirmed this when he said:

This is the right war, right side. Finally, it’s the US military coming on to Sioux land to help, for the first time in history, instead of coming on to Sioux land to kill natives.”

32-year-old marine corps vet Jake Pogue added that he returned to North Dakota because he’s worried about police escalating tactics. He explained:

“We’re not coming as fighters, but as protectors. Our role in that situation would be to simply form a barrier between water protectors and the police force and try to take some of that abuse for them.”

In December, the arrival of the veterans proved to be a game-changer. It remains to be seen whether or not their presence on the front lines will inspire a resolution to the ongoing conflict. 

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

This article (Veterans Return To Standing Rock To Act As Human Shields Against Police) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist.

‘This Is the #NoDAPL Last Stand’: Tribe to Sue as Actions Planned Nationwide

By Deirdre Fulton | The Anti-Media

(COMMONDREAMSThe Trump administration “will be held accountable in court” for its decision to grant the final easement on the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), Indigenous people and environmental allies vowed Tuesday.

And with actions planned nationwide on Wednesday, the administration won’t get off in the court of public opinion, either.

The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement (pdf) that it would give the official go-ahead within 24 hours. “We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.”

In granting the easement, the Army Corps halted (pdf) the preparation of an environmental review ordered by the Obama administration. The Standing Rock tribe, which says DAPL threatens its clean water supply and violates Indigenous treaty rights, pledged to “challenge any easement decision on the grounds that the [environmental impact statement, or EIS] was wrongfully terminated.”

“Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian tribes and unlawful violation of treaty rights,” added Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice, lead attorney for the tribe. “They will be held accountable in court.”

Other next steps, according to the Standing Rock statement, include asking the court for DAPL-operator Energy Transfer Partners “to disclose its oil spill and risk assessment records for full transparency and review by the public,” and, “if DAPL is successful in constructing and operating the pipeline, the tribe will seek to shut the pipeline operations down.”

The tribe is not alone in its outrage. Multiple environmental groups voiced their opposition to the decision, while Democratic members of the House and Senate natural resources committees wrote a letter to President Donald Trump expressing their own dismay.

“This blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes is unacceptable,” the lawmakers wrote. “We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights. We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law, and due process.” Signatories included Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), as well as Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Donald Beyer (D-Va.).

Grijalva, a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, also issued a separate statement: “Before the Women’s March and before thousands of people protested at airports, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were camping in the freezing cold to defend their rights,” he said. “The Obama Administration heard those concerns and agreed to take a step back; this Administration is ignoring them. In his first few weeks in office our new president has built a resume of discrimination, falsehoods, and sloppy work, and now the decision to trample the sovereignty of our First Americans is the latest entry on a growing list of shameful actions.”

A protest in front of the White House is planned for 5:00 pm Wednesday, along with more than 30 actions taking place around the country on what the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock has dubbed “an international day of emergency actions to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism.”

“This is the #NoDAPL last stand,” the group declared online.

Find an action near you here.

“Donald Trump will not build his Dakota Access Pipeline without a fight,” said Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight—it is the new beginning. Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far.”

Goldtooth continued: The granting of this easement goes against protocol, it goes against the legal process, it disregards more than 100,000 comments already submitted as part of the not-yet-completed environmental review process—all for the sake of Donald Trump’s billionaire big oil cronies. And, it goes against the treaty rights of the entire Seven Councils Fires of the Sioux Nations.

The granting of this easement goes against protocol, it goes against legal process, it disregards more than 100,000 comments already submitted as part of the not-yet-completed environmental review process—all for the sake of Donald Trump’s billionaire big oil cronies. And, it goes against the treaty rights of the entire Seven Councils Fires of the Sioux Nations.

Donald Trump has not met with a single Native nation since taking office. Our tribal nations and Indigenous grassroots peoples on the frontlines have had no input on this process. We support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and stand with them at this troubling time.

In addition, a Native Nations March on Washington is in the works for March 10. “Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself,” said Archambault. “Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration. Meet us in Washington on March 10.”

An energetic divestment campaign, urging banks to pull their funding for the controversial project, is also gaining steam.

On that front, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 on Tuesday to cut banking ties with Wells Fargo because of its role as a DAPL lender. “People might argue that Seattle’s $3 billion account is just a blip on the radar for Wells Fargo, but this movement is poised to scale up,” Hugh MacMillan, a senior researcher at Food & Water Watch, told YES! Magazine. “I think you’ll see more cities following Seattle’s lead.”

This article (‘This Is the #NoDAPL Last Stand’: Tribe to Sue as Actions Planned Nationwide) by Deirdre Fulton originally appeared on CommonDreams.org and is licensed Creative Commons 3.0. The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11 pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: L May. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org

Read more great articles at The Anti-Media.

‘Not On Our Watch’ — Veterans Promise ‘Boots On the Ground’ To Stop DAPL

By: Claire Bernish / The Free Thought Project   A group of U.S. military veterans, standing in defense of Indigenous rights, has vowed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline will never be completed — and will put boots on the ground to ensure it.

“We are committed to the people of Standing Rock, we are committed to nonviolence, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the environment and human life are respected,” Anthony Diggs, spokesman for Veterans Stand, told CNBC. “That pipeline will not get completed. Not on our watch.”

Veterans, said Diggs, seek to raise enough funds “to have a larger, solid boots-on-the-ground presence.”

As staunch a stance as that might sound, the veterans remain committed to nonviolent action in defense of the Standing Rock Sioux against Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for pipeline construction.

On Wednesday evening, heavily militarized and armed police and National Guard forces advanced en masse across Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge for the first time in months to clear out a newer camp. At least 76 people were arrested, ostensibly for trespassing on private property — though the Morton County Sheriff’s Department told the Guardian on Wednesday specifics of the charges had yet to be determined.

“A lot of water protectors really felt that we needed to make some sort of stand as far as treaty rights,” Linda Black Elk of the Catawba Nation told the Guardian. “We basically started to see police mobilizing from all directions. Someone came along and told us we had about 15 minutes before the camp would get raided.”

Law enforcement moved to clear the camp just one day after Secretary of the Army Robert Speer told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to grant ETP the easement required to complete drilling under the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir — the source of Standing Rock’s drinking water and the subject of furious contention over Dakota Access.

Speer’s command also follows the recent signing of executive orders by President Donald Trump for completion of both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines — despite the latter being shot down by former President Obama.

Further indicative of a coming law enforcement crackdown on camps of water protectors, on Thursday, officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal police, the ATF, the Standing Rock division of Fish and Wildlife, and USACE showed up unannounced and without a warrant on the property of LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard to “assess” the Camp of the Sacred Stones.

 Livestreamer Johnny Dangers captured officials on video refusing to offer explanation beyond the vague ‘assessment’ for their presence on Allard’s private property. Sacred Stone, as the camp is commonly known, is the original site erected for youth water protectors opposing pipeline construction; and — being located on private land — was believed immune from law enforcement efforts of eviction.

Worse, as Dangers and Allard said on social media, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe council appears to have asked officials to descend on the property — making the ‘raid’ a duplicitous act.

“We have been betrayed by Standing Rock Tribal Council,” Allard posted to Facebook when officials arrived and refused to produce a warrant.

In December, tentative celebration erupted when USACE halted pipeline construction in order to perform an exhaustive environmental impact study before granting the aforementioned easement. But Energy Transfer Partners — cognizant of the Trump administration’s favoritism of Big Oil — vowed Dakota Access would be completed without deviation from a planned path under Lake Oahe.

Now, the two raids — and an increasingly intolerant attitude toward camped water protectors by both law enforcement and certain members of the tribal council — seem to evince coming action to evict and arrest water protectors still occupying floodplain land at several camps, including the largest, main camp, Oceti Sakowin.

But the veterans group doesn’t want to let that happen.

“Veterans Stand for Standing Rock started as a mission to shield water protectors and highlight human rights violations,” states the Veterans Stand website. “It grew into something that we never could have imagined. Veterans are people who take an oath and write a blank check to the United States of America, up to and including their life, to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic […]

 “Our veterans have stepped up and chosen to serve, because there are still human and constitutional rights being violated. We are honored to serve beside them.”

U.S. Navy veteran, Petty Officer 1st Class Kash Jackson came to Standing Rock to stand in defiance of the government-backed industry exploitation of Native Americans, telling a reporter from The Young Turks in November, about marching with an inverted American flag,

“Our greatest enemies are not overseas — our greatest enemies are right here.”

Per the U.S. Flag Code, he continued, “whenever you invert the American flag, it is permissible, underneath extreme risk to life and property — and based on what I’ve witnessed, over here in Standing Rock, I don’t think there’s any question whether or not there’s a risk to life and property.”

Several violent attacks led by police against unarmed and prayerful water protectors have left hundreds injured — several permanently — and have fueled worldwide consternation over the U.S. government’s corporate fealty.

But, given concerted efforts by ETP — whose CEO Kelcy Warren donated $100,000 to the president’s campaign — to ensure the oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline would be legally permitted for export and profit, anti-pipeline actions around the country should expect similarly oppressive measures from the Trump administration.

With water protectors vehement about staying put in Standing Rock to halt construction of Dakota Access Pipeline for good, assistance from Veterans Stand will undoubtedly be welcome.

This article (‘Not On Our Watch’ — Veterans Promise ‘Boots On the Ground’ To Stop DAPL) by Claire Bernish is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheFreeThoughtProject.com







Trump’s Inauguration to Be Followed by 1.5 Million Women Marching for Human Rights on January 21

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

Both men and women are invited to attend and march, but the marches happening around the globe are a part of the Women’s March centered in Washington D.C. that will take place on January 21st. Following Donald Trump’s inauguration and on his first full day of being President of the United States, approximately 1.5 million people will gather in over 600 marches around the world to show unity over human rights advocacy.

At the hub of the marches in D.C., over 200,000 people have RSVP’d to participate in the march and more than 1,200 bus permits were requested for parking at RFK Stadium—which is more than 6 times the amount of requests for Inauguration Day. For January 20th’s inauguration, only 200 permits were requested. To put that into perspective, over 3,000 buses registered for a permit for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

The aim of the march is multi-faceted but all pro-human rights, and the organizers are calling not just on women but on anyone that is a defender of human rights. According to the website, women’s rights are human rights and that defending the most marginalized of all groups around the world is an effort to defend all of the groups. The website reads, 

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

Credit: Erika Schultz

The march itself will show not only Trump but leaders everywhere that injustices against humans will not be tolerated nor will they occur without a fight. This message of unity will be heard across all continents and be evidence of the progression that many people want to move towards, not away from.

Since the march is so inclusive, some white women are expressing a hesitancy in joining the movement because it appears to be driven by race. People of all races and genders are welcome as a display of solidarity in protest and to feel excluded from the event is actually anti-productive for such a strong movement.

Some of the biggest marches outside of D.C. are set to take place in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, and a few other metropolises around the United States. They are referred to as sister marches because of their affiliation with the march in D.C. and the agreement on purpose.

 If you are interested in joining a march near you, find out here where the closest one is taking place this Saturday.

What are your thoughts on these marches? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

This article (Trump’s Inauguration To Be Followed By 1.5 Million Women Marching For Human Rights) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and True Activist.

Read more great articles at True Activist.

What Geniuses Believe


By Paul Rosenberg | FreemansPerspective

It recently struck me that the people we think of as “geniuses” tend to believe, over time, surprisingly similar sets of conclusions.

It further struck me that a simple list of such thoughts might be of value to my readers.

So, here is a list pulled from my quotes file and presented without commentary. Enjoy:

Albert Einstein

  • Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
  • Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
  • Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.
  • The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
  • Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
  • Related Article: Einstein’s Brain Revealed: Why Einstein Was a Genius

Rod Serling

  • The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling.

Arthur Schopenhauer

  • We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

Thomas Jefferson

Allan Bloom

  • The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.

John Stuart Mill

  • The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it.

Leo Tolstoy

  • The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens… Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.

Will Durant

  • Above all, the ruling minority sought more and more to transform its forcible mastery into a body of law which, while consolidating that mastery, would afford a welcome security and order to the people, and would recognize the rights of the “subject” sufficiently to win his acceptance of the law and his adherence to the state.

George Bernard Shaw

  • All government is authoritarian; and the more democratic a government is the more authoritative it is; for with the people behind it, it can push authority further than any Tsar or foreign despot dare do.

Aldous Huxley

Richard Feynman

  • Theoretically, planning may be good. But nobody has ever figured out the cause of government stupidity – and until they do (and find the cure), all ideal plans will fall into quicksand.

Buckminster Fuller

  • Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.
  • If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.
  • We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.
  • Either you’re going to go along with your mind and the truth, or you’re going to yield to fear and custom and conditioned reflexes.

Erich Fromm

  • The history of mankind up to the present time is primarily the history of idol worship, from primitive idols of clay and wood to the modern idols of the state, the leader, production and consumption – sanctified by the blessing of an idolized God.
  • Obedience to God is also the negation of submission to man.
  • [I]f one has no possibility of acting, one’s thinking kind of becomes empty and stupid.
  • Is there really as much difference as we think between the Aztec human sacrifices to their gods and the modern human sacrifices in war to the idols of nationalism and the sovereign state?

Charlie Chaplin

  • As for politics, I’m an anarchist. I hate governments and rules and fetters. Can’t stand caged animals. People must be free.

Carl Jung

  • For in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything beside the State must be taken from him.

Ray Bradbury

  • We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.

Abraham Maslow

  • I can certainly say that descriptively healthy human beings do not like to be controlled. They prefer to feel free and to be free.

Simone Weil

25 Animal Stories In 2016 That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Brianna Acuesta | True Activist

It’s not hard to easily become discouraged about humans and how they act on a daily basis because a ton of horrible things happen around us everyday. Whether it’s someone who won’t let an elderly person have their seat on the bus or dog poop left in a busy area that you step in, people bear witness to some pretty ugly things regularly.

Too many things happened in 2016 that made people lose their faith in humanity, but a great deal of news stories flew under the radar throughout the year that have made many readers happy. One of the best ways to restore people’s faith in humanity is by doing good deeds, and helping out animals in big ways is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences.

Below are some great moments in 2016 that will have you rooting for both animals and humans alike! If you click on the title, you can read the full story.

Dog Who Turned To Stone Was Rescued And Is Now Unrecognizable

Credit: Valia Orfanidou

Credit: Valia Orfanidou

Police Rescue 22 Dogs Locked In Hot Car By Hoarder

Credit: Adore-a-Bullie Paws and Claws

Credit: Adore-a-Bullie Paws and Claws

Activist Saves 1,000 Dogs From Torture And Death At Yulin Dog Festival, Despite Being Beaten And Detained By Authorities

Credit: Credit: AnimalHopeAndRescueFoundation Instagram

Credit: Credit: AnimalHopeAndRescueFoundation Instagram

Credit: Credit: AnimalHopeAndRescueFoundation Instagram

Sick Tiger Cub Saved From A Circus And Sent To A Wildlife Rescue Makes Remarkable Recovery

Credit: In-Sync Exotics

Credit: In-Sync Exotics


Was your faith in humanity restored after reading some of these stories? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

This article (25 Animal Stories In 2016 That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Good News: $70,000 Minimum Wage Experiment Appears to Be a Success

Sam Becker | Money and Career Check Sheet


Earlier this year, a small Seattle-based payment processing company made headlines when its 31-year-old CEO made a rather jarring change to the company’s pay structure: Gravity Payments would pay all employees, at a bare minimum, $70,000 annually. It was met with a variety of reactions, ranging from those who said CEO Dan Price was establishing himself as a working-class hero, to those who thought he was actively destroying the fabric of society as we know it.

The truth is, Price had read a study that said the optimal level of happiness can be achieved with an income at around $70,000, and decided that he was in a position to make a difference. So he acted on it — by cutting his own salary by 90%.

Now, with several months having passed, we’re beginning to see the fallout. Recently, a slew of articles and media attention has returned to Price’s company. But this time, it hasn’t been quite as positive.

“A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared,” reads a New York Times headline. “CEO counting cost of £45,000 minimum wage decision,” says another, from The Telegraph. Many others are circulating as well, all spelling doom for Gravity Payments, with Price’s minimum wage policy as the chief reason for the company’s issues. As these articles explain, the company did lose business — from clients anticipating fee increases, and others who didn’t want to be associated with what they felt was a political statement.

But lost in a whirlwind of “I told you so” is the fact that Price’s experiment hasn’t really failed. In fact, Gravity Payments is still chugging along. If you were to actually dig into the meat of the doomsayers’ arguments, it turns out that even though the company has lost a handful of clients, it’s signed on even more — so many more that it’s had to go on a hiring spree.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “The $70,000 Minimum Wage Experiment Reveals A Dark Truth”

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com

BREAKING: US Army Corps Reroutes Construction of the DAPL

| TrueActivist.com

 Cheers erupted in the camp as word spread of the US Army Corps' monumental announcement. Credit: Detroit Free Press

Cheers erupted as word spread of the US Army Corps’ monumental announcement. Credit: Detroit Free Press

On Sunday, approximately twenty thousand activists and water protectors gathered at the Sacred Stone Camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. According to Amanda Froelich who was on the grounds and reporting live for True Activist, cheers rang out as news spread of the US Army Corps announcing that it would not approve permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The DAPL will no longer be routed underneath a dammed section of the Missouri River that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says sits near sacred burial ground. Concern for the pipeline’s development also includes the risk it could pose to the Indigenous peoples’ – and future generations’ – water supply.

Previous to this monumental declaration, federal officials had given the protestors until Monday, December 5th, to evacuate the campsite near the construction area. As three thousand veterans arrived at Standing Rock, it became clear that few had any intention of leaving.

The Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said in a statement:

“The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.”

Darcy added that the decision was based on the need to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing. She said:

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do. The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

She added that an Environmental Impact Statement will need to be conducted with full public input and analysis.

Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, expressed gratitude to the Obama administration for following through to protect sacred land which the Standing Rock Sioux tribe believe is rightfully theirs due to an 1851 treaty. He shared gratitude for

“the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.”

Prior to this announcement, Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas – the company building the pipeline, said it was unwilling to reroute the project. Activists on the site are claiming that the gathering of water protectors at Standing Rock is proof that the people can triumph over corporate greed.

This article (BREAKING: US Army Corps Halts Construction Of The DAPL) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Love Is Stronger than Fear: 6 Ways Americans Are Defying Islamaphobia

hug a muslim

By Nur Lalji | Alter Net

On Dec. 8, a man identified as Piro Kolvani reportedly walked into the Fatima Food Mart, in Queens, New York, yelled that he was going to kill Muslims, and began punching the store’s owner, 53-year-old Sarker Haque. A customer restrained Kolvani until police arrived.

The attack is being investigated as a hate crime and, in the wake of terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, there has been a surge of similar assaults on Muslims.

Related Article: First They Came for the Muslims (and I Didn’t Speak Up Because I Wasn’t a Muslim)

On Nov. 19, a sixth-grade girl in New York was attacked by three of her classmates, who allegedly called her “ISIS.” On Dec. 6, someone left a pig’s head outside the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in Philadelphia. According to Muslim Advocates, an organization fighting discrimination against American Muslims, more than 30 incidents of anti-Muslim hate crime have occurred since the Paris attacks in November and the San Bernardino attack in December. As the people in San Bernardino and Paris deal with a very real grief, it’s clear that these events have led to a heightened fear of Muslims—and some politicians are adding fuel to the fire.
On Dec. 7, Donald Trump called for “a complete shutdown of Muslims in the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” In support of Trump’s proposal, New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro compared it favorably to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Although many have criticized Trump’s remarks—according to the White House, his statements disqualify him from becoming president—it’s still easy to feel a sense of bleakness about being a Muslim in this country following the events that have happened in the past few months.

As a Muslim, I find it upsetting to feel that the actions of a few people may affect the way people view my family, my friends, or myself. And my non-Muslim friends, too, feel disheartened by what recent events could mean for the future.

There are, however, many people who are determined to spread peace and understanding in the wake of these attacks.  Here are six different ways people are combating Islamophobia across the country.

1. Muslims lead peace rallies

On Nov. 27, in Dearborn, Michigan, Muslim protestors—calling themselves Dearborn Muslims Against Terrorism—held a demonstration outside the Henry Ford Centennial Library. Members of the group called for peace and support for the Syrian refugees. They also pointed out that ISIS makes up a minute fraction of Muslims worldwide.

Hundreds of Muslims also held an antiterrorism rally in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6. Many held signs expressing solidarity with the victims of the San Bernardino attacks and opposition to ISIS, while others served food.

“We feel great in showing our allegiance to America and pray to God to bless America and its people.”

On Dec. 11, the Pakistani American Society of South Jersey led a peace rally outside Philadelphia’s city hall. “I thought that a rally would give an opportunity to all of us to share our grief … we hold in our sympathies and prayers the innocent victims of such heinous acts,” Owais Lari, the organization’s president, said, “We stand united with the rest of the country and promote tolerance.”

Lari hopes that, in addition to showing solidarity with the victims of the San Bernardino attack, the rally will also challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims in the media. “I am not aware of any other country that has allowed immigrants to feel at home and become proud Americans. We feel great in showing our allegiance to America and pray to God to bless America and its people.”

Related Article: Muslims Are Not More Violent Than People of Other Religions & Here Are the Facts to Prove It

2. Students embrace Muslims

Following Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, Muslim students at the University of Virginia decided to fight Islamophobia through hugs. Muskan Mumtaz and a few of her classmates stood in front of the university’s Garrett Hall on Dec. 7 and 8, wearing blindfolds and holding signs that read, “Hug a Muslim.” Mumtaz estimates that around 100 people participated each day.

Mumtaz, who studies history and religion at U.Va., was inspired by similar events that took place in Europe. “I thought it would be a simple yet effective way to tackle Islamophobia in my immediate community,” she said. “I wanted my peers to realize that Muslim Americans are not an ‘other,’ and that we do not fall outside the American community. We’re your doctors, your lawyers, your teachers. The United States is and always will be our home, simple as that.”

For Mumtaz, a refugee from Kashmir, these events have had a personal resonance. “I understand the types of situations these people are fleeing from,” Mumtaz said. “What Carson and Trump don’t seem to realize is that refugees are the primary victims of Islamic extremism, and to turn them away on the basis of their religion is not only unconstitutional but also inhumane.”

Related Article: Muslims Protect Jews by Forming “Ring of Peace” Around Synagogue

3. Hashtags take off

Many Muslims displayed their solidarity for the victims of recent terror attacks through Twitter. Hashtags like #NotinMyName and #TerrorismHasNoReligion resurfaced after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, while #YouAintNoMuslimBruv began to trend following the stabbing attacks in Leytonstone, England.


Hundreds of Veterans Heading to Standing Rock to Defend DAPL Protesters from Police


By Carey Wedler | AntiMedia

(ANTIMEDIA) As protesters continue to stand against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, facing off against heavily militarized police and their water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and tasers, they have gained broad support. Celebrities and millions of social media users have raised awareness about the situation in North Dakota, and now, the “water protectors” have earned support from another group: veterans.

According to an article published by Business Insider that first appeared in Task and Purpose, a military-oriented news and culture site, two veterans are leading the charge in a show of dissent against the increasingly aggressive police. In the last several months, tensions have escalated as Natives and their allies have blocked the pipeline’s construction, citing fears surrounding water will be endangered and sacred burial sites will be destroyed (not to mention the fact their lands were forcibly stolen by the U.S. government over a century ago).

“This country is repressing our people,” says Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to work toward reforming law enforcement. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic,” he asserted about his plans to go to Standing Rock.

Woods Jr. is joined by Wes Clark Jr. Clark Jr. is the son of General Wesley Clark, the famous military leader who once warned that shortly after 9/11, the government had its eyes on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Clark would later attempt to distance himself from those statements but still managed to convince his son, a member of the Army at the time, to stay away from Iraq.

I was like, ‘I’m going back in. I’m going to go in there and fuck people up,’” Clark Jr. recalls of his desire to fight for the military after 9/11. He later changed his mind after his father warned him, as Task and Purpose summarized, “that as a soldier he would be fighting a war that had nothing to do with defeating al Qaeda.

Now, Wood Jr. and Clark Jr. are attempting to organize a mass, nonviolent protest against police action in North Dakota. Just this past weekend, a female protester was hit with a concussion grenade, causing severe damage to her arm and requiring surgery.

Others have been tear gassed, tased, beaten, and shot with rubber bullets. Anti-Media journalist Derrick Broze was tased by law enforcement immediately after he declared he was a member of the media. Another journalist was shot with a rubber bullet while standing away from a gathering of protesters as she interviewed an attendee.

Police have made over 470 arrests since August, and the Indigenous Environmental Network claims 167 people were injured just this past Sunday when police deployed water cannons in freezing weather.

Clark, a contributor to the Young Turks, explained that aside from the flagrant violations protesters are subject to in North Dakota, Natives are especially deserving of veteran support:

First Americans have served in the Unites States Military, defending the soil of our homelands, at a greater percentage than any other group of Americans. There is no other people more deserving of veteran support,” he said.

According to a Facebook event the two men created called “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” those who join the effort will arrive at the protest site on December 4, where they will stay until December 7.

The event description reads:

Come to Standing Rock Indian Reservation and hold the line with Wes Clark jr, Michael Wood Jr, Tulsi Gabbard and hundreds of other veterans in support of the Sioux nation against the DAPL pipeline. Bring Body armor, gas masks, earplugs AND shooting mufflers (we may be facing a sound cannon) but no drugs, alcohol or weapons.

Clark Jr. was clear he was not looking for violence and that the protest would be unarmed.

We’re not going out there to get in a fight with anyone,” he said. “They can feel free to beat us up, but we’re 100% nonviolence.”

As Task and Purpose explained:

With an eye toward the media, old military uniforms will be donned so that if the veterans are brutalized by the police, they are brutalized not as ordinary citizens, but as people who once served the government they are protesting against.

The event page makes it clear that the group will not tolerate “hate, violence or divisive behavior of any kind.”

We’re doing this to support our country,” they advise, “so let’s do it with honor, working together. We can stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Over 250 veterans have already committed, but organizers hope to have a group of 500 or more by the time they head to Standing Rock.

Once there, the  veterans intend to engage in a traditional native healing ceremony with protesters, with whom they have been coordinating, according to the veterans. Then, protective gear like gas masks and body armor will be issued to anyone who needs it. The soldiers will march to bagpipes and Sioux war songs as they head to the banks of the Missouri River to meet police.

Then, the veterans and their allies — or at least the ones who are brave enough — will lock arms and cross the river in a ‘massive line’ for their ‘first encounter’ with the ‘opposing forces.’”

Though the veterans have adopted a strict policy of nonviolence, they refuse to back down and apparently hope to use their military status to spotlight the egregious behavior of the police.

We’ll have those people who will recognize that they’re not willing to take a bullet, and those who recognize that they are,” says Wood Jr. “It’s okay if some of them step back, but Wes and I have no intention of doing so.”

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock is accepting donations to cover food, transportation, and supplies for those who travel to North Dakota. You can donate here. You can also donate directly to the water protectors.

This article (Hundreds of Veterans Heading to Standing Rock to Defend DAPL Protesters from Police) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler and theAntiMedia.org.

How to discuss politics calmly with anyone


It is possible to discuss politics (and religion) without starting a fight, when we understand how it is possible to heal social rifts with moral psychology.

“Happiness comes from between. It comes from getting the right relationship between yourself and others, yourself and your work, and yourself and something larger than yourself.” — Jonathan Haidt

If you’re concerned about discussing politics over the holidays following this year’s presidential election, you’re not alone. When conversations about politics and religion come up, things can get quite touchy–but there is a way you can still stay calm and carry on a respectful conversation.


Moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt asks the excellent question in his book, The Righteous Mind, “Why do good people get divided by politics and religion?”

One thing that moral psychologists do is to take a look scientifically at answering the question, “What does it take to be a moral person?” You might think this would simply be a matter of knowing the difference between good and bad. And of course, it is. But how can we determine the simple difference between good and bad? How do people do that? Why is it that amongst cultures in the world some people’s idea of what’s good and bad are so very different than someone else’s? Yet overall, the things that help us decide whether something is good or bad are very similar.

Why is it that liberals and conservatives, in times of political elections, can get so upset to the point that they have trouble seeing straight, let alone finding common ground, when they really are smart people with good hearts? How can that be?

These are the questions that moral psychologists seek to answer. By asking really difficult questions that were extremely uncomfortable for the people being asked those questions, moral psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt, have been able to determine “the five taste buds of morality.” And these five taste buds that form the basis for Moral Foundation Theory are extremely interesting:

Care versus Harm;
Fairness versus Cheating;
Liberty versus Oppression;
Loyalty versus Betrayal;
Authority versus Subversion; and
Sanctity versus Degradation.

These five are a bit similar to taste bud senses of like: savory, salty, sweet, sour, and bitter–except these are moral tastes.

In general, people who are strong in exhibiting conservative traits care just a little bit less than liberals about things like Care versus Harm and Fairness versus Cheating, but they care a whole lot more about Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity. When you start thinking about things in this way, you can begin to bridge the gap that sometimes develops between people who are quite conservative or quite liberal.

Another big idea from The Righteous Mind is that when people come to a decision about something, like whether they are conservative or liberal, or how they feel about a certain contentious subject, they will tend to make decisions first and foremost not from their heads, but from their intuitive-emotional body, which often doesn’t necessarily know why it’s leaning one way or another. Jonathan Haidt describes this with a metaphor of a person riding an elephant. The elephant has a tendency to want to go one way or the other, and the person riding the elephant–the rational mind–then comes up with reasons why this may or may not be a good idea.

Follow the Sacredness

Many of us are wondering what we can do this holiday season to keep peace in our family and at home.

Something we can do whenever noticing differences of feelings and opinions is to do what Jonathan Haidt calls: “Follow the Sacredness.”

What that means is, look for that relationship between someone and something bigger than themselves. And keep an open heart and an open mind when you’re looking for this, so that you can better empathize, and get a little glimpse of what’s going on with the moral foundations within that group. Maybe they’re not only looking at Care versus Harm and Fairness versus Cheating, but maybe they’re looking at a lot more.  And maybe these things matter a great deal to them. By following the sacredness, it makes it easier for all of us to appreciate and truly “get” what makes somebody else tick. What it is that they’re living for that is larger than themselves.

I hope this is helpful for you, and I invite you to keep asking “How good can it get?”


QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra and on the Living the Quantum Dream show she hosts. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at: https://www.RealityShifters.com

How to Make Peace With the Scariest Parts of Our Past [VIDEO]

Chances are pretty good that at one time or another, we have all done something we aren’t proud of. We’ve all told a little white lie or two…or three, and perhaps even some bigger, darker ones. Whatever your fancy, one thing we all seem to have in common is having a skeleton or two in our closet. While this is perfectly normal, this can definitely mean different things to different people.

We can lead happy and productive lives with these skeletons in our closets tapping at the proverbial doors of our conscious minds, as long as we don’t allow our past to haunt us, or furthermore haunt those we care about. Relationships are an excellent way for people heal trauma, learn a great deal about themselves and others, but unfortunately, many of us don’t take advantage of this fact and hang onto relationships as simply a source of need or obligation only.

However, if we use the opportunity to learn, grow, self-reflect, and heal past trauma that relationships allow us, we are continually making peace with our past by using our down falls, poor choices, mistakes, etc. do what they were meant to do; teach us life lessons. Believe it or not, when we do things we are not proud of or we consider failures, these things are not meant to stay with us and torture us eternally with guilt or feelings of worthlessness.

Image result for heal your pastForgiving ourselves for actions we feel guilty for is vital to keeping a healthy self-image and keeping peace with yourself and others. Until you can tell your story without getting heated, upset, or ending up in tears, then you have not yet healed and will still have the tendency to bring toxicity into your relationships. Awareness of this fact is the first step in changing negative behavior; however willingness and effort to change must be present or the ego will fight to the death to keep that skeleton scratching at the back of your mind.

If you are able to forgive yourself, which is no easy feat if you are new to self-love, then the next step would be a simple shift in your perception about the actual act you are attaching the negative thoughts and feelings to. In other words, let’s take the skeleton out of the closet and have a good, shall we?

Go over the event best you can in your mind after first making sure you are in a calm, peaceful place and have focused on your breathing for a few minutes. Now, think back to your intentions while you were doing the thing you now feel so guilty about. Was this you back then in pain? Did you just get hurt recently? Most likely the answer will be yes…And you will find that most hurtful acts (unless you are just an asshole, of course, but I don’t think that’s the case if you’re reading this!) are because we too, were hurt at one point and the energy flows on. It takes a certain level of awareness to sit with and redirect that kind of energy and make a different choice.

And there’s no time like now to change your mind! If you are feeling guilt, this shows you carry empathy, so please show empathy towards yourself and know in your heart that you were acting from a place of fear and hurting. Feel the release of emotion and let it come as it will. If you feel anger, sit with it and allow yourself, then let it go. If you want to cry, do that. Whatever comes is right for you. This is shadow work, this is healing and there is no right or wrong way. While peace feels the same to ALL of us, it looks unique to EACH of us. <3


Please enjoy this very insightful binaural beats meditation below to assist you on your healing journey. 🙂

Video Source: Thomas Hall


tamaraTamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.

If Only We Could Vote for Peace Instead of a “Commander-in-Chief”


Op-Ed by Robert C. Kohler | Activist Post

Maybe it’s the phrase — “commander in chief” — that best captures the transcendent absurdity and unaddressed horrors of the 2016 election season and the business as usual that will follow.

I don’t want to elect anyone commander in chief: not the xenophobic misogynist and egomaniac, not the Henry Kissinger acolyte and Libya hawk. The big hole in this democracy is not the candidates; it’s the bedrock, founding belief that the rest of the world is our potential enemy, that war with someone is always inevitable and only a strong military will keep us safe.

In a million ways, we’ve outgrown this concept, or been pushed beyond it by awareness of global human connectedness and the shared planetary risk of eco-collapse. So whenever I hear someone in the media bring “commander in chief” into the discussion — always superficially and without question — what I hear is boys playing war. Yes, we wage war in a real way as well, but when the public is invited to participate in the process by selecting its next commander in chief, this is pretend war at its most surreal: all glory and greatness and hammering ISIS in Mosul.

“What about our safety here?” Brian Williams asked Gen. Barry McCaffrey on MSNBC the other night, as they were discussing the awfulness of terrorism and the need to bomb the bad guys out of existence. I cringed. How long can they keep selling this?

Our safety is far, far more imperiled by the fact that we have a military at all than by any enemy that military is allegedly fighting, but is, in fact, creating as it churns out endless collateral damage, a.k.a., dead and injured civilians.

The essential truth about war is this: The enemies are always on the same side. Regardless who “wins,” what matters is that war itself continues. Just ask the military-industrialists.

The only commander in chief I want to vote for is the one who will turn that title over to the historians and cry out that war is an obsolete and monstrous game, revered and coddled for five millennia now as the most sacred of activities that a (male) human can engage in. We need a commander in chief capable of leading us beyond the age of empire and the horrific games of conquest that are killing this planet.

“What about our safety here?”

When Brian Williams threw this question out to the American public, I thought, among much else, about the devastation and contamination the U.S. military has wrought on our deserts and coastal waters over the last seven decades by testing weapons — both nuclear and conventional — and playing, good God, war games; and then, sooner or later, by disposing of its obsolete toxins, usually with zero concern for the environmental safety of the surrounding area, whether it be in Iraq orLouisiana. Because the military is what it is, neither EPA regulations nor sanity itself usually applies.

For instance, as Dahr Jamail wrote recently at Truthout:

For decades, the U.S. Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in U.S. waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals — including lead and mercury — that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.

Why do we need to worry about ISIS when, as Jamail reports, “the batteries from dead sonobuoys will leach lithium into the water for 55 years”?

And then there’s depleted uranium, the extraordinarily toxic heavy metal the U.S. military loves; DU missiles and shells rip through steel like it was butter. They also spread radioactive contamination across Planet Earth. And they help poison the waters off the Washington-Oregon coast, where the Navy plays its games, just like they poisoned the waters surrounding Vieques, a tropical paradise island off the coast of Puerto Rico, which, as I wrote several years ago, “was commandeered by the U.S. military as a throwaway site for weapons testing” for 62 years. The Navy finally left, but left behind contaminated soil and water and many thousands of live shells that had failed to detonate, along with a legacy of serious health problems for the island’s 10,000 residents.

“They are indeed the largest polluters on Earth,” environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani told Truthout, speaking of the U.S. military, “as they produce more toxic chemicals than the top three U.S. chemical manufacturers combined. Historically, large global ecosystems and significant human food sources have been contaminated by the U.S. military.”

What does it mean to vote for the next commander in chief of the largest polluter on the planet?

I confess that I do not know — at least not in the context of this absurd and superficially debated election, with virtually every serious question or issue pushed to the margins. How do we transcend nationalism and the game of war — the reality of endless war — and engage in securing the safety of the whole planet? How do we acknowledge that this planet is not just “a jumble of insensate stuff, a random melee of subatomic particles” for us to exploit, as Charles Eisestein writes, but a living entity of which we are, crucially, a part? How do we learn to love this planet and one another?

Any potential “commander in chief” who asks lesser questions than these is engaging in a childish game with real guns.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is available at Amazon.com. Contact him atkoehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License and was sourced here from CommonDreams.org

Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art

Read more great articles at Activist Post.

Indigenous Peoples Day Sweeps Nation as Battles Intensify for Native American Rights

On Alcatraz Island, a sunrise ceremony saw hundreds gather to honor the culture of Indigenous peoples and express solidarity with the fight against Dakota Access. (Photo: Fusion/Twitter)

On Alcatraz Island, a sunrise ceremony saw hundreds gather to honor the culture of Indigenous peoples and express solidarity with the fight against Dakota Access. (Photo: Fusion/Twitter)

As the movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day finds success in communities from Phoenix, Arizona to the state of Vermont, the battle for Indigenous rights in the face of industrial development rages on.

In North Dakota, 27 Indigenous water protectors were arrested in Monday’s action to peacefully occupy a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. The arrests at the hands of militarized police came less than a day after a federal court of appeals ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux’s request for an emergency injunction against the controversial pipeline project.

Meanwhile, on Alcatraz Island, a sunrise ceremony saw hundreds gather to honor the culture of Indigenous peoples and express solidarity with the fight against Dakota Access.

“I don’t want to be complacent so I show up every time there is an event for my people,” one Indigenous participant told Fusion.

The scenes of Indigenous solidarity and the battle against the pipeline were ever more resonant as many parts of the country celebrated Columbus Day, which honors the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. To many Indigenous people, Columbus was a harbinger of centuries of slaughter.

Yet the battle for Indigenous rights is gaining traction and visibility: with each passing year, more and more places are abolishing Columbus Day and celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in its place.

“Indigenous Peoples Day represents a shift in consciousness,” Dr. Leo Killsback, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and assistant professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University, told CNN. “It acknowledges that Indigenous peoples and their voices are important in today’s conversations.”

And this year saw Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, proclaim Monday Indigenous Peoples Day, which followed similar proclamations from officials in Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, among nine other U.S. locales.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about Columbus is that he was righteous. The truth is that he was wicked and responsible for the rape and murder of innocent Indigenous people,” Killsback, who pushed for Indigenous Peoples Day in Phoenix, added to CNN.

Meanwhile, activists continue to push for the federal government and public schools to stop celebrating Christopher Columbus: “If we are sincere in our claim that all lives have value,” writes author and high school teacher Bill Bigelow, “then schools need to refuse to honor the first European colonialist of the Americas, the ‘father of the slave trade.'”

“This is not about what went on 500 years ago,” Bigelow adds. “It’s about what’s going on today: an inspiring struggle for rights and dignity.”

9yo Girl Makes Tearful Appeal To End Police Violence In US


Video Source: AU

Young girl Zianna Oliphant delivers an emotional testimony to the Charlotte city council after the fatal police shooting of 43-year-old African American man Keith Scott, saying, ‘We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.’

Zianna also said that African Americans are treated differently from other people in the US.

Officers claim Scott was armed, but his family say he was simply reading a book when he was shot.

Related Posts: 

The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars (Including Police Brutality & Shootings)

Thousands March in St. Louis Demanding Justice, End to Police Violence