We are sharing the daily accounts of a 350 Mass Cambridge member and friend who are at Standing Rock providing medical support to water protectors after Standing Rock's eviction yesterday. You can read their perspective here on our blog and on the 350 Mass Facebook page.
A veteran's perspective
By Susan Labandibar and Robert Master
Setting up the medical aid tent today at a camp just a mile from Oceti Sakowin seemed all too familiar, although it has been over forty years since I waited back at the fire base for corpsman to bring back the wounded. For many of the younger veterans in my group, the scene at Oceti Sakowin might evoke war memories still hauntingly fresh.
One such veteran stopped into the medical tent tonight. Remi Bald Eagle says he has seen the oppressive effects of U.S. government policy from both sides. As a Native American, his civil and human rights were systematically violated by the U.S. government. As a member of the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan, he became aware that the Afghan people were being subjected to the same forms of oppression his people had experienced. Not willing to continue in his role of oppressor, he left the U.S. military after 22 years and became an Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator for the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe. Despite years of honorable military service, when his tribe opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline, he was once again forced to confront an arrogant US. government that made promises it would not keep.
For Remi Bald Eagle, the return of the veterans to help defend treaty rights and tribal sovereignty over Native American land has restored his pride in being a U.S. Army veteran. And for many veterans who come to Standing Rock, including me, supporting the Sioux in their struggle against Big Oil interests has put them, for once, on the right side of a conflict. And that has been very healing.
We're still deeply immersed in the Oceti Sakowin eviction process. The last chapter of this story has not yet been written. More to come tomorrow.
We received this update at 11pm last night (2/21) from a 350 Mass Cambridge member who is at Standing Rock providing medical support to water protectors who are facing eviction if not evacuated from Sacred Stone camp by 2pm today. We will continue to share these updates on this blog and on our Facebook page as we receive them. Please hold the water protectors at Standing Rock in your thoughts today.
The eviction at Standing Rock is set for 2:00PM 2/22
By Robert Master and Susan Labandibar
The weather forecast for 2:00PM tomorrow at Standing Rock Reservation is 37 degrees with a 33% chance of rain or snow. The forecast for what will transpire at Camp Aceti Sakowin is far less certain. At 2:00PM, Water Protectors will be given a choice of boarding last-chance buses to avoid arrest or staying and facing the music. Medics and corpsmen will be deployed close to the camp with a medical aid station less than a mile away all the needed medical support that is possible.
Please keep the last residents of Oceti Sakowin in your hearts and prayers tomorrow.
On January 28th, 350 Mass held a training in Boston on strategies for engagement in the struggle for climate justice. In a packed house, we learned how to welcome new members, push for bills in the state legislature, and work for 100% Renewable Cities. Participants energetically asked questions and proposed solutions to challenges within the climate justice movement, from how to organize for climate in red states, to how diversify the constituency of 350 Mass.
Under this new administration, the worst fears of many are coming true, and that is no different for the climate movement and the members of 350 Mass. As truth and science is questioned, the independent communication of National Parks is undermined, and the possibility of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines is renewed, we need the fight for climate justice to be as strong as ever! If you want to be part of this fight, our trainings will equip you and connect you to like-minded people.
Our next training will be held in Pittsfield, MA at the UU Church (175 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield MA) Sign up here for the training: https://goo.gl/OHup3B.
If you’re interested in participating in future trainings, keep an eye out on the website for updates on when they are happening! Additional trainings are planned for the Boston area and the South Coast soon. If you’re in the Boston area, you can fill out this form to express interest in participating: https://goo.gl/uXWEzM.