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We Stand With Standing Rock

At Friends of Sabeel North America, we know that settler colonialism depends on the exploitation of land and natural resources to the detriment of indigenous communities. Our society has been quick to forget that this country was founded on the death of millions of Native peoples. As a Christian organization, we acknowledge the horrendous role of Christian missionaries in this violation. Today, we see you, the Sioux nation and members of the other 280 Native American tribes who have joined you to protect the water of the Missouri River and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, taking a stand for all life, the embodiment of resilience. As the Israeli occupation continues, Palestinian land is stolen, ancient olive trees are uprooted, and blood is shed, your struggle inspires our work and we redouble our efforts to witness and nonviolently resist. We stand in full support of indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. 

We see G4S, the same corporation profiting off the imprisonment of Palestinian children, standing between you and the land you are trying to protect. We watch the videos of Caterpillar bulldozers ripping up the earth at Standing Rock to pipe oil for money, risking the health of future generations. These same bulldozers destroy hundreds of thousands of olive trees in occupied Palestine, making life for Palestinian farmers impossible and forcing them to take work in Israeli settlements to support their families.

We want you to know that you are not alone. Just as we stand with our sisters and brothers in Palestine, we stand with you and recognize your struggle. We condemn any theft of land, resources, or livelihood of indigenous communities -- especially those that destroy God's creation and the delicate balance of human and environmental ecology. We hope that the delegation of Palestinians with you in Standing Rock will strengthen your resolve and that together you will protect the sacred for generations to come.  

Though we welcomed the Obama administration’s announcement that construction on the pipeline must halt until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act can be evaluated, we were outraged by yesterday’s violence. Once again private security contractors, such as those that operate in Palestine, met peaceful protesters with their guns drawn and pointed at the protectors. The day ended with over 20 arrests. We encourage all supporters of Friends of Sabeel North America to take immediate action by: 

1. Contributing to the bail fund for indigenous activists arrested in yesterday’s protests and/or the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund.  

2. Signing the Pledge of Resistance and Standing Rock Youth petition.

3. Call or e-mail Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, and Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army Corp of Engineers. Find details and a sample e-mail here.