As you probably know by now, the Standing Rock Sioux have been engaged in a protest against the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which will destroy sacred sites, and pose a huge ecological risk that extends to potentially poisoning their water supply.
The original crowdfunding goal was modest: $5,000, enough to help a few dozen people camping in North Dakota to protest the nearby construction of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The fund has since exceeded $1 million.
The FundRazr campaign is one of several cash streams that have provided at least $3 million US so far to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those opposing the nearly 1,900 km pipeline. It may also give protesters the ability to prolong their months-long encampments that have attracted thousands of supporters, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pursues the fight in court.
And as the number of arrests increased last week, so did contributions — we saw a huge surge of donations between Thursday and Sunday alone. Over $1.2 million has been raised in under 90 days by the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp.
“There is a deep history of violence against Native communities in the United States, much of which revolves around rights over land. Indigenous communities were here first, but have struggled to maintain their rights to that land through a long history of violence and genocide. Understanding the importance of land rights, respect and preservation in Native communities is the first step to standing in solidarity with the movement at Standing Rock.
The pipeline is not only a threat to the environment and water where the Indigenous communities live. It’s representative of a longer struggle against white expansion into Native territory without consent. The initial mainstream silence around the struggle at Standing Rock — though now breaking, as media attention grows — has also been reflective of the silence around Indigenous genocide in classrooms around the nation, according to many Native communities.
Indigenous communities are at the center of the conversation around the Dakota Access Pipeline for a reason. They have long been defenders of the environment, deeply invested in curbing climate change and preserving the nation’s land. This investment in environmental protection has historical roots that need to be respected — especially now.” – Katie Dupere, Mashable
In addition to the Freshet Collective’s campaign, the Red Owl Legal Collective is also raising funds for the legal defense relating to the protests. Red Owl Legal Collective is the nonprofit legal organization on-site at the #NoDAPL resistance camps. They work in partnership with the National Lawyers Guild to coordinate criminal and civil litagtion, serving the #NoDAPL water protectors.