In the wake of an election that left many (or most, if you’re looking at popular vote totals) distraught for the future, we are left with one monumentally important question:
What are we gonna do about it?
Remember, the water protectors need more than just social media posts.
This is the first in a series of quick guides on how to help marginalized groups that will likely be impacted by a Trump presidency and a Republican legislature. We who hold privilege — by merit of being white, cisgender, straight, of prosperous upbringing, or some other trait — have not the opportunity, not the responsibility, but the moral imperative to stand up for those less privileged than ourselves.
To get started, here is a compilation of ideas suggested in thinkpieces, online activist forums, and the Standing Rock community itself. This list isn’t even close to exhaustive — there are as many ways to be an activist as there are activists. Keep brainstorming, and keep checking in with groups like the Sacred Stone Camp to find out how supporters can be the most helpful.
Educate yourself on the issues facing the Standing Rock Tribe. Then, educate your friends and the people you interact with! Remember, the water protectors need more than just Facebook posts about the protests. That said, though, using social media to start conversations about DAPL in your own community is a great way to raise awareness and gain support for the movement.
Donations money and items
Donate camp supplies directly to the protesters. As one local protester reminded us, “We know this place can’t handle many more people… Resources are stretched. Our community does not have a lot of money.” Consider organizing a donation drive or shipping items yourself. Lists of needed items, like the one featured pictured in this article, can be found on the websites of tribes and groups at Standing Rock.
Check out the Sacred Stone Camp’s Amazon wishlist to find specific items the protectors need — this way you don’t have to go to the trouble of shipping!
Or contribute money to the Sacred Stone Camp’s legal fund to help the people who have been arrested during the protests. The camp also has a general GoFundMe if you prefer to donate money that will go to food and other operational supplies.
Donating directly to the camp saves them processing fees. Also good if you don’t feel comfortable donating on platforms like GoFundMe that are not authenticated.
Get in touch with President Obama. Call the White House at 1-888-369-5791 and demand that the President revoke DAPL’s building permits. While you probably won’t get to talk to Barry himself, the White House collects and tallies the opinions it receives from constituents, and these are frequently used to inform policy. Add your name to the roster to demonstrate that people from every ethnic and geographic corner of America support the protesters at Standing Rock.
Similarly, give Governor Jack Dalrymple a call asking him to halt progress on the pipeline. Reach his office at 701-328-2200.
Or go straight to the Army Corps of Engineers. Express your disagreement with the Army’s approval of the building permits at 202-761-5903.
Support politicians and policies that protect indigenous peoples and our natural resources. Disregard for Native American life is not isolated to DAPL, nor are the risks of oil dependency. Keep your finger on the pulse of local politics and show up to volunteer for politicians and policies you believe in. Stand up for Standing Rock by standing up for yourself, your community, and under-represented politicians, all by performing your civic duty!
It’s going to be a hard four years, but that doesn’t mean they have to be fruitless. I’m working on shaping my anger and sadness into action; I hope you’ll join me.
Images via Stand With Standing Rock.