by Eleanor Goldfield
April 1, 2021 – Today, on the 5th anniversary of the founding of Sacred Stone Camp at Standing Rock, water protectors led by Indigenous Youth arrived in DC to demand (not ask) that Biden kill the Line 3 tar sands project, shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline and all other dirty energy projects which threaten the lives and the futures of all.
A prayer run arrived at the Army Corps of Engineers to cheers and applause a little after 11am, at which time a stage was set up for Indigenous water protectors to speak their truths, voice their demands, and make clear their resolute stand in protecting their people, their homelands and future generations. A massive black snake coiled at the entrance of the Army Corps building as Indigenous youth handed over hundreds of thousands of signatures demanding that Line 3 be stopped. The crowd then gathered and marched to Black Lives Matter plaza – as the path outside the White House is still blocked – because you know, freedom. Tripods had been erected that are similar to those you might see blocking train tracks or construction paths.
Connections were made throughout the action between environmental justice, MMIW (missing & murdered indigenous women), indigenous rights, racism, capitalism and colonialism. For instance, one speaker highlighted that only 3% of the world’s population identifies as Indigenous and yet Indigenous peoples represent some 80% of those fighting on the frontlines of environmental justice fights. Moments like these highlighted the powerful intersections of indigenous rights and a livable future, making clear that non-Indigenous peoples need to show up and step up in this fight – climate chaos is already affecting, and will continue to affect us all.
Ultimately, the message was clear: we will not back down. We are not asking, we are telling. Stop Line 3. Because we will not move.
A few videos from the action are available via this twitter thread and the above images are available to use free of charge, for credit: Eleanor Goldfield/Art Killing Apathy. If you’d like hi-res versions, please contact me at eleanor(at)artkillingapathy.com