Standing Rock – Issue Primer
Learn more about protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)
The Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, answered the call of protest leaders for clergy of all denominations to join peaceful interfaith witness with the indigenous peoples who are protecting the water and land at Standing Rock. Learn more about this here.
The call for peaceful public witness follows acts of violence and intimidation committed against protestors, and the infringement of First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech of both protestors and the Press. Protestors have been subjected to the use of private security firms with attack dogs unleashed against them, the arrest and unusually harsh treatment of protestors by authorities, the use of “less-than-lethal” force weaponry against protestors and journalists , and other acts of intimidation of the press.
Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure may have also been violated through the indiscriminant collection of information on peaceful protestors through the possible use of “stinger” data-capture technology. In response to fears the authorities were tracking protestors through Social Media, more than one million people staged a “mass check-in” at Standing Rock on Facebook.
The context of this conflict includes the displacement of indigenous peoples caused by the settlement of the United States (watch “The True Story of the Colonization of the United States of America”) and non-respect of long-standing treaty rights with the Sioux nation covering the disputed territory.