To the editor:

I unapologetically stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indigenous people of North and South Dakota and other native and non-native people who are protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL as it is called. This pipeline will go through native lands and under the Missouri River down through Iowa and into Illinois. We do not want or need this oil pipeline.

The people have a right to protect their land and water against corporations and corrupt politicians to push through an unnecessary pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s treaty land and despite Standing Rock’s lack of consent.

I respect and honor the sovereignty and right to self-determination of Standing Rock and all native nations. I fully recognize the necessity of their right to refuse consent for any development or exploitation of land and water in their territories, from Oak Flat, Ariz., to Mauna Kea, Hawaii. I am painfully conscious of the ongoing poverty and genocide experienced by indigenous people both on and off reservations.

Oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels are dirty and pollute the air, rivers, lakes and streams. Because of pollution in the environment, people suffer health problems like heart disease, respiratory issues and skin problems. We need to work to find other resources for energy. Oil pipelines have a history of leaking and when they leak into the ground water, it is polluted and there is no way of fully cleaning it up.

Finally, we need to work to end fracking and oil pipelines everywhere. Also, if everyone was united in revolutionary struggle, only then can we overturn the rapacious corporate greed of capitalism. People also need to realize that the United States is nothing more than a colonial-settler state that carried out the worst genocide and enslavement ever of Indigenous people and African people since its founding. Today, slavery still exists. However, it is called, ‘Wage Slavery.’

Brandon Harris


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