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    Jane Fonda Serves Thanksgiving Meal to Standing Rock Water-Defenders

    Jane Fonda Serves Thanksgiving Meal to Standing Rock Water-Defenders

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    Thanksgiving, a painful time for many Native Americans, did not halt ongoing protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, and demonstrators were served an “appreciation dinner” by noted Hollywood film actor Jane Fonda.

    The actor helped to serve a turkey feast for some 500 of the self-described water defenders. Her gesture was met with skepticism from some.

    “What is the narrative there? ‘Oh, we want to help the poor Indians on Thanksgiving of all days?’” Kandi Mosset, 37, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations who has been at Standing Rock since August, asked The Guardian.

    “We’re trying to make people understand that we don’t need celebrities to come and feed us and get a photo op and just leave,” she added.

    Actor Shailene Woodley, who has been a vocal advocate against the pipeline, also helped serve the meals.

    Since 1970, the United American Indians of New England has held a “National Day of Mourning” each Thanksgiving, over the genocide of Native American people.

    Approximately 300 activists were out protesting on Thursday, near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation in North Dakota, and were met by roughly 50 police officers.

    "Given what we are currently fighting against, Thanksgiving is not really a celebration for us," Native American protester Dallas Goldtooth told ABC News.

    Many social media users also posted about the significance of Native Americans being subjected to brutality by representatives of the US government during the holiday season. “For Thanksgiving, Obama will pardon a turkey, but won’t step in to protect Native Americans?” one widely-shared image noted.

    "What our ancestors went through 200 years ago, in a way we are kind of going through the same struggle. What is happening in North Dakota is just a mere continuation of 500 years of colonization," Goldtooth said.

    The approximately 1,200-mile oil pipeline is intended to transport some 450,000 barrels of oil per day across the Missouri River and other sensitive ecological habitats. Opponents point out that a spill will be catastrophic, as the river supplies water to millions of people.

    According to Standing Rock leaders, the $3.8-billion pipeline being constructed by Energy Transfer Partners will also ruin sacred sites near the tribe's reservation.

    Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, and many have been injured by flash grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons used in subfreezing weather.

    Though the protesters do not celebrate Thanksgiving, they do use the day to celebrate their families and each other.

    “We don’t think of it as celebrating Thanksgiving, we think of it as a federal holiday where we get to spend time with family, and family is important to us,” Dave Archambault, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council told The Guardian.

    “Every day is just another day,” Archambault said about the significance of Thanksgiving. “We just have to keep moving forward and fight for our rights.”

    Related:

    Hundreds Protest Against Dakota Pipeline on Thanksgiving
    Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters 'Disappointed' With Obama's Inaction
    Sioux Tribe Head Urges Obama to Stop North Dakota Access Pipeline After Clashes
    Police Defend Water Cannon Use on Dakota Access Protesters in Freezing Weather
    At Least 167 Injured in Clashes With Police Over Dakota Pipeline Construction
    Tags:
    Dakota Access Pipeline, Protest, Thanksgiving, Standing Rock Sioux, United American Indians of New England, Standing Rock, Jane Fonda, North Dakota
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      The worst aspect of the pipeline is not being addressed by anyone. It mirrors a similar malicious and clandestine strategy which is being perpetrated by the windfarm developers.

      This is a legal phenomenon and tool for expropriating other people's land called "right-of-way" which is based on the legal and government-defensible principle of "eminent domain." It works like this: whether building a windfarm, railway line, or a pipeline, and given the government approves these physical developments, the builders of these structures are granted provisional ownership of the land, not only which the buildings rest upon but also rights to development which they can assign or even rent or, lease or ultimately sell to developers of projects like housing boondoggles, heavy industrial development, landfull developers, or scrap traders.

      Therefore the biggest threat of this pipeline constitutes not "merely" the potential of an environmnetal disaster but the fact that if building goes ahead the locals lose soverignty over their land's development in increments and ultimately altogether.

      This strategy is best explained in low-impact and entertaining form in a 2013 film called The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp which film is concerned with how an evil railroad line owner manipulates right-of-way and eminent domain to the point of even calling in the U.S. Army as his enforcers to impose dominance & political viability of silver mining interests he also owns as his railroad company services those mines. All this chicanery was made possible through the simple legal form-filling of filing for right-of-way.

      The movie understates the case, too. Anyone conducting a light review of American railroad history in the 19th century will obviate the extent of the threat posed by this pipeline.

      It has always been incomprehensible to me that the U.S. government and industry feel so free to harass the First Nations of North America to get what they want almost to the exclusion of all other distinct ethnic groups when fully 50% of Native American males have served in the U.S. military. Not only have the Tribes owned the land upon which they walk since before recorded history began, they have paid for that land in blood through defending their oppressor's financial and political interests at the point of their bayonets since the 19th century. They have earned the right to do as they wish with that land.

      It would have been far wiser and even cheaper for the pipeline developers to have struck a deal to lease an easement from the owners for the railroad right of way through the state. The pipeline could then be properly trenched next to the rail line which has been in place for at least 100 years. As any civil engineer will tell you, after several thousand train runs down the rails over a plot of land, that ground is fully compacted to the point that it is the most stable earth geotechnically to be found: railbeds typically withstand flooding and even aerial bombardment if they are old railbeds. Also the railroad easement gambit would allow of no further underwater development to be required which I believe is the main issue here.

    • avatar
      seanrkearney
      Jane Fonda was always a good person who stands up for whats right. Bravo once again......
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