The day before Thanksgiving, the founder of WatchTheYard.com drove to Standing Rock to show solidarity and support with the water protectors and to find how to best use the Watch The Yard platform to foster support for their movement from the Black community and in particular, find ways that members of Black fraternities/sororities from across the nation can help “protect the Water Protectors.”
After driving for hours to get to North Dakota, he arrived and visited the three camps and talked with people there about the best ways to support their cause. Using their advice, he has created the following list of ways that Black fraternity and sorority members can show their support for this cause even if they can’t afford to make a trip to North Dakota.
Not everyone has the means or ability to travel to Standing Rock to physically stand with the water protectors, but these are straight forward and simple ways for ANYONE looking to contribute to this cause from where they are. As socially engaged people of color- we need to build coalitions. These punitive and aggressive relationships with law enforcement and corporations affect all of us. Flint still doesn’t have clean water– these issues disproportionately affect black and brown people. Let’s stand together, this is how.
The biggest camp and the one closest to the action is the Oceti Sakowin Camp, this camp contains many of the people you see on the news on the front lines getting attacked. This camp keeps an updated list of supplies that they need which includes things like blankets, winter sleeping bags, sleeping mats, cots, insulated gloves, work gloves, and propane. “Winter is coming and we’ve already seen these people get sprayed with water cannons in freezing weather. It is cold there so sending these things help a lot,” Jonathan said. “If your fraternity/sorority chapter or student group is looking for ways to help, creating a quick warm weather supplies drive is something that you could do to show that you support the water protectors and help them out.”
You can send the supplies to: Oceti Sakowin Camp, P.O. Box 298, Cannon Ball, North Dakota 58528
If you want to act even faster, the Oceti Sakowin Camp also accepts money and these guys need it. A great idea for alumni chapters especially would be to send pool up some cash and send it on behalf of your alumni or undergrad chapter. This can be done easily by clicking on this PayPal link or by sending a check to Oceti Sakowin Camp, P.O. Box 298, Cannon Ball, North Dakota 58528.
This money can go a long way and will definitely help.
Call out the media when you see that they are ignoring what is happening
If you see that the media are ignoring what is going on or distorting the facts, comment, post, write letters and call them. There have been many issues with major media outlets not telling the full story or totally ignoring what is going on in Standing Rock.
Sign this petition to President Obama
The petition which was written by the tribe to Obama states:
“You’ve said that you value native sovereignty and now you’ve proven that you can halt the Dakota Access Pipeline. Please respect Indigenous lives, their sacred waters and our precious climate and permanently reject this pipeline.”
Do your part by sharing this on Facebook with members of black fraternities and sororities.
(The pictures in this article were taken by WatchTheYard.com with a press pass that was given to WatchTheYard.com photographer Gyasi Jones by the Oceti Sakowin Camp.)