Standing Rock – a report from a witness

 

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Standing Rock: for the last year, a Sioux Native American community has been fighting a desperate battle in a North Dakota reservation for the protection of the environment and the sacred sites of the tribe. Numerous human rights, social justice and environmental justice organizations, as well as other Native American tribes, have joined the demonstration against the building of the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

Despite police brutality, hundreds of arrests and the complete lack of infrastructure, the organizers were able to maintain the presence of thousands of people at the site for many months. Around an improvised sweat lodge and a couple of recreational vehicles, a massive city of tents emerged with spaces for community life, self-government and activism, as well as cultural events. The camp had its own school, hospital and activist training centre.

Anthony Shields, our guest, is a community organizer in Minneapolis. He studied the operation and logistics of the Standing Rock camp, made a documentary about the activists and organizers and took part in the first action that ended with people being forced into the river. His recording of the police using tear gas and water cannons against the water protectors went viral on social media.

He is currently taking part in a mentor program in Europe which has made inviting him possible. After a presentation, which will give us the opportunity to see some of the photo and video recordings from the site, we will hold a discussion.
The presentation and the discussion will be aided by simultaneous interpretation.

Moderator: Horváth-Kertész Balázs (Byron)