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Carls journey to ND to support DAPL protests

Over the weekend, 34 students drove to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to participate in the ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run 1,172 miles from the Bakkens and Three Forks areas of North Dakota to Illinois.

According to Riley Irish ’19, the students came together organically and without the support of campus organizations, planning the trip with their own money and donations.

In advance of the trip, students set up a winter clothing drive and raised money through Venmo to buy non-perishable goods. “The protesters are preparing for winter, so we went to help them with this process,” Jack Hardwick ’19 said.

“This is a chance not only to fight a key battle in the climate justice movement but also a time to fight the forces of settler colonialism still at work in our own society. By attending this protest, I hope to be a part of the effort to promote tribal sovereignty and resistance,” Irish said. “I am very aware of the way my positionality and identity have been complicit in the continual oppression of indigenous communities within North America, and I hope that by visiting the camp I can help make a tiny shift away from the current cultural structures of domination.”

As one of the writers of the CSA resolution in solidarity with the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, Irish explained that going to Standing Rock was a natural step for him.

“The resolution increased visibility because when we wrote it, this protest was not being covered in the media enough,” he said. “Going to the protest is about me personally taking a stand for climate justice and indigenous rights.”

Similarly, Liz Moore ’20 said, “I feel strongly that the pipeline should not be built, so I went to show support for this very important issue.”

Hardwick travelled to protest climate change and the role of the U.S. government. “I feel that the way the government is responding to the protesters is contradictory to the rights we have in this country, and I want to fight against this.”

While at Standing Rock, students sorted through donations and helped build a school out of a large tent, according to Derin Arduman ’19. Some students also attended sessions about activism and recent protests and marches.

“It was very eye opening and scary to see what protesters are going through,” said Moore. “It seemed to be much more brutal than what has been covered in the media.”

To explain the atmosphere of Standing Rock, Arduman and Moore discussed the Forgiveness March, which took place Sunday. For this demonstration, protesters walked to the police station to tell the police that they forgave them for arresting people from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

“People held hands, prayed and sang songs,” Moore said.”It was really powerful even to an outsider who hasn’t been personally involved in the conflict.”

Arduman said, “When a woman described the Forgiveness March, she talked about how we should face hatred with love and nonviolence and not become what are oppressors are. I think that really describes the vibe the Standing Rock community had. When I was walking around, people were looking into each others eyes in solidarity, and we were connected.”

For Arduman, this sense of connection is what has stuck with her since leaving Standing Rock.

“I loved seeing humans hug each other and look into each other’s eyes,” she said. “This was a very healing experience. It was very different from my life here at Carleton. If I could describe it in one word, it was very human — what humanity should be.”

“I came away thinking that it’s not about stopping the pipeline but about how they’re doing it,” Moore said. “It’s about the journey. Even if they build the pipeline, we’ve won, which I now 100 percent agree with after seeing the passion and commitment at Standing Rock.

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