How and Why LGBTQIA+ Communities Should Support NoDAPL Protesters
A shining, beautiful beacon of hope has, surprisingly, risen up from the trash and the rubble that was the outcome of the 2016 election: the overwhelming show of support that nearly every marginalized group gave to one another. I have never felt so unified within my own communities and with all others, and with every protest, community event, or meeting that I see or go to I feel better and better about the situation at hand. However, it is going to be important not to let our unity fissure in the next four years.
The solution? The LGBTQIA+ community should do everything that it can to support those who need it the most right now: the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.
When the right to marriage was up in the air, an impressive positive push came from people from other oppressed groups. Again, when activists needed support during #BlackLivesMatter campaigns, LGBTQIA+ communities, Muslims, women’s groups, and a ton of others all came out. Those pushes for equality probably would not have been so successful if they had not garnered support from those having similar experiences under our white, male, cis, and heteronormative culture. It is obvious that we are stronger together, and right now, the Native American Dakota Access Pipeline protesters need it desperately. On November 25th, the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes were given an eviction notice by the Federal Government that stated that they would have to leave the grounds north of the Cannonball River by December 5th. However, the protesters said in a press release from November 26th that they are not going anywhere.
“Our Tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever,” the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe said.
Of course, in order to stand strong through the police attacks and the snowy, freezing Dakota winter, they’re going to need a lot of help. It goes without saying that if you are really inclined and have the resources to do so, the best thing would be to go to North Dakota yourself to join, but as that is very unrealistic, here are some other options. There is a full list of supplies needed on the Sacred Stone Camp’s website, as well as an Amazon wish list if you are feeling generous (the list is pretty pricey). However, it does not cost that much to show your support. The protesters, as stated on the list, would absolutely love to receive your lighters, old walkie-talkies, tarps, and even homemade banners. There are local ways to get involved, too– there are always Stand With Standing Rock events to go to. A good place to check is the Facebook page of an activist group called 350 Bay Area because they always have up and coming protests posted.
In all, the only way we are going to survive Trump’s presidency is if all marginalized groups band and stand together in the face of xenophobia and oppression. The past has proven that we are stronger if we support one another, and hopefully, if we stand with Standing Rock, the outcome of these protests will show just how powerful we can be.
Amelia Henry is a Guest Contributor at InQueery.