“Do You Hear the People Sing?”: What the Temporary Victory and Battle Ahead Mean for the Standing Rock Sioux

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

All those who have been watching the ongoing protests in South Dakota rejoiced Sunday when “the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would seek alternative routes for the pipeline. The ‘water protectors’ and their supporters sang, drummed and cheered in triumph.”

After a year that had been filled with defeat for many, an ever-looming sense of hopelessness in our government, and a lack of justice and disappointment in our fellow Americans, Sunday’s victory served to refuel all those involved in the protest with hope. After months of being ignored by the media and politicians, this victory speaks to the idea that hard work and perseverance by like-minded individuals can fight systems of hatred and injustice.

However, many are describing Sunday’s events with the following statement: “We’ve won the battle, but not the war.” One reason is that President-Elect Trump has expressed support for the pipeline, although it is not yet clear whether he’ll follow through and retaliate against the decision made by the current administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Second, construction of the pipeline has already been completed, and many fear that drilling will begin in a different location.

Perhaps most importantly, although the protests worked (for now anyway), this small victory does not take away from the discrimination and bigotry faced everyday by groups like the Standing Rock Sioux. If anything, this protest, through the harrowing images of water cannons and military forces being used against the Standing Rock Sioux and those who stood in solidarity with them, brought to light the marginalization of Native Americans, and reminds us that the crimes of our forefathers that are too often glossed over in history books still continue today.

But we have hope. Hope because we are more aware, hope that six or nine months ago, a victory like this would not have been possible and ironically, may have been aided because there are so many in today’s political climate who are willing to fight against injustice in protest of the election. So yes, we need to remain in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and all those who are living in fear. Let this be the reminder we need right now of what we can do, together.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog

Support Charities Always, But Especially During Holidays

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

Instead of writing about Trump’s latest Twitter fight, debating the vote recount Jill Stein has organized or discussing the latest Trump Administration Cabinet Appointee, this week is about putting our politics into action.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or even Festivus, it is the season of giving and after everything that’s happened in the political arena this year, why not get into the spirit of the season by supporting the political and social action organizations that are near and dear to you?

Below are examples of organizations that help groups that are especially threatened in today’s political climate. 

img_0032-1

Support the Standing Rock Sioux Fight the Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access is proposing a 1,134-mile-long crude oil pipeline through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois that will threaten the air, water, land, property rights and climate of the Standing Rock Sioux. It is proposed to go through tribal lands — lands that belong to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, as stated in a treaty with the United States. The U.S. government has no right to hand over this land to a private oil company.”

Oxfam America

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. “With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources including food, water, and land. We help people save lives in disasters, build stronger futures for themselves, and hold the powerful accountable.” 

Labels Are For Jars

“Labels Are For Jars is a dynamic and exciting undertaking that raises money to operate the Cor Unum Meal Center, which feeds hungry people living in Lawrence, MA, one of the poorest cities in the United States. Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to feed as many hungry people as possible. To do so, we have designed a thought-provoking black t-shirt, which in addition to looking great, helps to undermine societal labeling. The shirt is adorned with a commonly used negative label on the chest.” Currently available labels are “addict,”“geek,” “homeless,” “jock,” “mentally ill,” “minority,” “pacifist,” “prisoner,” “rock star,” “slacker” and “troubled teen.” Additionally, “all shirts have our ‘Labels Are For Jars’ logo across the back.”

Be an Elf

“You can read real letters to Santa from needy kids, take home one or more that move you, and send your gifts directly to the children who wrote the letters. There’s no middle man or charity; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child, when you volunteer in this way. You’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.”

Heifer Project International

Attachment-1.jpeg

Photo courtesy of Heifer International

“Heifer International works with communities in need around the world to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Your gift will give families the resources and training they need to lift themselves from hunger and poverty. Give them a gift that will truly makes a difference.”

Planned Parenthood

“A donation to the organization would help keep clinics open and make crucial information available to the public, and support preventative healthcare for women, with the proceeds shared between the local affiliate and the wider federal group.”

Center for Reproductive Rights

“The center aims to legally advocate for reproductive rights, including access to birth control, safe abortion procedures and unbiased sources of information.

Natural Resources Defense Council

“The NRDC group works to safeguard communities across the globe, pushing for environmental laws that help protect the ecosystem.”

International Refugee Assistance Project

Supporting the IRAP will ensure refugees get the legal support they need.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Supporting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund will protect minorities’ civil rights.

The Trevor Project

Provides resources for LGBT individuals and offer suicide prevention services.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

MALDEF seeks to help Mexican Americans and support them in legal issues.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

On the 12th Day of Christmas a Stranger Gave to Me…Support for These 12 Charities

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

money-652560_1280-1

Instead of writing about Trump’s latest Twitter fight, debating the vote recount Jill Stein has organized or discussing the latest Trump Administration Cabinet Appointee, this week is about putting our politics into action.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or even Festivus, it is the season of giving and after everything that’s happened in the political arena this year, why not get into the spirit of the season by supporting the political and social action organizations that are near and dear to you?

Below are examples of organizations that help groups that are especially threatened in today’s political climate. 

img_0032-1

Support the Standing Rock Sioux Fight the Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access is proposing a 1,134-mile-long crude oil pipeline through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois that will threaten the air, water, land, property rights and climate of the Standing Rock Sioux. It is proposed to go through tribal lands — lands that belong to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, as stated in a treaty with the United States. The U.S. government has no right to hand over this land to a private oil company.”

Oxfam America

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. “With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources including food, water, and land. We help people save lives in disasters, build stronger futures for themselves, and hold the powerful accountable.” 

Labels Are For Jars

“Labels Are For Jars is a dynamic and exciting undertaking that raises money to operate the Cor Unum Meal Center, which feeds hungry people living in Lawrence, MA, one of the poorest cities in the United States. Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to feed as many hungry people as possible. To do so, we have designed a thought-provoking black t-shirt, which in addition to looking great, helps to undermine societal labeling. The shirt is adorned with a commonly used negative label on the chest.” Currently available labels are “addict,”“geek,” “homeless,” “jock,” “mentally ill,” “minority,” “pacifist,” “prisoner,” “rock star,” “slacker” and “troubled teen.” Additionally, “all shirts have our ‘Labels Are For Jars’ logo across the back.”

Be an Elf

“You can read real letters to Santa from needy kids, take home one or more that move you, and send your gifts directly to the children who wrote the letters. There’s no middle man or charity; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child, when you volunteer in this way. You’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.”

Heifer Project International

Attachment-1.jpeg

Photo courtesy of Heifer International

“Heifer International works with communities in need around the world to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Your gift will give families the resources and training they need to lift themselves from hunger and poverty. Give them a gift that will truly makes a difference.”

Planned Parenthood

“A donation to the organization would help keep clinics open and make crucial information available to the public, and support preventative healthcare for women, with the proceeds shared between the local affiliate and the wider federal group.”

Center for Reproductive Rights

“The center aims to legally advocate for reproductive rights, including access to birth control, safe abortion procedures and unbiased sources of information.

Natural Resources Defense Council

“The NRDC group works to safeguard communities across the globe, pushing for environmental laws that help protect the ecosystem.”

International Refugee Assistance Project

Supporting the IRAP will ensure refugees get the legal support they need.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Supporting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund will protect minorities’ civil rights.

The Trevor Project

Provides resources for LGBT individuals and offer suicide prevention services.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

MALDEF seeks to help Mexican Americans and support them in legal issues.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

Checking In to a Cause: Facebook Check-Ins and Standing Rock

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

You may have noticed that this week brought a particular trend to your Facebook news feed: most likely, you witnessed several of your friends “checking in” to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota in an effort to support the Sioux who are protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Primary arguments against the pipeline include that if it were to break it would have tremendous negative impact on the surrounding environment, that construction of the pipeline feeds into enormous corporate greed, and that the path of the pipeline goes straight through sacred Sioux land. This is a group of people who have long-suffered injustice at the hands of the U.S. Government — the pipeline is just the latest example.

After harsh criticism towards the police who had so far responded and made arrests in the midst of this peaceful protest, word spread Monday that the local police in Standing Rock were using Facebook check-ins to aide in their arrests of those protesting the pipeline.

Therefore, in a Facebook campaign that spread across the country, news feeds across America filled with check ins at Standing Rock. Participants were urged to post a separate clarifying message to their Facebook friends to explain why they had checked in at Standing Rock, spread word of the effort and keep the check-ins coming in.

Since the Facebook campaign began, conflicting reports about whether or not police in North Dakota had been monitoring the check-ins began to emerge, yet Facebook continued to see thousands join in.

But does it matter? Whether or not these check-ins have made a direct difference, it has brought awareness to the Sioux Reservation and those standing in solidarity with them in North Dakota. It has reinforced that Facebook and social media can be utilized for more than selfies and the documentation of every meal you’ve ever had. Our inter-connectedness can be used to create positive change as we grow more aware of our neighbors that may be in need of our support.

Is there more we can do? Yes. Educate yourself about these and all political issues, support environmental protection and preservation and donate if you are able.

In the most tumultuous political climate any of us can remember, remember to stay checked in, both literally and emotionally, to what is happening around you.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.