Standing Rock

This is what it looks like on the front line of the fossil fuel industry in 2016. As water protectors at Standing Rock attempted to remove burned-out trucks that had been blocking the bridge, police attacked them with tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon in subzero temperatures, seriously injuring many. Reports suggest 300 people were injured and 27 needed hospital treatment.

Sophia Wilansky, a 21 year old activist from New York, had her arm so damaged by a direct hit from a grenade that it was thought it would need to be amputated. Now it seems she may recover some function with multiple surgeries.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been camping on the banks of the Missouri River in April, protesting against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They fear that the pipeline, which is planned to cross under the river less than a mile from the Standing Rock Reservation, will threaten their water. Construction has already disturbed sacred burial grounds.

The 1,172-mile pipeline would stretch from the oil-rich Bakken Formation on the border with Canada, southeast into South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. An estimated 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil is believed to be in its US portion, and the pipeline could carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day. We know that we cannot afford to build new fossil fuel infrastructure if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.

The camps are unprecedented in the way in which indigenous peoples from across the US and beyond have come together, but there is nothing new in the denial of indigenous people's land rights - in this one area alone there has been a long history of broken promises.

How can I help?

Action in London: on the 1st December, there is a global day of action to show solidarity to those in Standing Rock.

If you cannot attend an event in person, you can print out these posters and help spread the message.

How to contact the 17 banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline (these include Barclays, HSBC and RBS - see also How to move your money out of fossil fuels).

How to contact the people sending militarized police to Standing Rock.

Donate to the medic and healer council.

Donate to Sophia Wilansky's medical fund.

On Friday 25 November we gathered outside the US embassy to protest Trump's climate denial and send a message of solidarity to Standing Rock.

Keep up to date with the latest news, including UK solidarity events on Facebook.

Photo credit Rob Wilson