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Standing with Standing Rock

Cindy Matthews among Day of Action Protesters at Marathon Petroleum Headquarters - "I'm a Human not a Robot. I need Water not Oil" - Chloe, aged 3
Written by Cindy A Matthews


One presidential candidate is facing arrest.

No, it’s not Hillary Clinton, although, with her track record, it’s understandable if you thought I was referring to her. This candidate faces arrest because she committed an act of civil disobedience. She did so to stand in solidarity with the water protectors of Standing Rock Reservation in their protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She did so without thought of monetary gain for herself or a personal foundation.

Jill Stein of the Green Party is facing misdemeanor charges for spray painting the words, “I approve this message,” on the blade of a bulldozer that, earlier, had been used to bulldoze a sacred Sioux burial site. She did so along with others expressing their outrage at the loss of their sacred burial site and then being attacked by dogs handled by private mercenaries, who also sprayed the activists with pepper spray.

By traveling to Sioux land and standing beside a beleaguered community, Dr. Stein rises head and shoulders above her competitors for the White House. By risking arrest and taking time out to visit a remote corner of North Dakota, populated by an often-forgotten, marginalized minority, Jill Stein demonstrated she cares more about her fellow human beings than her own safety.

Can anyone truly say the same of any of the remaining candidates? What statement did Clinton, Trump or Johnson release the day the attack dogs bit a pregnant woman and sent a child to the hospital? How did these candidates show they stood with the residents of Standing Rock? Short answer: There were zero statements of support made by these three individuals. None of the three seem to worry about the quality of drinking water for 18 million Americans living along the Missouri River, let alone show concern for the health and safety of the Sioux.

Besides Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka (also given an arrest warrant for spray painting), only one other former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, has expressed solidarity with the peoples of Standing Rock. Bernie issued a release stating:

“Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Regardless of the court’s decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped. As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline.”

The Sioux have suffered immensely at the hands of the government. The United States Army in 1863 attacked and killed three hundred peaceful men, women, and children at Whitestone Hill. The descendants of the survivors of the massacre eventually migrated west, settling in what is now the Standing Rock Reservation. On the 153rd anniversary of the Whitestone Massacre, the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline used bulldozers to destroy one of the tribe’s sacred gravesites. This burial site had been identified only recently and was brought to the attention of a federal judge in order to ask for a stay on pipeline construction to give the tribe time to study and survey the site.

The Dakota Access Pipeline builders used the information provided to the court to locate and destroy the sacred site. It begs two questions: how complicit was the federal government in once again hurting a peaceful people and how can any voter continue to trust a government run by a duopoly that puts the profits of a private pipeline corporation above the health, safety and culture of its own citizens?

Jill Stein was willing to risk arrest to stand in solidarity with Native Americans confronted by paid mercenaries who used pepper spray and biting dogs on unarmed water protectors. Only Jill Stein made the trip to Indian country to listen to the concerns of the people of Standing Rock. Only Jill Stein deserves Americans to stand by her with their vote this November.


Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues–The Bernie Blog:


  • Three major oil pipeline spills in one week in the US:

    Why we need to be focusing on green energy and getting away from the dinosaur that is Big Oil. The people at Standing Rock are right on the money. You can’t drink oil, but once you destroy your water supply, you’re dead. I guess that’s what those rich white dudes want–more dead Indians. It’s why we need to vote the selfish bastards out. Vote for a sane and healthier future–vote Green! #jillstein2016

  • Sweet crude – yum! Sounds real good – Except you can’t drink the s**t. You can’t eat the money made off it. All this pipeline will do is pollute the water for 18 million Americans in all the towns and cities downstream of it. You think you’re patriotic? None of that oil is for domestic use. Why are you spoiling your own country for the sake of China’s oil consumption? If you think the DAPL will lead to permanent jobs worth a spit, think again. A handful of specialists will be brought in to set it all up, a few local laborers will get a few months’ work. The oil will flow for a few months, maybe a couple of years, and run out, leaving a corrupted landscape and poisoned water. That’s it. Show’s over. Don’t force your selfish, profligate and polluting values on the rest of mankind. It’s a stupid animal that fouls its own nest. We have one planet, and we all have to live on it.

  • So, you don’t drink water or breathe air? You don’t mind increasing temps and storms and rising sea levels? You’re going to eat and drink “sweet crude” for the next thousand years? Yeah…. right. You’re so self-centerd and thinking of your big gas-guzzler pick’em up truck that you can’t even contemplate that there’s something much more important, much bigger than your puny minds can comprehend. We’re destroying our planet with fossil fuel burning. Why are we wasting time and resources on it in the year 2016? There are cleaner alternatives that won’t put the Missouri River at risk.

    Humanity–it’s about taking care of people. She’s not dissin’ you but asking do you ever consider the health and safety of your fellow human beings first before your big ol’ pick’em up truck. Get honest with yourself–you sound pretty self-centered to this good ol’ boy. Even I know that the Earth has finite resources and we’re destroying it with fossil fuels burning. You need to get off your silly teenage butts and get out into the real world and see how people are suffering and how we’re polluting our environment. It seems it’s not only pigs who live in their own filth.

  • C’mon Cindy Back off! Why do you have to question someone’s humanity because they have a different opinion than yours? Your article loses it’s power when you resort to a response like that.

    • Don’t be so hard on Cindy, she’s just towing the liberal line. If someone disagrees with you, just attack them personally ! I refuse to reply to her frantic raive and hope you don’t mind my setting some things straight on your reply. Since when is the Washington Post and the NY Times the standard for truth?? I’m not that close to Standing Rock, but have relatives ( native American ) on two other reservations – neither of which are complaining about the pipeline – since they are one of the larger mineral right owners in ND. Bakken oil is called “sweet crude” because its the cleanest oil in America – unlike ” sour crude ” which is the ” dirtiest ” . But we can’t argue with the two pillars of “truth ” coming from the east coast !! Most of the sour crude comes from the tar sands of Canada. Oh, by the way, we,ve been paying for indian land for generations thru federal moneys paid by our taxes, ever heard of “general aide ” . Thats what every resident of a reservation gets just for living there. I truly appreciate my Native American neighbors and am pissed off that liberal policies have stolen their pride and have succeded in marginalizing them. So sad , they are a proud and honerable people. Thank you for letting me respond on you comment.

  • Cindy, I live in N.Dak. You don,t have a clue whats going on! Extensive cultural research was done to locate any sacred burial grounds or historic sites! Every one was aware of the exact route and specs of the project well over a year ago. Now, all of a sudden we get national coverage (all bad) blaming the nasty oil companies ! What a joke! Most of the demonstrators are’nt even from N.Dak. They are shipped in by progressive organizations and backed by liberal big money( think George Soros) Just more political correctness gon amuck!! Maybe you should check the facts before you embarress yourself again….Bakken resident

    • I did check my facts–these facts were given in large newspapers such as the Washington Post and NY Times and online at many sites. I know people who went to the camps in ND as well who did so because they believe in indigenous people’s rights and wanted to help. They paid for their travel out of their own pockets. Do you live on the Standing Rock Reservation? Are you Sioux? Do you even own a spell check program? (It’s spelled “embarrass” and you may have embarrassed yourself there with your knee jerk reaction.) All I’m saying is don’t fall for the oil pipeline’s propaganda, perpetuated bought the bought off media outlets. You sound like you’re in the pockets of Big Oil and they’re paying you. Why should anyone listen to a paid off shill? No one ever paid my ancestors when they took their land away in the Dakotas and Montana. So how do you know for certain where all the sacred burial sites are? Do you have a map of all of them? The state rushed things through to take the kickbacks from the oil pipeline builders. Bought off politicians in the pockets of Big Oil–not to be trusted. Please, think about your water supply. Why do you wish to risk it with an oil spill? Did you see what happened this past week in Alabama/Georgia with the oil pipeline that spilled there? Are your children’s and grandchildren’s lives and health not important to you in North Dakota? (I would think they are.) Being concerned for the environment, the water supply and our children’s future isn’t “political correctness”. It’s called basic humanity and caring for others. Ask yourself–are you human?

      • George Soros funds their lawyers. He funds Black Lives Matter which is there.He funds Amnesty International which is coming. Soros has billions invested in the energy industry.I wonder why he wants this particular pipeline stopped. You REMOVED are flaking for a big Capitalist and you [don’t] know who is funding this little set to.It’s all about money on both sides.

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About the author

Cindy A Matthews

Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of The Bernie Blog.