Standing Rock
Report from the front lines
Gina Petry
volume 37
issue 6
December 2016

Patrick Burns, Freedom Socialist Party, and Gina Petry, Seattle Radical Women Organizer, spent a week at the Standing Rock camp in mid-November.

The cold is settling in but the mood of Standing Rock is warm with solidarity. On Friday, Nov. 18, the International Indigenous Youth Council led a ceremony of 500 water protectors. We called for the release of Oglala Lakota tribal member Red Fawn Fallis, wrongly charged with firing at police and attempted murder.

We then proceeded to a bridge barricaded by barbed wire, armored vehicles, and cops. The Native women in leadership encouraged all women to become leaders and stand with their brothers and everyone struggling for justice. While there was no confrontation or arrests, there is a debate going on about our orientation to law enforcement. Some want to try and win the police over, while others are vocal about the brazen police repression and know we cannot trust them.

Patrick continues to work hard on construction of winter-ready housing structures. He’s sharing his carpentry skills, tools, and political ideas with the crews.

Patrick was also thrilled to meet with other unionists from across the U.S. at the Labor for Standing Rock Camp. About a dozen currently live there. They strategized about how to build more support from organized labor.

These experiences will help bind us all for the battles ahead.

Also see: Standing fast at Standing Rock: Water defenders throw a wrench into pipeline process.

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