Like many of you, I've watched the Sioux and their First Nation Water Protectors standing strong at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting the development of a fossil fuel pipeline that would threaten their drinking water and desecrate their sacred sites. I have been filled with admiration for their courage and resolve.
These past several days have seen an escalation in the violence directed at them. Native American leaders have called for people of faith to stand with them. The time has come when we must speak out in support, clearly and forcefully.
Sign the Interfaith Open Letter here: www.z2systems.com/np/clients/greenfaith/survey.jsp?surveyId=101&
A team of GreenFaith Fellows is headed going to Standing Rock for a mobilization taking place there tomorrow. They will share photos, blogs, sermons, social media postings.
Innumerable reports have substantiated a stunning array of violations of the human and civil rights of those protesting the pipeline, including numerous and ongoing instances of security dogs attacking and biting protestors; the use of tear gas, mace, sound canons, concussion grenades and rubber bullets; unwarranted strip searches; holding arrested protestors in non-habitable conditions. These behaviors, both by private security forces and by public law enforcement officials, are intentionally demeaning, brutal, unconstitutional, and in a number of cases criminal. They are morally wrong. That's why we need to stand with these brave leaders - now.
Please keep all the Water Protectors in your prayers. And please share this statement, written collectively with input from people of diverse faiths, with your friends.