Ecosocialism

Published on November 26th, 2016 | by Editor

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Statement in Solidarity with the Water Protectors

Editor’s Note: This statement was passed by the SP USA National Action Committee (NAC). It is offered by the Socialist Party USA in solidarity with the water protectors fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, American Indians, and Indigenous Peoples everywhere. The NAC wishes to thank the Central American United Students Association at Cal State Northridge for their input on this statement.

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of North Dakota, and thousands of their allies, have united to stand up against the corporation, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), who threatens their natural water source, the Missouri River, and sacred cultural sites with plans to build a 1,172 mile long oil pipeline that crosses three other states, dubbed the “Dakota Access Pipeline.”

According to the news agency, Reuters, a subsidiary of ETP has had more oil spills/leaks than ANY of its competitors, and is tasked to be the operator of this project. This pipeline has the risk to leak into the Missouri river and poison the water supply of the reservation and all forms of life downstream.

As conflict around the construction of the DAPL continues, President Obama has stated, “the path of the pipeline can be diverted to avoid Native American sacred sites.” However, we condemn ANY further pipeline building.

“The Socialist Party recognizes the right of all people to equal treatment under the law, and to a humane criminal sanction system based on prevention, mediation, restitution, and rehabilitation rather than on vengeance, forced labor, and profits for the prison-industrial complex.”

We read the high number of arrests and the exaggerated sentences (45 years and felonies for trespassing and conspiracy charges) to be an act of desperation by the law enforcement officers of a criminal justice system acting erroneously under the pressure that weighs upon those choosing to defend capital, rather than humanity.

The Socialist Party USA’s Platform also calls for public ownership and democratic control of all natural resources in order to conserve resources, preserve wilderness areas, and restore environmental quality. It also calls for the development of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass to end dependence on fossil fuels.

The American Indian Student Association asks you to support the people of Standing Rock and protect the environment. Consider the role the Lakota and other tribes at Standing Rock are playing as it asks people to consider that water is life—not only in the global environmental sense which cautions the need to preserve this as a resource for people of the future—but also that in this immediate moment water is living, is a part of our bodies, is life.

Love water, not oil!

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