VETERANS STAND - TRANSFORM TOUR '17
TRANSFORM is a campaign designed to inspire change and empower communities through art, education, and service.
Veterans Stand will be visiting 42 cities, showcasing local artists, organizations, and speakers, to continue our campaign to raise awareness, amplify community voices, and provide a platform for veterans to continue their service at home.
This activation includes a Virtual Reality Art Gallery featuring the work of Standing Rock artists, a Time Magazine cover photographer, and user submitted content from people all over the world. This gallery will be made accessible to more than 50k kids this summer, and we aim to bring people together through empathy and shared experience.
We will be taking the opportunity of traveling the country 42to build out our Chapters and expand our network. For more information on forming Chapters, volunteer opportunities, or joining our network, contact: email@example.com
We look forward to meeting you this summer!
Standing Rock (Dec 2016 - Feb 2017)
Veterans Stand for Standing Rock started as a mission to shield water protectors and highlight human rights violations. It grew into something that we never could have imagined. Veterans are people who take an oath and write a blank check to the United States of America, up to and including their life, to protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
For many veterans that oath doesn't end when they separate from the military, it just changes the method of service. Speaking to many of the 2100 veterans who traveled with us to Standing Rock on Dec 4-7th, this mission was a new way for them to serve. On Dec 4, we mustered in Cannonball, ND and within an hour the Army Corp of Engineers announced that the easement to drill under Lake Oahe had been denied.
Some of our veterans felt let down because they didn't get to stand for what they believe, others took it upon themselves to help out in anyway they could. As a result Veterans Stand has helped coordinate resupply and working parties for specific needs at all of the camps. We have maintained a close working relationship with Traditional Leadership, Camp Leadership, and the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes. our veterans have stepped up and chosen to serve, because there are still human and constitutional rights being violated. We are honored to serve beside them.
Fast forward to January 24th, 2017. Donald Trump, in one of the first true indulgences of power as president, signs an executive memo to bypass the environmental impact review and expedite the completion of both the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL. ND Governor Doug Burgum set a February 23rd eviction date for Oceti Sakowin, and as the date grew closer, the law enforcement became increasingly more militarized and explicit with their intimidation and bullying. Their strategy was clear, influence that Water Protectors to act out in in fear, which at the time looked like leaving camp, or acting erratically enough for the law enforcement to justify their inhumane behavior and unlawful treatment of unarmed people.
Finally, on the day of the eviction, a joint task force consisting of every agency from Morton County Sheriffs Department, toHomeland Security and the National Guard swept through the Oceti Sakowin, and those of us who remained were either removed, arrested, or pushed back across the cAnnonball River toward Sacred Stone.
Though it was painful to see what was once a beautiful, living celebration of the human spirit be reduced to a smoldering ghost town, it didn’t feel like defeat. It felt like a challenge, and like all experiences, we were able to pull some valuable lessons from it:
Firstly, we were reminded that it has always been easier to mobilize a large number of people than it has been to organize one, and that there is a lot of organization and empowerment that needs to be done on the community level before a movement like this can truly be successful.
Secondly, we were shown that the frontline is not always the most effective battleground. When we put ourselves up against giants like the oil industry and the US military, or look to bring about any kind of large-scale, we should expect any peaceful gathering to at least be attempted to be broken apart.
The highest possible good of any peaceful protest, whether it lasts a day or longer than a year, is to remind us all that there is a community out there that shares in our struggle, and believes in the possibility of change. And if we could hold onto those feeling of solidarity and support, and take them home with us, perhaps we’ll find ourselves brave enough to make the necessary changes in our everyday lives to achieve the long term goals of our communities.
Veterans Stand will continue to work all angles, political and social, to empower and provide a platform for veterans to serve causes and communities across the United States.
"A federal judge ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Wednesday, opening up the possibility that the line could be shut at a later date.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington said the Army Corps did not adequately consider the effects of a possible oil spill on the fishing and hunting rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Operations of Energy Transfer Partners LP's (ETP.N) pipeline have not been suspended but that could be considered at a later date, the order said. The $3.8 billion line began interstate crude oil delivery in May.
The parties are expected to meet Boasberg next Wednesday to discuss future steps. The Standing Rock Sioux are expected to argue that pipeline operations should be halted."
READ MORE HERE: