August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, April 16, 2021

Journalism and the NO DAPL Movement: On Being Present and Censorship


Photos 1 and 2 NO DAPL Walk in North Dakota. Remaining photos, actions in DC.

Journalism and the NO DAPL Movement: On Being Present and Censorship

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Journalism. There is no substitute for being present. Thanks to Govinda Dalton, Censored News was able to provide live coverage of tribal police creating a roadblock to prevent Lakota women and children on the NO DAPL Walk from entering the tribal compound of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation in New Town, North Dakota.

The solidarity walkers were just over 20 Lakotas, mostly women, and young children, from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River, along with local tribal members on April 8.

They walked to create awareness of the threat to the land and water of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the need to create a plan for a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.

Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation Chairman Mark Fox told walkers that he would not halt Dakota Access Pipeline. Fox said the tribe supports oil and gas drilling and fracking.

However, in September of 2016, Chairman Fox arrived in Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock and voiced support for the movement of the Water Protectors to protect the water of the Missouri River, and drinking water of the masses.

Upon arrival at Standing Rock Camp, Chairman Fox was questioned publicly about his support by tribal members from his homeland.

They pointed out the horrible cost to the environment and human life resulting from the widespread oil and gas wells and fracking -- and man camps that brought trafficking, drugs, and violence to Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara.

This was broadcast live by Govinda on Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio in 2016. Chairman Fox also sent a formal letter of support for the movement in 2016.

Bizarre News Blackout: NO DAPL in DC

Just the week before the NO DAPL Walk in North Dakota, there was a bizarre news blackout of the NO DAPL actions in DC, actions that were led by Lakota and Anishinaabe youths on April 1, 2021.

They delivered more than 400,000 petitions to the U.S. Corps of Engineers urging a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline in Minnesota.

Carrying a 200-foot black snake, Indigenous marched through the streets of DC and "killed" the snake, representing the pipelines, outside the White House.

Lakota from the  Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective locked down to tripods outside the White House

The news blackout is mind-boggling.

Why is there a national news blackout in the U.S. on the Indigenous actions in D.C.?

Censored News wrote to New York Times and Democracy Now and asked why this was not covered. We have received no response.

Why didn't the national media in Washington DC cover it?

What about national radio?

Was it censored, or was there a lack of interest?

It was covered immediately by media in France, Germany, Latin America, Russia, and Iran.

The NO DAPL photos, videos, and press statements from the Frontline Grassroots actions in DC were immediately available, free to all.

Then, on April 9, the day after the NO DAPL Walk in North Dakota, the Biden Administration announced that it would not shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during the court-ordered environmental review, and oil will continue to flow.

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