Time to stand strong

It’s easy these days to get lost in the stream of headlines about the latest government appointments and actions. After all, it’s important to stay informed. But there are other issues that need our attention. Take Standing Rock. The mainstream media has all but left North Dakota, but there’s a protest still mounting. And it’s as important now—if not more so—than ever.

This week, the Army Corps of Engineers, in charge of issuing permits for the remaining portion of pipeline that would go underneath the Missouri River, upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, was primed to remove the final roadblock to construction. And while the tribal council has bowed to government interests and asked that protesters disband, individuals—including Sacred Stone Camp founder LaDonna Brave Bull Allard—refuse to give up the fight. We support them. And we hope our readers will, too. And we hope the world will take notice March 10 for the Rise With Standing Rock Native Nations March on Washington.

We also support the journalists who have made the trek to Cannon Ball, N.D., in an effort to tell the stories behind what’s happening there. Without Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman’s footage of armed guards releasing attack dogs on protesters, the story of Standing Rock may not have been told. Her arrest last fall for trespassing while reporting made national headlines. Last week, another journalist covering the protest—independent reporter Jenni Monet, embedded since December while writing for many small news outlets including YES! Magazine—was arrested in much the same manner. She’s still behind bars.

We must not let our voices be silenced. Join us in rallying behind Monet, who doesn’t have the backing of a show like Democracy Now! and its millions of viewers. Her First Amendment rights are being threatened, and that affects all of us. Call or write the Morton County state’s attorney and the North Dakota attorney general and speak out on her behalf.