SALUPONGAN INTERNATIONAL'S #NODAPL SOLIDARITY STATEMENT
Salupongan International and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and activists on the frontlines of stopping the Dakota Access pipeline. We are outraged about the unjust and unfair conditions of the indigenous people protecting the water and land. For the Lumad or indigenous people of Mindanao, Philippines, they too believe that “land and water is life.” When big corporations come and strip the land, livelihoods are negatively impacted. We have seen the results of these atrocities firsthand.
Who will reap the benefits for this pipeline project? Not the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but the greedy Energy Transfer corporation and investors. The indigenous people will not benefit from this pipeline. Instead it will contaminate and destroy their main water source and land. Energy Transfer’s website states, “We will listen to and address questions from the community…”. If they really listened to the community, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s concerns and needs would be put into action first and foremost. We have heard this story and the lies of big corporations “listening to the community” way too many times. We must work together to end these unjust environmental projects.
Similar to the indigenous peoples struggle in the United States like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Lumad are currently fighting to save their land from multi-national large-scale mining and logging corporations whose intentions to extract resources from the land would not only continue to displace thousands, but also cause irreversible and severe environmental destruction. The Lumad are fighting to preserve their culture and livelihood in the face of aggression by similar companies and the Philippine military-backed militia who violently defend corporate interests. As indigenous communities resist, the previous government intensified repression and attacks allowing the military to kill and arrest leaders of their indigenous communities, even volunteer teachers of their schools. With a new President who announced that he is for peace in our country, our calls remain: “Stop Lumad Killings! End environmental plunder!”
Salupongan International and ICHRP calls on the international community to keep our focus on the unjust conditions of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines and United States. We need to work together to continue to support the fight to stop the environmental destruction of our ancestral lands. We must be outspoken against continued human rights violations and violent repression. These environmental atrocities must be stopped, and those who have already committed these acts must be held accountable.
In a recent NY Times article, Phyllis Young, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux states, “We are Dakota. Dakota means friend or ally. Dakota Access has taken our name.” Let us stand as a friend and ally with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe now, in this time of need. We must stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from further destruction of the land and the Sioux way of life. Let us stand together to fight for all indigenous people’s lands and livelihoods throughout the world!
Long live international solidarity! #NoDAPL
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