Rise of the Resistance Camps

Guest Blog Post by Erica Jacquinot 

I think it's pretty safe to say we’ve all heard about Standing Rock. If you haven’t, you should so Google it. For those that went to Standing Rock, they describe the experience as life-changing, spiritual, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Something I can personally attest to because that’s what I felt when I went. The feelings that Standing Rock invoked traveled across the country like a wave and sparked a new fire of resistance against the fossil fuel industry and protection of indigenous rights. Thousands upon thousands held rallies, protests, benefits, and marches all around the world. The outpouring of support was incredible, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Something I don’t even think Standing Rock knew was that it was becoming the blueprint of how people were going to get serious about fighting the fossil fuel industry.

In February 2017 the camps at Standing Rock were evicted by the U.S. government. It was devastating to those that supported the cause. Some even think that Standing Rock is forever over and ended as a lost cause, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As it stands right now there are 15 camps that have popped up in Standing Rocks image. To define for those of you who do not know what "these camps" are, they are a group of people living on a piece of property close to places where the fossil fuel industry is destroying the Earth. They fight through peaceful actions and prayer, they spread awareness about the problems of the fossil fuel industry. They are a community standing together against giants to protect air, land, and water. Five of the camps are in the UK fighting to frack, these camps are not on a property that anyone can come and stay on but they conduct themselves as a tight group, call themselves a camp and fight every day against the fossil fuel industry. Two camps are in Canada. These camps are indigenous-led camps fighting pipelines and fuel pump stations destroying their native waters and lands. The rest are in the U.S. taking the spirit of Standing Rock and using it to resist the destruction of the Earth by corporations. Most camps are native led and all camps have taken a stand against the fossil fuel industry. There’s even a camp about to start in a small village in Kenya, Africa. This is how far this resistance as reached.

There’s no sugarcoating this issue and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were many who oppose these camps. But I think most would agree that if we had the option to use green fuel sources and they were the same price as dirty fuel sources we would probably use them. Maybe I give people the benefit of the doubt and I can’t speak for all but if you had the choice to use solar or wind power overpaying your electric company, I think you probably would. The problem is that these resources just aren’t available to us on a reasonable scale that consumers can actually utilize. And let’s get real, we’re talking about having civilizations on Mars, we can nuke an entire country from existence, we have technology that would blow the minds of most, YET we’re using an ancient practice of energy. Last I checked this isn’t the industrial revolution anymore. The answer is real simple, the oil and gas industry keeps the wealthy rich and the rest of us oppressed. And do not think for one second that this isn’t a form of oppression. To keep freedoms from people, basic human rights like a clean environment, giving us no choice but to be at the whim of their choices and pay our money for it. That’s oppression at its finest.

These camps stand for something. They stand for you, whether you believe in it or not. They stand for this Earth and the need for change. And change IS needed. Even if you’re one of those people that doesn’t believe in climate change, do you believe in pollution? Do you believe in clean water or air? Do you think animals shouldn’t suffer from drought and destruction? These are real questions you have to ask yourself and stop trying to jump on a side you’ve heard in a political campaign or on the news. You don’t have to believe 100% in the views of scientists or environmentalists to want water or food that isn't poisoned. But you do have to believe in something, and these camps are ground zero for that. They believe in the sense of community Standing Rock gave to us. A community that spans across the globe and says “Hey we exist, and we want to be free.” Free from toxic chemicals, polluted air, poisoned animals, and waters. We want to be free of the oppression of corporate greed. If this is your belief please support these camps, go and stay at them, start one yourself.  It’s my hope that these camps keep coming and continue to teach us what side we should be on.