It’s easy to feel helpless when witnessing injustices far away, especially when major media outlets are mostly ignoring the problem. One can tend to get depressed about the state of the world if this helplessness sinks in for too long.
Doctors tell us that the most effective way to fight depression is getting up and getting active. So it makes sense that Austinites, being the progressive and forward-thinking folks we are, have decided to do something about the injustices being committed by authorities in Standing Rock, North Dakota, where native Water Protectors are blockading a river on tribal land to prevent construction of an oil pipeline they believe will damage their way of life.
In an intellectually driven city like Austin, where fighting climate change is atop city hall’s agenda, it’s no surprise locals are gearing up to provide aid to folks like this.
First, there are a variety of campaigns raising money for the Water Protectors, and funds are used for everything from food to legal support. Just be sure you know the group you’re giving to is the real deal!
Then there is a long list of items that the protesters need (seen below), particularly those that can help them make it through the very cold winters in North Dakota, and a local group is making it very easy for supporters to donate. This Saturday, bring items to the Austin to Standing Rock Supply Drive at Resistencia Bookstore (4926 E Cesar Chavez) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition to accepting donations, this event needs day-of volunteers and financial donations to help with gas costs to deliver the donations. Organizers will be accepting cash donations at the event and are still determining the best way to accept online donations; we will update this post with more information as it comes available. They also need more drivers, vehicles, and trailers for those who can actually make the big commitment.
Finally, there is also a unique volunteer opportunity for medical professionals. “More trauma response support professionals (physical and psychological) are requested by healers at Standing Rock,” a Facebook event posting explains. “Medical professionals, therapists, acupuncturists, clinical herbalists, etc. Must be at least very culturally sensitive (if you’re already not experienced with Native culture), respectful and willing to follow guidance of Native leadership.”
To volunteer, message organizer Lisa Pavati through the Facebook event page with your name, number, email, and area of expertise.
Here are the donation items requested
Heavy outdoor winter clothing (jackets, hats, gloves, etc)
Heavy duty camping gear- sub-zero sleeping bags,4 season tents, yurts/structures, heavy duty tarps, duct tape, rope, tie-downs, camping pads)
Firewood & heaters/fuel
Nonperishable food items- especially large bulk quantity
Solar: battery chargers, inverter, panels, water heater
Tire chains, snow tires
DC lighting system
Medical: First aid supplies, steri-strips, herbal medicine (list in link below), Instant Ice Packs, Hot packs/hand warmers, Emergen-C, Milk of Magnesia, Arnica Gel or ointment, Multi-use AED with disposable pads, Squirt top water bottles for eye flushes with holes in spout a few mm across.
Safety goggles without foam and other face protection
FMRS/GMRS radios (walkie talkies) with recharging stations & rechargeable AA batteries
Snowmobile (or financial contributions towards it- a top priority request from Standing Rock Medics and Healers Council)
Sled that can be pulled by a snowmobile
1500 meters of static line (rope without kernmantle)
Personal harness systems (x3); these can be used to connect a static line to pull a sled
The Standing Rock Medics and Healers Council also has a detailed list of medical/herbal and other supplies needed.
Featured photo from Austin to Standing Rock Supply Drive Facebook event page