Branches support Standing RockPublished on October, 54 2016
Volunteers with truck loaded with supplies for Standing Rock. Courtesy of Al Frente de Lucha Facebook page.
On September 19, 2016, WILPF US and its Earth Democracy and Advancing Human Rights national issue committees issued a statement of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other First Nations who oppose construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Water Is Life: WILPF US Stands with Water Defenders against the Pipeline.
Since the statement was sent out, a couple of WILPF Branches have reported on their support efforts, which have been in partnership with other groups in their communities.
From Greeley, Colorado
Elaine Schmidt, chair of the Greeley CO Branch, reports that WILPF in Greeley joined with several groups—from the UU church, Presbyterian church, and a Chicano center—to help fill a truck with goods, blankets, clothes, water and juices, and more that left Sunday, September 18, to go to Standing Rock in North Dakota. They will continue to act in support. In addition to being a WILPF member and chair of the Greeley Branch for 40 years, Elaine has worked for over 30 years with a group that joins in many struggles, Al Frente de Lucha (which, in 2016, celebrated 47 years of fighting for justice in the Latino community).
Of her own personal experiences, she writes: “We have worked on all of the WILPF issues. I remember many years ago, someone from WILPF called to say that Cesar Chavez was organizing people to not buy grapes and Gallo wine and to boycott the stores that were selling these. Mary Willoughby and I drove around and found a group at Safeway boycotting grapes, and there we met Mil Hart who was with about eight Latino/as, and we stopped and joined them. This same Mil Hart was the one who organized sending a truck to the Indians and also started Occupy here in Greeley. And, of course, WILPF is always there in the forefront of the struggle. We started here with just six people, in 1964, and we are still in the forefront of the struggle in Greeley. We have had people come and speak about Bernie, Hillary and the Democrats and some from the Green Party, and many struggles for peace and justice.”
From Auburn, California
Millee Livingston, Life Member-at-Large, Auburn, California, writes: “Ours is a community action, involving some WILPF members, some Unitarian Universalists members, and a large amount of community members. We are sending warm clothing, some medical supplies, some art materials and some dried food items. We are sending some warm jackets, etc. for the children as well. It will probably be 3-4 big boxes.”