“We consider this a substantial movement, which is being underrepresented by the media,” said the Brattleboro Reformer today, in an article written by photography faculty member John Willis and three Marlboro students: Cait Mazzarella, Christopher Lamb, and Ben Rybisky. The four of them recently returned from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where a large community of people from around the world has gathered to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. “It seems there is more reporting on the topic by mainstream media overseas than in our own country. One must wonder at times why that is so,” they wrote.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is being constructed to carry oil from North Dakota southward to Illinois, including beneath the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers—the main water source for the tribe and millions of people south of the reservation. Thousands of protestors, as many as seven thousand at one point, have congregated at the action site in an effort want to stop the pipeline, for fear of future spillage destroying both the land and water. John and the students delivered sleeping bags, wool blankets, five tents, two camping stoves, camping gear, winter clothes, boots, and more than $2,300 to support these efforts.
“We all had an amazing eye opening experience and everyone’s donations are truly appreciated,” they wrote. “We do not know the likelihood protestors can stop DAPL from completing the pipeline, although we hope they do. Either way, we believe this is larger than the pipeline, and it draws attention to Native American rights as well as those of indigenous people’s throughout the world, environmentalism, and injustice similarly to the Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and anti Citizens United movements.”