Robert Chanate: Taking action against the Keystone XL Pipeline

"On a late August afternoon, I left Denver to fulfill a week-long direct action training assignment to support one of the environmental movement’s largest civil disobedience actions in Washington D.C. The action was against the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline. I had never been to DC and as I boarded the plane I had no real clear idea of where I was supposed to stay or even how I was going to get there once I found out. At midnight, I was able to make my way to the apartment of a friend of a friend and she was kind enough to lend me a sleeping bag and a sleeping space on her floor.

Though this wasn’t the most comfortable way to spend my first night in DC, I had it better than many who had come before me on a similar mission. Native Peoples, in fact, have made the same journey to the nation’s capital many times with the hope of having their voice heard by those distant powers who craft policies impacting our people. Some have journeyed there at the request of government officials while others have done so without an express invitation. The latter usually do so as representatives of people who have few resources and no clear access to the decision-making process of those who wield institutional power."

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Robert Chanate: To D.C., Via the Past (Indian Country Today 1/3)

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