Palestinians back Standing Rock Sioux in “struggle for all humanity”

Print in solidarity with Standing Rock and the water protectors by Leila Abdelrazaq

Artwork in solidarity with Standing Rock and the water protectors. (Leila Abdelrazaq)

Palestinians are expressing support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their months-long resistance to the US government’s plan to install an oil pipeline on their land.

“The people of Palestine supports you and all those standing with you right now in North Dakota to protect your tribal lands and resist the desecration and destruction of your sacred burial sites at the hands of the Energy Transfer Partners corporation and the Dakota Access Pipeline they are building,” the Palestinian BDS National Committee said on Friday.

In another statement issued on Friday, individual Palestinians around the world say they “recognize the multitude of ways that Native American and First Nation struggles to protect indigenous territories have ultimately been struggles on behalf of all of humanity.”

Their full statement is below.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, which was approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers, is planned to run under the Missouri River, a natural water supply for the tribe.

The pipeline would also run through sacred areas of Sioux land not recognized by the US government as part of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

“When we look at Standing Rock, we also see the attempts of authorities with a still-prevalent colonial mentality to vilify, criminalize and ultimately disappear indigenous people on their own land,” the BNC said. “The Palestinian people have firsthand experience with a colonial power desecrating our burial sites, destroying our indigenous communities, appropriating our culture and otherwise gradually erasing our centuries-old heritage.”

The BNC, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, referred in particular to Israel allowing the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a so-called “Museum of Tolerance” on top of Mamilla Cemetery, destroying a Muslim burial ground and holy site in Jerusalem that historians date to the seventh century.

On Friday, a US federal court ruled against a request filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction of the pipeline.

However, in what the Sioux call “a stunning move,” three federal agencies say the Army will “not authorize” construction of the pipeline in one area until the government “can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions” regarding construction on tribal land.

“This federal statement is a game changer for the tribe and we are acting immediately on our legal options, including filing an appeal and a temporary injunction to force [the Dakota Access Pipeline] to stop construction,” the Standing Rock Sioux said.

The tribe was never consulted about the matter before the plan was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, which the tribe says violates US law.

G4S, which contracts with Israel to incarcerate Palestinians, admits it is one of several private security companies working to guard the pipeline.

Activists at Sacred Stone Camp, a flashpoint of protests, say that resistance is growing.

Security firms protecting the pipeline have used dogs and pepper spray to attack protesters.

Palestinians around the world have signed this statement of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Statement of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe

We the undersigned Palestinians – artists, academics, activists, elders, laborers, musicians, authors, businesspersons, attorneys, students – hereby declare our unqualified and heartfelt solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their epic struggle to protect what remains of their ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites.

As an indigenous people whose lands have been robbed and pillaged, and who face existential settler-colonial expansion in Palestine, we recognize that Native American and First Nation peoples have endured centuries of violent settler colonialism that has dismantled and robbed them of home, heritage, dignity, security, narrative, land, language, identity, family, trees, cemeteries, animals, livelihoods and life.

We recognize the multitude of ways that Native American and First Nation struggles to protect indigenous territories have ultimately been struggles on behalf of all of humanity to save the Earth we share from toxic globalization of neoliberal and capitalist ethos that threaten our collective survival.

We also heed the wise leadership of a people who first conceived of mountains and rivers as sacred, who look upon a prairie with reverence, who consider trees as family and who risk their lives to protect the water and the integrity of their ancestral lands.

With respect, love, solidarity and hope,

  1. Leila Abdelrazaq, author and artist
  2. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, senior scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, SFSU
  3. Rinad Abdullah, human rights and international law attorney
  4. Tarek Abuata, executive director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  5. Susan Abulhawa, writer
  6. Ahmad Abuznaid, human rights attorney and organizer
  7. Iyad Afalqa, Vice-chair of Arab American Caucus of CA Democratic Party
  8. Ghada Ageel, University of Alberta, Canada
  9. Lena Alhusseini, executive director of the Arab American Family Support Center
  10. Enas I. aL-Muthaffar, film director and producer
  11. Dina Alzeer, journalist
  12. Issa Amro, human rights activist, Youth Against Settlements in Hebron
  13. Lamis Andoni, journalist
  14. Iman Annab
  15. Huwaida Arraf, civil/human rights attorney and activist
  16. Mariam Arraf, Detroiter
  17. Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee
  18. Sa’ed Atshan, academic
  19. George Awwad, human rights activist
  20. Hana Awwad
  21. Zeina Azzam, writer and educator
  22. Sam Bahour, Palestinian-American writer, businessperson and activist
  23. Rana Baker, student and journalist
  24. Mariam Barghouti, activist and writer
  25. Ramzy Baroud, journalist and author
  26. Iyad Burnat, Bil’in Popular Committee
  27. Diana Buttu, human rights attorney
  28. Shirien D.
  29. Wafai Dias
  30. Lamis Deek, human rights attorney
  31. Azzam Elder, attorney
  32. Nazmi Elder
  33. Shareen Elder
  34. Joeseph Elder
  35. Jasmine Elder
  36. Laila Elhaddad, author, activist and journalist
  37. Reem El-Khatib, humanitarian
  38. Ismail El Zabri
  39. Philip Farah, co-chairman, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace
  40. Reem Farah, CCD
  41. Hala Gabriel, filmmaker and activist
  42. Tamar Ghabin
  43. Budour Hassan, writer
  44. Zaha Hassan, human rights lawyer and writer
  45. Thayer Hastings
  46. Taher Herzallah
  47. Saleh Hijazi, human rights activist
  48. Gus Hussein
  49. Ramzi Jaber
  50. Nour Joudah
  51. Alaa Juma
  52. Andrew Kadi, steering committee of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
  53. Remi Kanazi, poet and organizer
  54. Hanna Kawas, journalist and activist
  55. Tanya Keilani
  56. Suhad Khatib, artist and community organizer
  57. Noura Khouri, writer and activist
  58. George Khoury, Nakba survivor
  59. Samia Khoury, Palestinian elder, author, and university trustee
  60. Nerdeen Kiswani, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine
  61. Amr Madkour
  62. Dalell D. Mohmed
  63. Yousef Munayyer, executive director of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
  64. Jumana Musa, human rights attorney
  65. Izzaddine Mustafa
  66. Khalil Nakhleh, PhD, Palestinian anthropologist, researcher and author
  67. Lois Nakhleh, botanical artist
  68. Tania Tamari Nasir, singer/writer
  69. Amira Nassim, student
  70. Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, barrister and activist
  71. Ali Omar, activist and academic
  72. Mazin Qumsiyeh, professor and director, Palestine Museum of Natural History
  73. Fadi Quran
  74. Tareq Radi, artist and student
  75. Beesan Ramadan
  76. Tamara Reem, human rights attorney
  77. Nadia Saah
  78. Samah Sabawi, poet and activist
  79. Mahdi Sabbagh, architect and urbanist
  80. Steven Salaita, scholar and writer
  81. May Seikaly
  82. S.R. Shafie RPh.
  83. Dina Shana’a, US Palestinian Community Network
  84. Halla Shoaibi, assistant professor of law, Birzeit University
  85. Samee Sulaiman, PhD student
  86. Sandra Tamari, St Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee
  87. Steve Tamari, educator
  88. Karimah Tarazi, RN BS MFA
  89. Randa Wahbe
  90. Maysoon Zayid, comedian and disability advocate
  91. Hurriyah Ziada
  92. Raya Ziada

Editor’s note: This list has was updated on 14 September.

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Once again, Palestinians reach out in solidarity to peoples facing oppression, expropriation and cultural genocide. Now ask yourselves, to whom is Israel reaching out in like fashion? The Saudi royal family, the leading arms manufacturers, and the United States Treasury.

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Andrew Kadi

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Andrew Kadi is an organizer and digital media specialist currently serving on the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.