We are proud that representatives from two of our member businesses, Tech Networks of Boston and ReVenture, traveled to Standing Rock, North Dakota to join the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Susan Labandibar, founder of Tech Networks of Boston, wrote about her experience:
In a last-ditch effort to protect the waters of Lake Oahe from an oil pipeline, Native Americans asked the veteran community to come to their defense. Their prayers were soon answered. With a snowstorm fast approaching, 4,000 veterans from all across the country converged on Standing Rock. In unity, there is strength. The presence of the veterans gave the Army Corps of Engineers enough cover to deny the final permit to dig under the lake, at least for now. If the next Administration follows through on its promise to grant the permit, the veterans will return in force.
Native Americans, veterans and others came to Standing Rock to uphold a simple truth: Mni Wiconi (Water Is Life.) Our government must protect our most basic shared resource from reckless exploitation. As Abraham Lincoln said, America’s source of strength is a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” As we have learned in the climate change movement, there are no shortcuts. To defend the rights of future generations to a habitable planet, we must defend the rights of all by restoring a government that holds itself accountable to the people.
In 2017, all three branches of government will be colonized by billionaires and bankers who represent corporate interests. They must be replaced. Organizations like Our Revolution and Brand New Congress have already begun to recruit courageous, values-driven leaders to run for U.S. Congress in 2018 and to run for office at all levels of state and local government.
We must build a single movement that unites us under the banner of human rights for all. While all participants continue to advocate for their causes, all will join as one with a common goal to restore our democracy.
In unity, there is strength. The struggle at Standing Rock should be our North Star, our compass and guide as how to stand together.