Victor Furman reviews a Facebook post by a DAPL protester and concludes it’s little more than a lesson in self-deceit by those too blind to see the truth.
Glenn Wahl is an instructor at Jamestown Community College in Western New York (Lucille Ball’s hometown). It’s part of the SUNY system. He’s also a former high school teacher and frequent commenter on the NaturalGasNOW Facebook page. I didn’t realize just how much of a fractivist he was, however, until I visited his Facebook page to find he’s a DAPL protester. He wrote a post detailing his trip to North Dakota to be a part of it and it’s a doozy.
Glenn Wahl’s post provides a good look into the way a DAPL protestor thinks (or doesn’t think). The best way for me to explain is to simply analyze what he wrote, which I’ve done on more or less a line by line basis with my thoughts in red:
I recently returned from Standing Rock- left a few days earlier than planned due to the Army Corps decision and also due to the fact that the car (belonging to Josh, a Marine from NH) had no snow tires and a storm was coming in.
Before Wahl could return, he had to first get there, of course. He almost certainly didn’t walk or sprout wings and fly. No, he used some form of transportation made possible by the oil he doesn’t want to see moved.
It was an incredible several days there though- very humbling seeing the thousands of people from all over the country (and world), of many ethnicities, ages and backgrounds, all working together to protect the water and each other. Some in camp were famous, such as Cornel West and Tulsi Gabbard, but most are just plain folks. It is a true community there-
Yes, a true imported community of paid protestors and organizers and their seemingly unemployed followers along with a few Dakota Indians, not thousands, looking to make leverage as much as they can off the top from the pipeline company.
I kept hearing the Simon & Garfunkel line “All come to look for America” in my head, and knowing that for the first time in my many years, I had found the real America- one filled with love, caring, responsibility and patriotism.
We all have voices in our heads and songs in our hearts but most of us are living in this decade! As far as patriotism, what is more patriotic then fueling American jobs, cars and homes with the fruits of America’s first real steps toward energy independence? Why send a billion dollars a day to countries that would destroy us?
Everyone finds their niche, whether it’s feeding the camp, cleaning, firewood processing (I split wood for a few hours each day- it was a good way to stay warm), building (helped build some prefab panels for the north camp), medicinal/herbal/first aid, etc.
A Hippie Utopia with all the earmark of the 1960s, I see – what we typically see from fractivists.
There are plenty of projects to work on. I helped insulate the water house with hay bales (brought all the way from Iowa by a farmer named Mike), and after those were off his flatbed, we moved several big logs to the other camp.
The people there are amazing. In less than a week, I talked to and/or worked with literally a few hundred people. (I might not get all the names matched correctly with their places) Morgan from San Francisco (she’s a thrash metal drummer); Justin and Jesse from Colorado who were bundles of energy and cheerfulness as they jumped from one construction task to another; Julia Carrie Wong from Oakland who is a reporter for the Guardian and who gave me a ride when I was hitchhiking; Meghan from Colorado- she didn’t have a warm enough sleeping bag , so when I left, I gave mine (made from petroleum products, no doubt) to her, since the storm was coming in the next day; Ambrose – I think he said he was Apache; Alex from Australia (he came all the way just for this!) (bet he came by jet plane, too); Steve from Oregon; Amy from Connecticut; Little Thunder; Sebastian, Marie from NYC; Scott from Montana; George (from the Standing Rock tribe- he had his hand injured badly from the police attacks several weeks ago); Amy, a Pawnee who makes delicious flatbread; Sylvia from West Virginia………. And many more. Some were here just for a few days, but many were long term- they were here for weeks and months (and supporting themselves how?). They showed constant caring of the people around them, and despite the harsh conditions, have managed to make a society far more civil than most places with electricity, running water and paved roads are.
More civil than most? – I don’t think so. Consider this report from the Washington Times:
Some of the protesters won’t leave, creating semi-permanent encampments near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, and triggering a feud with tribal members fed-up over problems with crime, poaching, panhandling, garbage and waste disposal, as well as the drain on Sioux resources.
The protesters have their own gripes. Rumors about the tribe hoarding donations are rife within the camps, as are complaints about council members attempting to “colonize” the encampments by establishing rules.
Both sides aired their concerns at a tribal council meeting livestreamed Thursday that offered a window into the efforts of the Sioux to grapple with a protest movement that has spiraled beyond the rural North Dakota tribe’s control.
“The word that comes to my mind all the time, it’s ‘imploding.’ We’re imploding,” said tribal chairman Dave Archambault II. “We’re fighting each other. That’s the best way, the easiest way to conquer anyone is to create division and fight among themselves.”
Then, there’s this report of a woman zip-tying her 82-year old mother to a wheelchair and more or less abandoning her during the events. These protestors have created open sewers, set trucks afire and strewn garbage everywhere, polluting their own temporary environment.
But, unlike that tale, this one has violence only on one side.
Yes, violence by the protestors themselves.