One Important Thing: Expect Us

On Monday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, hundreds of people marched to the White House to demand the President and Congress step up efforts to combat climate change. The rally was organized by the Build Back Fossil Free Coalition, who were accompanied by activists from Indigenous groups like the Ponca Nation and the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. Their demands: for President Biden to halt approval of fossil fuel projects and declare a national climate emergency. Many protesters were arrested and issued citations.

 

“We are going to put our bodies on the line there. If we have to be arrested in order to call attention to what the crisis is and that we need a climate emergency declared, we’ll do that,” said Casey Camp-Horinek, a tribal elder and environmental ambassador for the Ponca Nation. “There’s been 500 years of people coming into a territory where all things were interdependent and functioning to a time of crisis, where even Biden’s great-grandchildren won’t survive if something doesn’t change.”

 

On a statue of former President Andrew Jackson, perhaps most well-known for enacting the forced displacement and murder of thousands of Indigenous people, the words “EXPECT US” were written in red paint, referencing the common anti-pipeline protest chant, “Respect us, or expect us.”

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