The Pine Ridge Reservation is the place to be this weekend for those wanting to learn how to be a frontline activist. An activist training conference is being held near the village of Manderson where participants will learn how to take direct action on environmental issues.
The three day conference is to teach people how to protest projects like the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Lakota activist Deb White Plume calls it “Moccasins on the Ground.”
“We have tried every avenue,” White Plume explains. “We have tried intervening in the process. We have tried doing the public comment period and participating in the Environmental Impact Statement. Every door has been closed to us. The only door that is left open is the door of direct action. So, we’re preparing for that. "
White Plume says that non-violent direct action will involve those opposing the pipeline putting their moccasins on the ground in front of TransCanada heavy equipment
"If they think they’re gonna’ come into this country,” White Plume notes. “even if President Obama says ‘Yes’, we’re gonna’ say ‘No.”
The Activist Training conference will also focus on community organizing to battle other environmental issues like the many proposed Black Hills uranium mines.
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