Racial tensions are flaring among protesters of North Dakota’s Access Pipeline, with some declaring that white people don’t belong at the demonstrations and accusing them of trying to “colonize” the protest.
According to an Independent report, one protester posted on Facebook that “white people are colonizing the camps. I mean that seriously. Plymouth Rock seriously. They are coming in, taking food, clothing and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols.”
The protester wrote that white people aren’t serious about the social issues at the heart of the protest, and instead are acting like it’s just another lefty arts festival. “These people are treating it like it is Burning Man or The Rainbow Gathering,” the protester, identified as Alicia Smith, said. “I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to those festivals.”
Protesters have been occupying the site since April in an effort to stop construction of the 1,170-mile pipeline. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who believe it would contaminate their water source and disturb their sacred sites, have been joined by thousands of non-Sioux supporters in recent months.
Beyond the Facebook post, several other activists have taken to Twitter to express the need for the white protesters to get their shit together.
White people colonizing the camps, disrespecting elders, saying shit like “ancestors don’t matter, we should all just love each other.”
— Hvlpvtvlke Hokte (@sydnerain) November 23, 2016
Just wanna note some white people -just showed up to Standing Rock- who want to spend donations on fluoride free water instead of tap.
— Nihiixoohoothitho (@teeteeseiht) November 13, 2016
I couldn’t highlight this section, but this applies to so many things pic.twitter.com/n5p2kzRrwu
— american eidolon (@minkahunter) November 21, 2016