Non-violence Training Teaches White Paternalism at Camp Standing Rock


Armed warriors at Kanesatake during the 1990 “Oka Crisis.” / Gazette John Mahoney (CTY)

by Wrong Kind of Green, September 16, 2016

What the white man seeks to destroy and what the non-profit industrial complex is financed to carry out: the destruction of the Indigenous Warrior culture. This is not news to native people, however, this reality is all but lost on today’s white “left”. [Further reading: Part II of an Investigative Report into Tar Sands Action & the Paralysis of a Movement, September 19, 2011]

The following comment is from a film director who just returned from the camp at Standing Rock. What she witnessed is the historical paternalism that is reminiscent of the ‘Indian schools’ where proper comportment was wholly identified as the ability to assimilate into Anglo structures. We thank this person for recognizing and  sharing what she witnessed. That this took place on native land – shows egotism and white paternalism still very much exists, is being taught/modeled (via NGO “training”/*NVDA dogma), has no bounds – and no shame. (*non-violent direct action)

Camp participant:

“I just returned from the camp at standing rock and I can report that this[referencing the article: All Eyes On Dakota Access – All Eyes Off Bakken Genocide] is exactly what has happened. I sat in on the first two non violent action trainings brought into the camp to help teach protestors how to “de-escalate” even to the point of pulling young men (warriors) aside and chastising them (gently of course) for their anger. They were also told not to wear bandanas over their faces but to proudly be identified. A chill went up and down me. The national guard was brought in a couple of days ago to “help with traffic” and now today protestors (called ” protectors”) were arrested by guards in complete riot gear. This will not end well.”

meme-grassroots-wears-masksThe following is an excerpt from the report: All Eyes On Dakota Access – All Eyes Off Bakken Genocide, published September 13, 2016:

Enter #NODAPL Solidarity

One would be hard pressed to find on any website such extensive NVDA (non-violent direct action) dogma as found on the #NoDAPL Solidarity website (created on August 29, 2016 by Nick Katkevich, noted liberal strategist who is the co-creator of the group FANG – Fighting Against Natural Gas). Especially in light of this website being meant to be interpreted as representative of Indigenous resistance. Yet, Indigenous peoples do not espouse NVDA as an ideology – this is the ideology belonging to and peddled by the NPIC. The fact is, Indigenous peoples retain a deep-rooted (and enviable) warrior ideology – deeply ingrained in the Indigenous culture. This is what the NPIC seeks to destroy. Because of the arrogance and paternalism of those within the NPIC, they even believe they will be successful in doing so. This site is sponsored by Rising Tides North America (RTNA), which can be identified under the “Friends and Allies” (North America) section on the website. Many view RTNA as a sister org. to Rainforest Action Network, with a more radical veneer, the common link being Scott Parkin: “Scott Parkin is a climate organizer working with Rainforest Action Network, Rising Tide North America and the Ruckus Society.” (see the multitude of Ruckus documents/links on screenshot below). [Source]

Further irony arises when one takes note of the Martin Luther King quote on the “indigenous led resistance” website (see screenshot above). Ask yourself why Indigenous resistance would choose to quote MLK (a long-time favourite co-opted and sanitized icon of the NPIC), rather than a quote from their own warriors.

Leave it to white “leftists” to retain their unwavering belief they have the right and superior knowledge to manage/shape how Indigenous struggles should be led. This is the same “left” (funded by the establishment) that has failed at virtually everything except for the main task assigned by the elites they kowtow to: keeping current power structures intact.

And yet…

Although the white left would never believe it to be true, the Indigenous Peoples have a wisdom and knowledge the Euro-Americans lack altogether. They are not part of our depraved society. So why would wise people succumb to the whims of the NPIC? There is perhaps a very good reason why the tribes standing with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are not opposed to the white left saturation who will never fail to rush in front for the cameras: to place them in front to stop the bullets from being fired (“Don’t Shoot”). Indigenous peoples have been subjected to horrendous racism since the first European colonizers arrived, which continues to this day. The reality being white activists have no fear of being shot and killed by police regardless of their actions, whereby the same actions are opportunities for the state to kill natives, blacks and minorities.

For media sensation and photographs that will travel the globe, those at the helm of the NPIC ensure that publicly, Indigenous Peoples most always appear in the forefront – all while strategizing behind closed doors to take leadership. When they cannot do so, they vacate the movement, work to marginalize and if possible bury, the legitimate work they were unable to take over. The 2010 People’s Agreement (Cochabamba, Bolivia), led by Indigenous peoples, is an excellent example of just this. The white man has proven incapable of involvement if he is not soon in charge. He has proven himself incapable of following, learning, listening… standing behind. Keeping his mouth closed. The ugly reality is that these are racist, fascist organizations, only there to protect current power structures and count bodies. Social media metrics are far more important than disposable people.

“When the Enviros show up, their literature and banner is strung up against the wall. We are pushed into our place. Most have had a bad taste from wasicu hypocrisy.”  — Harold One Feather

Those at the helm of the NGOs that comprise the NPIC will not be joining land defenders that are willing to die to protect their land, people, culture and ancestry. For these cowards, the brand is too valuable, the price too high. The warrior culture too strong (unruly savages!) to contain. Instead they will throw a few crumbs and send their well-intentioned youth followers as the sacrificial lambs to test the waters. The Indigenous that live within the Bakken are the only credible organizers in opposition to the frack oil developments. It is an understood but unspoken reality that within this resistance, people are going to die.

“Much of the camp’s rhetoric is of the “Non-violent Direct Action” type. Lock your arm to this piece of deconstruction equipment and take a picture with a banner for Facebook. But the Warrior Culture that is so rich in Lakota memory seems to counter a lot of the liberal, non-violent, NGO types. Comrades saw what happened in Iowa, heard about the $1,000,000 in damage and got inspired. I wouldn’t say that it was publicly celebrated because the camp’s tactic of “Non-violence” is the image they want to perpetuate. Like I said, it is a tactic… not everyone thinks that is what we need to dogmatically stick to. It is one thing to use Non-Violence as a rhetorical device in corporate media to spread your inspirational actions but it is another thing to preach it as your dogma in your private circles and use it to stop material damage to the infrastructure of ecocide. I see the former being invoked much greater than the latter.” — A CONVERSATION ON THE SACRED STONE CAMP, Sept 4, 2016

One may also wonder about the Pledge of Resistance being “organized” by the CREDO corporation: “Many thanks to our friends at CREDO who organized the Pledge of Resistance against Keystone XL—the Bakken Pipeline pledge borrows liberally from their work.” Bold Iowa, Source]

All eyes ON one (single) pipeline.

All eyes OFF the acceleration of genocide of Indigenous peoples in the Bakken.

All eyes OFF Bakken fracking oil.


Posted on September 18, 2016, in Oil & Gas, Warrior and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Same happens here with our defender actions and marches and rallies. Aboriginal people are on the front lines of this war EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives, but some sexy issue reaches the ranks of various NFP orgs and we suddenly get the white saviours coming in trying to tell us they know best despite them leaving every night to go back to the privilege of safety and “normality”.

    We don’t allow them a voice at the fire any more unless we call on specific individuals who have proven their willingness to be accomplices instead allies. Those can be relied upon to usually know their place, contribute on our terms and get beaten and/or arrested with us if it comes to that.

    We have publicly issued a rejection of certain activist groups who repeatedly ignore and therefore disrespect our elders and can exploit our struggle for their gain.

    Solidarity to DaPL defenders from the Brisbane Blacks, Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy and all mob across this continent they call Australia who have begun to decolonise our minds, our lives and our communitues.

  2. You don’t even have accurate information. You are linking a bunch of non related quotes and facts together that are not from the same camps. If you want accurate information, you should ask people who have actually been on the ground organizing! I am indigenous and I have been on the ground for over 6 weeks organizing and I warn anyone reading this article to seek real knowledge.

    • As far as I can see they are talking to people who are attending the camps and participating in actions…

      • Actually, they are not. They picked up random quotes and facts and generalized them for the entire encampment. The reality is, there are three separate camps that have three different functions.

      • I wouldn’t say they were “random quotes” as the 3-4 quotes used in the article are from participants who’ve attended Standing Rock and which show the main points being argued. I would agree they are generalizing them for the entire encampment but the article itself is a critique of the overall mobilization and specifically the tactics being used and, it appears, the imposing of non-violent direct action rather than the use of a diversity of tactics. Perhaps you could address these issues rather than the format or style of the article?

      • So, there is a diversity of tactics being utilized. There are three different camps. One does not know what NVDA or diversity of tactics are. They’re sad attempts at NVDA are what the first quote was referencing. That messaging of no bandanas and “peaceful,” tactics is out of one camp.

        Which, by the way, had no association with the Global weeks of Solidarity. Nick from FANG was asked to do the website, specifically from another camp because we do not have the capacity to launch it ourselves from our camp.
        There is limited service and no wifi. So
        Our ally, Nick, was asked to support.
        Which he did only with the guidance of indigenous folks on the front lines.

        The other quotes come from a third camp. Again, this article took random quotes (even if associated with the #NoDAPL movement) and strung them together as if there is only one camp. Whoever the writer is had obviously not been at camp and/or they did not make the effort to make authentic relationships with the camps and folks
        On the ground.

      • Thanks, that helps to clear things up a bit.

    • Thank you for clarifying that the article may simply be a piece of disinfo. I’m standing in solidarity with native No DAPL inspired actions here in Eugene, Oregon. I can’t travel to ND, but I wish you all the best.

  3. Now I’m just hopelessly confused. Did not the main native organizers of the No DAPL action denounce Jill Stein for her borderline ‘violent’ act of spraypainting a bulldozer in front of a camera? Now these same people are denouncing white activists for not being willing to do significant property damage and get arrested in solidarity with native resisters. So which is it?

  4. While true non-violent action is preferred… not wanting war is what an old First Nations game of “Counting Coup” was called & About. If my poor old white boy mind is not too old.
    However as a People who’s rights and Humanity has been walked on, talked DOWN about and in plain general VIOLATED in every respect. We must fight back. So what if I am a tiny bit First Nation in genetics, I am Human in every RESPECT. I lost my human rights 24 years ago and tortured 12 years & I am crazy enough to believe I can speak to the Spirits of the Planet.
    I am sending Storms for the past 10 months now to destroy the USA nation, so far this years Storm Damage are in excess of 200 Trillion. Screw white people wants of their luxury.
    Fight BACK! Protect your SELVES!
    The Spirits will RESPECT you for STANDING TALL!

  5. Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    How do you know that white activists have no fear of being shot or beaten? There are whites whom have given their lives for justice — I recall a 25 year old Presbyterian minister whom was run over by a bulldozer while he protested for the Civil Rights movement. Other whites were murdered for their participation, as well. I am sure whites have provided assistance to the camp without getting on their soap box. They are non-bossy whites that support Standing Rock.
    However, I do know and hear the message of white men wanting to take over. I being a white woman, know that all too well. I also know that at Wounded Knee, and Sand Creek, there were massacres when the Natives were asked to disarm…which they did. Then they were shot down by white cavalry. The 2nd Amendment is under attack where you are not supposed to have ANY way to protect yourself, and it saddens me that Standing Rock protestors were told they were not supposed to have any weapons.

  6. Nonviolence, as a tactic, is twice as likely to be successful in creating lasting positive change according to a study by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan (

    Violence, no matter which culture is using it, is not the way to get lasting positive change. The tactic of nonviolent direct action has a much higher chance of meeting movement goals while also supporting women, men, children and grandparents as they all participate in meaningful ways.

    • The Mohawks used violence at Oka 1990; the Pines were not destroyed and the golf course never expanded. The people at Ipperwash used violence to repel the riot cops, Dudley George was shot and killed later but the people now live at Stoney Point and were ultimately victorious in their struggle. During the 1990 Oka Crisis the entire community of Kahnawake was mobilized, from young warriors to elders and children. The “victories” of non-violent actions are all based on myths. The fact is no struggle has ever been successful simply by being “non-violent.” Even the black civil rights campaign used a diversity of tactics–even King’s own bodyguards were armed as were many of the “non-violent” organizers in the south. India wasn’t successful in gaining independence because of Gandhi’s pacifism but because there was a large movement that used a diversity of tactics.

      • The success of nonviolence is not a myth. We can point to many instances where nonviolence was the deciding factor in a movement’s success. Examples are numerous throughout history and include many examples. These few are from Michael Nagler’s “Nonviolence Handbook.”

        Nagler writes:

        Nonviolence has been used as a tool for change since before the time of Christ all the way up to just a year ago, and here are just thirty global and historical examples of nonviolent action achieving real results:

        494 B.C. — The plebeians of Rome withdrew from the city and refused to work for days in order to correct grievances they had against the Roman consuls.

        1765-1775 A.D. — The American colonists mounted three major nonviolent resistance campaigns against British rule (against the Stamp Acts of 1765, the Townsend Acts of 1767, and the Coercive Acts of 1774) resulting in de facto independence for nine colonies by 1775.

        1850-1867 — Hungarian nationalists, led by Francis Deak, engaged in nonviolent resistance to Austrian rule, eventually regaining self-governance for Hungary as part of an Austro-Hungarian federation.

        1905-1906 — In Russia, peasants, workers, students, and the intelligentsia engaged in major strikes and other forms of nonviolent action, forcing the Czar to accept the creation of an elected legislature.

        1917 — The February 1917 Russian Revolution, despite some limited violence, was also predominantly nonviolent and led to the collapse of the czarist system.

        1913-1919 — Nonviolent demonstrations for woman’s suffrage in the United States led to the passage and ratification of the Constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.

        1920 — An attempted coup d’etat, led by Wolfgang Kapp against the Weimar Republic of Germany failed when the population went on a general strike, refusing to give its consent and cooperation to the new government.

        1923 — Despite severe repression, Germans resisted the French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr, making the occupation so costly politically and economically that the French and Belgian forces finally withdrew.

        1920s-1947 — The Indian independence movement led by Mohandas Gandhi is one of the best-known examples of nonviolent struggle.

        1933-45 — Throughout World War II, there were a series of small and usually isolated groups that used nonviolent techniques against the Nazis successfully. These groups include the White Rose and the Rosenstrasse Resistance.

        1940-43 — During World War II, after the invasion of the Wehrmacht, the Danish government adopted a policy of official cooperation (and unofficial obstruction) which they called “negotiation under protest.” Embraced by many Danes, the unofficial resistance included slow production, emphatic celebration of Danish culture and history, and bureaucratic quagmires.

        1940-45 — During World War II, Norwegian civil disobedience included preventing the Nazification of Norway’s educational system, distributing of illegal newspapers, and maintaining social distance(an “ice front”) from the German soldiers.

        1940-45 — Nonviolent action to save Jews from the Holocaust in Berlin, Bulgaria, Denmark, Le Chambon, France and elsewhere.

        1944 — Two Central American dictators, Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (El Salvador) and Jorge Ubico (Guatemala), were ousted as a result of nonviolent civilian insurrections.

        1953 — A wave of strikes in Soviet prison labor camps led to improvements in living conditions of political prisoners.

        1955-1968 — Using a variety of nonviolent methods, including bus boycotts, economic boycotts, massive demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, and freedom rides, the U.S. civil rights movement won passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

        1968-69 — Nonviolent resistance to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia enabled the Dubcek regime to stay in power for eight months, far longer than would have been possible with military resistance.

        1970s and 80s — The anti-nuclear power movements in the US had campaigned against the start-up of various nuclear power plants across the US, including Diablo Canyon in Central California.

        1986-94 — US activists resist the forced relocation of over 10,000 traditional Navajo people living in Northeastern Arizona, using the Genocide Demands, where they called for the prosecution of all those responsible for the relocation for the crime of genocide.

        1986 — The Philippines “people power” movement brought down the oppressive Marcos dictatorship.

        1989 — The nonviolent struggles to end the Communist dictatorships in Czechoslovakia in 1989 and East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1991.

        1989 — The Solidarity struggle in Poland, which began in 1980 with strikes to support the demand of a legal free trade union, and concluded in 1989 with the end of the Polish Communist regime.

        1989 — Nonviolent struggles led to the end of the Communist dictatorships in Czechoslovakia in 1989 and East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1991.

        1990 — The nonviolent protests and mass resistance against the Apartheid policies in South Africa, including a massive international divestment movement, especially between 1950 and 1990, brings Apartheid down in 1990. Nelson Mandela, African National Congress leader, is elected President of South Africa in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for sedition.

        1991 — The noncooperation and defiance defeated the Soviet “hard-line” coup d’état in Moscow.

        1996 — The movement to oust Serbia dictator Slobodan Milosevic, which began in November 1996 with Serbs conducting daily parades and protests in Belgrade and other cities. At that time, however, Serb democrats lacked a strategy to press on the struggle and failed to launch a campaign to bring down the Milosevic dictatorship. In early October 2000, the Otpor (Resistance) movement and other Democrats rose up again against Milosevic in a carefully planned nonviolent struggle.

        1999 to Present — Popular protests of corporate power & globalization begin with Seattle WTO protest in Seattle, 1999. This is what set the trend for the Occupy movement which is still alive.

        2001 — The “People Power Two” campaign, ousts Filipino President Estrada in early 2001.

        2004-05 — The Ukranian people take back their democracy with the Orange revolution.

        2010 to Present — Arab Spring nonviolent uprisings result in the ouster of dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt and ongoing struggles in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries.

        Strategic nonviolence leaves less damage and is less likely to end in the death of those involved because we can fight nonviolently in effective ways that do not kill those we still have to live with after the hostilities have ended.

        Has violence worked in some circumstances? Yes, but with about half the rate of success as nonviolence and with much less likelihood of peace five years after people have been killed in violent insurrections. Read the study by Chenoweth and Stephan and if you find flaws in their research expounding on these facts, you would be the first.

      • A long list of pacifist “victories.” I’m going to ignore the reformist movements you list, such as the “Orange Revolution” or the ouster of the Marcos regime in the Philippines, because I cannot see what long-term “victories” these brought people and because you are clearly using reformist protest movements which achieve some change in electoral politics as examples of pacifist victories. Here are some good examples of how you and many pacifist distort history to show the “superiority” of your ideology:
        The Arab spring, branded by pacifists as non-violent, saw scores of police killed, police stations burned, and widespread rioting.
        1999 anti-WTO protests: saw widespread property destruction and nightly rioting against police, but pacifists will claim this was a non-violent event.
        The South African anti-apartheid struggle saw not only militant but armed attacks against the white racist regime as well as widespread rioting. The ANC itself had an armed wing.
        The US civil rights campaign saw widespread rioting as well as armed resistance; indeed many of the non-violent organizers were themselves armed. In cases where schools were desegregated, for example, it was through the armed force of the federal government, but pacifists will still claim civil rights was achieved through non-violent means.
        India did not gain independence through Ganhi’s pacifist doctrine but through a wide diversity of means including armed movements and rebellions, rioting, sabotage and of course the destruction of World War 2 which severely limited the ability of the British Empire to maintain its colonies, but you’ll still claim that it was all non-violent. Pathetic.
        The 1917 Russian Revolution: after the destruction of WW1 (which you conveniently omit, and which saw over a million Russian soldiers killed), left the Russian regime unable to rely on its military forces to crush the revolutionary movements. Many military units were also at the point of mutiny and joined the revolution, which saw heavy street fighting and hundreds of people killed. But you include this as an example of a pacifist victory?
        Here is a link to help you overcome your ideological commitment to pacifism:

      • What kind of nonsense is this: “1933-45 — Throughout World War II, there were a series of small and usually isolated groups that used nonviolent techniques against the Nazis successfully. These groups include the White Rose and the Rosenstrasse Resistance.”

        The White Rose were quickly slain. They accomplished nothing. They are known because they were among the very few to speak out against the Nazis, but they did not succeed in doing anything except getting themselves killed. If getting killed is success, why bother to oppose genocide in the first place?

      • Ya but most importantly they died being non-violent…

      • Unfortunately, my ability to respond to your and other people’s posts further down this page has ceased to function. Did you turn off my ability to comment on further posts or is it a glitch? I thought we were having a valuable discussion, so I hope it is a glitch, rather than an intent to end my part in the dialog.

      • It’s a glitch, I don’t know what the problem would be other than comments do not get posted automatically, rather they are first screened so that no spam or racist idiots can post comments.

  7. Look at me, I am even in here…Leave the NPIC NGO BS at the door, there are no leaders, there is only one action, stopping the pipeline from crossing the Missouri River. The fact that the Missouri River is already fracked up by upstream under-regulated fracking is always ignored; this is what the State of North Dakota fears more than anything, outsiders questioning their fracking regulations…All the fracking happened while all those characters were marching around and parading about KXL in NYC and DC…fracking in the Dakotas is more dangerous than anywhere else, you might end up shot down a deep waste injection well…stopping the Bakken stops the war!!!

  8. The headline for this story says “Non-violence Training Teaches White Paternalism”. In defence of non-violence, Adam Vogal writes this,”Violence, no matter which culture is using it, is not the way to get lasting positive change.” You could literally use his quote as the headline for this white paternalism story.

    This man clearly has no understanding of what culture is. This should come as no surprise, as western culture does not even understand what violence is. Their culture is unable to make a clear distinction between human aggression and violence. Violence being a tool utilized by life in order to sustain itself. In order to sustain life while pretending to be non-violent. Western culture creates a long list of exemptions to the non-violence rule. Violence is ok when the subject of their attack is not a person. I say person, because western culture has a neat little game it plays with words. Within western culture, you can be a human but not a person. This is how they were able to morally justify the slaughter and genocide of so many humans. They exempt all non persons including plants, animals, non person humans, and the planet itself. This is how Mr. Vogal can preach non-violence at a dinner party. The dead or dying being on his dinner plate is on his exemptions list. His salad don’t count. The trees that built all the homes in his city don’t count. When a culture creates a list of exemptions, others can and have added to that list, even if Mr. Vogal does not like it. Non-assimilated indigenous people have no such list. Our use of violence is necessary and taken very seriously. Whether it is picking berries, killing a moose, or shooting at a police officer that demands a golf course be built on an indigenous burial ground.

    Western civilization is an extractivist culture that went into overshoot in Europe. Because it has no intellectual way of dealing with overshoot, it simple adds to the exemption list. Mr. Vogals non-violent path to enlightenment does nothing to address this problem. He and his group are simply western extractionists with a different kill list. A solar panel, electric car, intensive agriculture utopia, in which poor brown people supply all the resources needed. If those poor brown people do not like this, then they must negotiate on non-violent settler terms. I suspect that Mr. Vogals non-violence stance would end shortly after I claimed my UN declaration right of return, right into his living room. Mr. Vogal may not directly use violence to remove me from his occupation of my territory. He would of course use that western exemption list and have his colonial state violently remove me.

    • Thank you for sharing your valuable cultural view, Shad. When I disentangle your inaccurate assumptions about me and how I operate in the world, the views you share paint a very accurate picture about the way broken Western paradigms have worked in our world for far too long.

      It is evident in your statements that you and I are not talking about the same use of the term nonviolence. Strategic nonviolence is not Western, nor passive; it is Universal, active and most importantly, effective. Gene Sharp created a list of 198 ways to actively oppose injustice, and I am going to include a link to that list here because it is useful considering the conversation.

      Click to access 198_nonviolent_methods_2007.pdf

      Also, even after taking your remarks into consideration, I still stand by my statement, “Violence, no matter which culture is using it, is not the way to positive change.” Utilizing strategic nonviolence to gain restoration and accountability are far superior methods compared to using violence. This is not simply my opinion; this is according to the finding of the research by Chenoweth and Stephan that I provided at the beginning of this thread. Nonviolence, when used in many different cultural contexts, is twice as likely to be effective in achieving movement goals, and faster – no matter which culture is choosing to utilize it.

      If people think the world will be made more just and equitable by adding more violence, they may have fallen into the trap of Western thought that continues to disrupt and destroy communities in North Dakota and everywhere else today.

      • Actually, pacifism itself is the result of primarily Western thought and did not arise as a form of protest until the 19th and 20th centuries, despite your vague references to non-violent actions dating back a couple of thousand years. Furthermore, this pacifism originates from religious beliefs which helps to explain its arrogant assumption that it is a morally superior method of acting (Gandhi and King are perfect examples of the religious basis of pacifism). Having said that, I don’t think most people would claim that violence is the better way, but rather that pacifism is not always practical nor effective, which is why radicals promote a diversity of tactics. Indigenous peoples had many ways to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence, but they also maintained a warrior culture that provided armed defence of people and territory. My ancestors would have laughed at your concept of pacifism!

      • Your assumption that I am a pacifist, again, is an inaccurate assumption. I see the value of nonviolence as a strategic tactic in the situation that is being faced in North Dakota. Given the situation on the ground and the goals to protect their land, if violence is used, the advantage that they currently have with the support of the non-Indiginous population disappears. Without allyship and support from members outside of the Indigenous culture, there is no way to win against an insipid and militaristic culture that is seemingly always itching for the destruction of war.

        I value your perspective, but there is no way that violence will create the kind of win that is needed in North Dakota or most anywhere else that cultures are clashing. If a transformation of the situation to benefit the people standing up to the pipeline is the objective in North Dakota, nonviolence is the best way to achieve it.

      • I don’t think anyone is saying the struggle in North Dakota needs to resort to violence, but rather that your claim that non-violence is the most effective method is historically inaccurate.

  9. Pacifism, as a means of noncooperation with imperial authority can take several useful forms, such as not voting to perpetuate a militaristic police state based on a war economy, or not paying taxes to support an exceptionally violent government with a history of genocide and slavery and an economic system that increases income disparity.

    My personal experience, however, is that the vast majority of those who preach pacifism dutifully pay their taxes and vote, as they are not conscientiously nonviolent, but wish only for government to maintain a monopoly on violence.

    The empire has no clothes! 😉

  10. this article conflates the philosophies of different but cooperating camps, and expresses no knowledge of the prophesies guiding the choice of nvda.

  11. I entirely disagree with the thesis presented in this article that teaching non-violence is paternalistic. In fact it is unmitigated crap. It is paternalistic of the author to presume that the hundreds of native people in the camp, giving their prayers about utilizing a peaceful approach, are some sort of victims of paternalism. I am sorry, but that is such crap it makes me angry. Many of the speeches I heard there in the camp talked about having a sacred duty to not only to protect the water which is life, but to honor a high duty to be the conscience for a civilization that has lost its way and run amok, and that in order to do this, they must proceed in a peaceful way, and not allow the intentional provocations of the pipeline thugs and their tool the North Dakota governor to provoke them to violence. All of the hundreds of speeches and dances and prayers I heard there articulated the importance of not becoming violent. And those people were strong, and their messages were inspired by very intelligent and smart strategy, and were not parroting some message of paternalism. The thesis in this article is just plain wrong. It is so bad and so wrong that it makes me wonder whether it is not some sort of disingenuous thing presented on the behalf of the pipeline and governor who also are trying to provoke violence.

    • Well consider this: in the 1970s Native peoples never talked about non-violent civil disobedience. In 1990 the Mohawks didn’t talk about non-violent civil disobedience. Only since the late 1990s, from my experience, did we begin to see Native activists and organizers begin to promote non-violence, and this was with the incursion of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who also began training programs for Natives aimed at imposing non-violence as the only way to carry out resistance. And all those speeches you heard promoting non-violence are the result of this as well as government promotion of non-violence as the only way. Here’s a quote from federal agencies when they requested that some work on the Dakota Access pipeline be stopped earlier this month: “We fully support the rights of all Americans to assembly and speak freely. We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence,” said the joint statement from the federal departments.”

      • Like the cops always say when they’re beating the crap out of somebody who is unconscious and immobile, or already dead, “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!”

  12. Bruce,
    Any NDN that believes they are the conscience of Western European civilization is showing signs of being assimilated. An indigenous person that has any understanding of their history does not require any outside training in non-violent action. We have procedures for conflict resolution that have been practiced for thousands of years. NGOs believing that they have to show the worlds indigenous population how to conduct themselves is the very definition of paternalism.

  13. i KNOW several of the things in this article are poorly researched and mistruths. rising tide north america is a sister organization of NGO RAN because one person in the all-volunteer group works there for their paid job. that makes no sense and is a baseless claim. i know you are just reposting this, but i know for a fact at least two statements in this article are untrue which makes me distrust the rest of it.

    also i doubt that many people offering direct action trainings are sad that machines used to build the pipeline got destroyed. just because you openly encourage people to engage in non-violent direct action does not mean you are necessarily against property destruction.

    if the training scenario did actually happen the way it’s written about here it sounds like maybe it was someone that was not super experienced? most trainings i’ve been to allow participants to explore their own meaning of violent and non-violent in a non-judgemental way.

  14. 6 years later and where did the DAPL protesters go, leaving Standing Rock and not even offering any of the poverty stricken Rez folks any jobs and a chance to get those jobs by offering a couch for folks until they get enough cash for their own place…nope they just used the DAPL for their own organizational BS that does nothing for anyone….didn’t even offer folks any jobs

  1. Pingback: Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux // No DAPL! Demo Sept. 23 in Victoria | BCBlackOut

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