An L.A. Art Show Was the Backdrop for a Major Discussion About the Future of Standing Rock / LA Weekly

Dave Archambault II, Jane Fonda and Bruce Kapsan spoke at the first public conversation in Los Angeles about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Getty Images/Courtesy Depart Foundation

Dave Archambault II, Jane Fonda and Bruce Kapsan spoke at the first public conversation in Los Angeles about the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Getty Images/Courtesy Depart Foundation

“April is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain,” T.S. Eliot writes in his epic poem, “The Wasteland.” This poem couldn’t have predicted the start of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests this past April at the Standing Rock Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, but just as spring sprung in Eliot’s poem, so did a fight against one of the most dangerous pipelines in American history; if completed, DAPL will threaten the water quality of millions of people.

On a recent Thursday afternoon in West Hollywood, the Depart Foundation hosted the first public discussion in Los Angeles with Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II, Jane Fonda, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Bruce Kapson and moderator Jon Christensen, about DAPL’s impact. The talk took place at a serendipitous time of waiting and wondering: After more than nine months of protests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted construction on Dec. 4 to conduct an environmental impact review, determining if there was a way to not cross the Missouri River.

“The decision rendered was a small win,” Archambault said. “But we didn’t win the war, not until the threat goes away.”

DAPL has created a stir nationally and globally, raising awareness about the convergence of corporations, financial institutions and the government, all while the 2016 election was heating up. DAPL is also just another indication of the colonial mindset and the continual, 500-year genocide carried out against Native Americans. The U.S. government violated treaties with the Sioux in 1825, 1837, 1851 and 1868; this was unfortunately no different yet still completely questionable. In total, 300 American tribes gathered to protest the illegal construction, and the number of protesters reached into the thousands. Just before the decision to halt, protesters were joined by 2,000 U.S. veterans of wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the entire story on LA WEEKLY: http://www.laweekly.com/arts/an-la-art-show-was-the-backdrop-for-a-major-discussion-about-the-future-of-standing-rock-7727333