Wednesday, 30 November 2016

An open letter to President Obama regarding the Standing Rock crisis


Dear President Obama,

I am writing to express my deep and urgent concern regarding the crisis presently unfolding at Standing Rock.

I am not (and have never been) an American citizen. My concern is that of a citizen of the world, and it is fourfold. First, for the injustice the Dakota Access Pipeline represents to the indigenous people of Standing Rock, whose trust with the United States it will violate. Second, for the acceleration of global warming by the use of fossil fuels, which the Pipeline is designed to facilitate. Third, for the precious water supplies it endangers. And fourth, for the human rights abuses which have been perpetrated, contrary to the First Amendment of your Constitution, against those exercising their sovereign right to oppose it.

I have been given to understand that the State intends to bring military force to bear on the activists within four days of this writing. I ask you, Mr President, to exercise your power, as perhaps the final act for which your Presidency will be remembered, to bring about a resolution to the crisis that is favourable with respect to the fourfold concerns I have outlined.

As a private citizen who cannot vote in the United States I have no inducement to offer. I implore you, however, to consider what your successor is likely to make of the situation if it remains unresolved when he takes office; and what precedent it will provide for him if it is resolved by the use of military force against a legitimate, peaceful demonstration.

Yours with the greatest and most urgent of sincerity,

Daniel Copeland

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