Dear White People: DAPL is “not Burning Man”
November 27, 2016
Demonstrators at North Dakota’s Pipeline protest have spoken out about the amount of white people who have turned up to “colonise” the camp.
The concerns have been raised by protestors in a series of tweets and Facebook posts. According to them, people have turned up to the Standing Rock demonstration to soak up the “cultural experience”, and are treating the camp like it is “Burning Man” festival or “The Rainbow Gathering”.
“White people are colonising the camps. I mean that 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,” said protestor Alicia Smith on Facebook. “I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to festivals. Waiting with big smiles expectantly for us to give them a necklace or an ‘indian’ name while our camp leader was speaking.”
She added that many protestors appeared to be living off the native Americans, and were taking full advantage of the donations that people had been sending in for the cause. This was a trend noticed by another Twitter user, who witnessed one protestor turn down tap water to spend donations on “fluoride free” water.
“They are literally subsisting entirely off of the generosity of the native people… who are fighting to protect their water just because they can,” Smith wrote. “Some literally will not even prepare food but will take food that is prepared, again, having not done anything else all day.”
The situation has reportedly got so bad that an open letter detailing the camp’s ground rules has started trending on Twitter. Responding to the new influx of support, it reminds demonstrators that the camp is “not a vacation.” It also says that protestors should avoid drugs and alcohol, engage with the elders, and refrain from playing “guitar or drums” around the fires