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At the very end of an interview on RT News focused on the two thousand military vets who are slated to act as human shields for the protesters at Standing Rock this coming week, Erick Lizandro Marroquin, organizer of the vets’ movement in solidarity, responds to the interviewer’s question about whether the vets have a Plan B in case the militarized police force attacks them. Marroquin says — calmly and with great conviction — that the question shouldn’t be why the vets are going to North Dakota or what’s going to happen once they get there. Rather, it should be, he says,

WHY ISN’T EVERYONE GOING THERE? (Why aren’t we, all of us, going there?)
For most people, the immediate answer is that it’s too far. Or that they’ve got work where they are, or that they have family responsibilities.  Or that they’re too frail or sick. Or that they’re obligated to follow through on this or that appointment that’s been set up. Or that the trip would be too expensive.
Fine and dandy, everyone can relate to those excuses. But they are excuses. In the sense that even if one is remaining at home, one can do more than simply watch the mainstream media footage, or the so-called alternative media coverage that comes down. In the sense that there’s no reason whatsoever that anyone can’t become a proactive participant in next week’s movement in solidarity at Standing Rock.
From a distance.
From a distance, one can do a number of things. A select list is below.
In no special order:
a. You can ask your local law enforcement people to contact authorities in North Dakota urging them to stand down at Standing Rock, using departmental stationary (ideally), or personal letterhead;
b. You can ask local educators to screen the RT footage (under 5′) for students, and ask them to encourage civic engagement directed at authorities in North Dakota;
c. You can organize a local group of a dozen concerned citizens to push the envelope with some local elected official to get involved with the historic event in a manner of their choosing.
That’s just a few from the top of my head. But from the bottom of our collective hearts, I believe that we all know that we can and should do more than we’re likely to do this coming week.
Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at invisibleparadecall@gmail.com.

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