Davis Stands with Standing Rock



More than 60 people gathered downtown at lunchtime in Davis on Tuesday (Sept. 13) to send a resounding message of solidarity to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota who are fighting to protect the Missouri River from potential leaks from the North Dakota Access Pipeline. Davis was one of around 200 communities across the US – and even worldwide – to hold rallies to call for the pipeline to be permanently stopped.

Carol Standing Elk, a Lakota elder from Sisseton, South Dakota who now lives in Davis, brought everyone together into a circle with the burning of sage. UC Davis graduate and member of the Ft. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, Jessa Rae Growing Thunder then led a prayer before leading the group onto the streets in a march. Brandishing banners, “Water is Life,” “I stand with Standing Rock,” “Respect Native Rights,” the group marched along 2nd Street to E Street Plaza.

Jessa Rae Growing Thunder thanked all those who attended. She shared a powerful story of a dream she had had in which her grandmothers showed her water and what would happen to it. The dream showed the pain it would cause but also the strength and resistance it would awaken. “We have what it takes to change our future,” she said. “But we can’t do it alone, which is why today is so powerful.”

Nick Buxton said the struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux is a fight for all of us because Native Americans are both protecting water, the source of life, and by resisting oil expansion are protecting the planet from climate change. “The historic gathering and unity of the first nations of this country is exciting, but it also demands our support, given our country’s dark history in which native rights have been repressed and marginalised. Our liberation is tied up with the liberation of Native Americans.”

In the evening, a number from the march took a resolution to the City Council to discuss that it would express the city’s opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and to support the struggle for indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice.


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28 thoughts on “Davis Stands with Standing Rock”

    1. hpierce

      Actually, I don’t care if the CC wastes time… they have a stipend… it’s their time to waste or use…

      I DO care if they waste staff time [think money] on these things…

        1. hpierce

          Three “avenues”… the applicant can appeal to CC, staff can, and/or any CC member can call up an item from any commissions’ actions… strike that, four… a citizen can appeal if they file and pay fees…

    1. Robb Davis

      I deeply resent the implication of the comments here that somehow we spend all our time (and staff time) on resolutions and no time on fiscal, planning, and other core issues facing the city.  I am not sure why these comments are made but if you want to look at my calendar over the past 2 years to see exactly where I have spent my time and relative amounts spent on issues Iam happy to walk through it with you.  My colleagues and I spend many hours dealing with the core issues of the community–far more than most people understand.  Of course the VG reports on only a sliver of what we actually discuss and work on, does not attend commission meetings, does not attend meetings related to broadband, community choice energy, utility rate setting, etc., so readers here may not be aware.

      Resolutions garner attention because they are out of the ordinary and take us into issues that extend beyond our borders.  People like to pounce on our actions related to them for a variety of reasons but they in no way represent the focus of our time nor our energy.  We are all focused on the local challenges.  Talk to me if you want to see how I spent my time this last week, month and year.  I am happy to show you.

        1. Robb Davis

          We have a subcommittee, of which I am not a part, that receives requests of this kind and determines whether to place them on the agenda (typically on consent) for approval.  Staff rarely spends any time on these issues.  At this point I have received no information from the subcommittee so I don’t know.

  1. Tia Will

    And now…..for the other side of the coin.

    I want our City Council to consider items such as these that have a profound influence on our view of ourselves as a nation and how we choose to treat the concerns and values of others. I do not consider reflection and time spent on matters other than economic well being to be a waste. Social well being is as important to me as economic well being and as worthy of our time and efforts whether council member, staff, or citizen. Our country was founded on principles and ideals as much as it was on our economy, and so should our future be. But these principles and ideals are developed one person, one community at a time. They should never be considered a “waste of time”.

    1. Barack Palin

      So if the council wants to take up this cause and let’s say we have a group that wants energy independence and is for the pipeline we should then have a night of public discussion in which valuable council time is wasted on an issue that no matter what our council decides will have no bearing on the outcome?  How many other national issues should our council weigh in on?

      1. Tia Will


        council time is wasted on an issue that no matter what our council decides will have no bearing on the outcome?”

        You are making an assumption that I do not agree with. You have decided that the decision made by our city council will have no bearing on any particular outcome and I disagree. Very large movements leading to sweeping decisions have often started with decisions first made in one single location. Sometimes the actions of one individual have been enough to spark major changes.

        1. quielo



          Perhaps you have the CC confused with the website change.org? My FB feed is peppered with blandishments to sign a variety or useless petitions. Last I heard BH in Nigeria was still keeping the girls despite the numerous petitions.

          1. Don Shor

            These are your fellow American citizens protesting a situation in our country. Granted, native Americans have only been American citizens since the 1920’s, but they are now and this is something that can be affected by protests to our congressional representatives and the executive branch. This protest seems to be gaining some traction. The support of other tribes has been extensive, the turnout far exceeded the expectations of the organizers, and the attendant media coverage has actually been unusual. So local support directed to our congressman and the White House might actually mean something for once, if it is in concert with many other such resolutions of support. This takes the council about five minutes. It’s not that big a deal for them to consider it.
            And the protesters really do have a point. The routing of the pipeline was changed from the point near Bismarck because it was a hazard to the water supply. So it was moved: next to the water supply of the land of the native Americans. I think you might see their irritation about that, eh?

        2. quielo


          There are many issues I support that are not part of the purview of the CC. How does the CC even know what the people of Davis want regarding this issue? Are you proposing that they just take the opinions of the CC members and pass a resolution with the City’s name on it based on their own prejudices? Did I miss the part of the election where they gave their views on water issues in the Dakotas so I could decide who to vote for?

          Just because something is easy to do does not mean you should do it. This is an extraneous issue that cannot help the city might create additional dissention. Maybe they should just do what’s in front of them?

          1. Don Shor

            I assume it will be in front of them because Davis citizens are seeking to have them act on a resolution of support. They can decline to do that, or act on it. Either action probably takes about the same amount of time. Public comment will occur in any event, and the council can’t stop that.

            Are you proposing that they just take the opinions of the CC members and pass a resolution with the City’s name on it based on their own prejudices?

            That’s how it usually works in a representative democracy, yes. If you have strong opinions about it, I suggest you show up and make your views heard.

        3. quielo



          Sounds like you want to take the “representative” out of  “representative democracy”. On local issues the CC members know how their constituents feel about issues. When they take a flyer into the twilight zone they cannot represent anyone other than their own prejudices.

          1. Don Shor

            They’re not ciphers. They have opinions (which you seem to like to call ‘prejudices’). Other than Jerry Adler, every council member I can think of has not hesitated to express his or her opinions individually and sometimes collectively on issues that go beyond the city. I just hope they don’t take too much time on things like that, but bear in mind that they are responding to petition from their constituents when they do. You seem to be advocating that they not respond to such petitions.

        4. quielo



          Yes, to be clear I believe they should not respond to such petitions. As individuals they can go protest where they like, as representatives of the city they should represent the city.

          I guest my “litmus test” is, for any five minutes they are spending in session is this is the most important thing they can be doing?

        5. Barack Palin

          So anytime a group feels it has a cause or gets a petition signed on any national issue our council should consider it?  I can think of many causes I might like them to take up.

        6. quielo

          I have a hard time shaking the sense that this is based on delusions of grandeur. “We are the CC of a small place in the northern central valley of California and today we get to sit in judgment of the life and legacy of Gandhi”. Next up will be international trade and environment as “we know that the world is looking to us for guidance. “

  2. ecotect

    Recommended viewing of this video to expand awareness of the tragic genocidal story of how the true Americans of our country have been treated through history:


    A conglomerate of mega banks funded this pipeline to beef up their “energy portfolios”.  Using expert spin lawyers they were able to use “eminent domain” law as the reason for skipping over any pesky environmental or judicial law to protect the environment, much less American Indian Reservations or their sacred burial grounds.  This group of Greed without Conscience big money group is lawless in the way they push their will upon farmers and American Indians and the entire world by thumbing their noses at the Paris Climate Accord.  They do not care if they trash prime farmland, rip up old burials grounds or poison a sacred major river such as the mighty Missouri River.  They shrug off any worries that boring 30 feet under this huge river will do no harm.

    Well we have witnessed how safe their pipelines, their train tankers and their fracking machines are, haven’t we?  How many more brutal scars on nature do we have to witness by this industry that does not want to transform their lucrative business to clean energy?

    Davis has a duty to stand with these Indians, just as we have a duty to do everything we can to support the Paris Climate Accord.  If we do not take a stand now, then when?  How much more can this planet take?  How much more abuse of diverse people can continue?  How much more corporate greed driven power moves will be allowed at the cost of millions of people’s lives?

    It is the smallest, most simple act, to just sign a piece of paper, yet it is showing a loving heart for a people and a planet.

    I recommend the City Council take this stand.


  3. Biddlin

    I think it is stupid to try and run the pipeline, which will repeatedly fail and leak throughout its lifetime, through the watershed supplying 3/4 of the country.

    Not sure what a resolution does other than make some pretend-to-be liberals feel better, but it’s not likely to do harm, so why not?

  4. Napoleon Pig IV

    Unfortunately, the headline of this piece should have been “More than 60 People from Davis Stand with Standing Rock” instead of “Davis Stands with Standing Rock,” because it’s likely that most of the fine citizens of Davis have never heard of Standing Rock and are oblivious to what has been happening there.

    In this Pig’s opinion, the lives of the dogs unleashed on the Protectors, were worth more than the lives of the bipedal mammals at the other ends of their leashes, and said bipedal mammals are lucky they didn’t get run through with spears by armed Protectors or trampled by horses.

    Perhaps the spirit of Gandhi lives at Standing Rock. Oink!

  5. Tia Will

    some pretend-to-be liberals feel better, but it’s not likely to do harm, so why not?”

    I am old enough to remember when some “pretend to be liberals” stood with black people in the South to integrate schools, and when some “ pretend-to-be liberals” protested the Viet Nam war in communities large and small across the US. I don’t think anyone “felt better” until well past the days of official “separate but equal” and until well after the Viet Nam was was over, but I doubt that their actions were “likely to do harm, so why not?”

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