Five College students to hold Farmers’ Market in solidarity with Standing Rock protests


Wei Cai, Writer

AMHERST — Students and community will show their support for those protesting the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by gathering at the Goodell Lawn at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Friday for a farmers’ market and fundraiser.

The Native American Students Association and Divest UMass are working alongside the Student Farmers Market to make the event possible. All proceeds go directly to the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camps, according to organizers.

According to the event page, all funds raised from the crafts and goods will go directly to the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camp, a camp that protestors can visit to join in on the effort in North Dakota.

This event is happening in light of the situation unfolding in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux, a native tribe of the state, is fighting against the development of a pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners that will transport oil through their land and have a detrimental impact on the Native American culture and water supply of that area.

According to the tribe’s website, the land where the pipeline is set to be built has religious and cultural importance to the tribe – something they don’t want to lose. In addition to the significance it has for the tribe, environmental concerns have been raised since the oil could contaminate the water there.

In the past week, tension escalated between police and protesters. At least 117 people were arrested, and police reportedly used pepper spray, according to The Associated Press.

As tensions heightened, posts began to pop up on Facebook telling users police that area were using data from Facebook check-ins to monitor and target protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The posts — which have circulated widely on the social media platform — follow this format:

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has been using Facebook check-ins to find out who is at Randing Stock in order to target them in attempts to disrupt the prayer camps. SO Water Protecters are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at Randing Stock, ND to overwhelm and confuse them. This is concrete action that can protect people putting their bodies and well-beings on the line that we can do without leaving our homes.

if you’re sharing your location at Randing Stock (which you should be doing)

1) make it public

2) make the clarification post separate, and so that only your friends can see it

3) don’t clarify on your check in, message friends who say “stay safe!” to let them know what’s up — the stay safe posts are more convincing / confusing for police

4) copy paste to share clarification messages (like this one) because making it public blows our cover

5) say “Randing Stock” in clarification posts so that when they filter out / search those terms, your post is visible to the right people.”

The department denied the claims in the Facebook post. They posted on their own Facebook page and said they are not tracking people using check-ins.  

Email Wei at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @weicaiumass.

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