Revcoms at Standing Rock:
“The Potential for Humanity to Come Together Around a Totally Different Way”…
November 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Revcom.us interviewed Travis Morales and a young member of the Revolution Club who have been out at Standing Rock for over a month now. The following is an excerpt, edited for publication.
Revcom.us: Both of you went there with the understanding that the system is the problem and that communist revolution—the new communism is the answer. From that perspective and with that understanding, what insights and thoughts do you have about how the world doesn’t need to be this way, how society doesn’t need to be this way—what it might look like to have a whole different kind of society that’s in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that would end the oppression suffered by the Native Peoples, for like you say 400 years? And that would begin to address the environmental emergency from a whole different perspective?
Revolution Club Member [RCM]: I mean here you have a situation where thousands of people from all over the country and all over the world have come together to fill a really great need and that is to put their bodies and put their lives on the line to stop this pipeline—which would have huge disastrous implications for humanity if it goes through in terms of the Missouri River and the remaining people in this region of the country, the poisoning this river that effects millions of more people. So you have people coming together on that basis, to stop this pipeline…
Revcom.us: I just want to interject the other dimension to it is the violation of the treaty rights and sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux…
RCM: That is an extremely important dimension of things for sure. What’s happening here is incredibly inspiring and shows the potential for humanity to come together around a totally different—coming together to actually—like under communism, coming together and people contributing what they can and getting back what they need. This is really what is happening here. There are people coming here who have things and many more who come who don’t have skills—but contributing what they can and sharing. Same thing goes for the food here. People who have some more skills to be able to make very large batches of food for people and then there are people who don’t have a clue but they are learning and contributing. Anyone who comes here has that spirit to contribute as much as they can towards this effort and there is no shortage of need here and especially as we approach this very brutal winter. And again you have thousands of people here who are determined to do whatever they can to make sure to see this all the way through.
Travis Morales: There are people who live off the grid, people who are professional people who have medical skills, who do construction. People have been unleashed; this is something that matters to people… These are people who are standing with the Native Peoples against the genocide, against the poisoning of the water, and you do see the potential here for—as we have discussed with many people, it’s going to take a revolution to actually put into practice a lot of the ideas and the things that people are doing here—on a mass scale, for people to work cooperatively together.
And there is a huge question, a huge challenge—which side are you on? Are you coming to stand with these oppressors under orders from the highest levels of government who are out here brutalizing and coming close to murdering some people to ram through this pipeline? Or are you going to stand with the people who have suffered this genocide for 400 years, who are taking this stand that we’re not going to let this pipeline go through and we’re not going to let them poison this water? This is a question of “which side are you on”? And I think—almost two and a half months from now a fascist is going to be declared president of this country. And what’s going on here could be a challenge to this whole fascist regime that is about to go into power, becoming a real flash point. People coming together to stand up to the pipeline and quite frankly the U.S. capitalists who are trying to ram this through and this could be quite a crisis for the Trump regime that is coming in.
And I think we see some potential here… It’s going to take communist leadership to make revolution and within that you can see how all kinds of people can be drawn into political life very quickly from different perspectives, who come into resistance to the status quo. The revolutionary communist line actually [brings this out] that this is quite possible.
Revcom.us: That seems like a good note to end on.
RCM: I just wanted to add this question of sacrifice because when people look at what’s happening here—people look at how it’s fun and all this kind of stuff—but at the same time there has been a lot of sacrifices to be here. It’s not easy to be here to face these kinds of conditions, this brutal winter that’s coming. There is the potential for people to sacrifice, their jobs, their families, their jobs that they’ve left. People making incredible sacrifices. And the way people have stood up against these vicious police.
That’s not easy, that’s not fun to get shot point blank at by rubber bullets, to get maced. But it matters a great deal and when you ask people who have been through this, been brutalized, is it worth it, they say, of course, of course it’s worth it. All these sacrifices are worth it because it matters to stand up against this modern day genocide and so all these sacrifices that people are making are for that and people are willing to make these sacrifices for that.
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