Friends, today we’re going to talk about Standing Rock. We’d like to say a few words about indigenous people. First I’d like to go to the Declaration of Independence, where our forefathers are talking about insurrections and they’re blaming them on the king. And when they see “he,” they’re talking about the king. “He has exercised domestic insurrections against us, and endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare is the indiscriminate destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
Now where did that come from? Friends, in the past few weeks I’ve been giving examples of how religion is often used as a cloak for malice. People talking about “who the infidels are,” the other guys – we have a terrible history of this with the Holy Roman Empire. I do want to give not only the background on the Declaration of Independence, but also on a papal bull that was very important to the people of the “new world.” Here we read the 1452 papal bull which instructed the crown to invade, capture, vanquish, and subdue all pagans and other enemies of christ, put them into perpetual slavery, take away all their possessions and property – 1454. And another bull furthered that thinking, sanctifying the seizure of non-Christian lands in parts of Africa and elsewhere and restating the legitimacy of enslaving non-Christian people.
I want to thank the Catholic Reporter for all of this research. What an amazing newspaper. They practice journalism. They do not practice being cheerleaders, and they do a wonderful job out of St. Louis. So we have here the declaration and these papal bulls, which had influence. They influenced supreme court justice John Marshall. He mentioned, on the discovery of this immense continent, “the great nations of Europe were eager to appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively acquire.”
So I have guests today who know something about Standing Rock. I’m just very happy to have them with us. Liam Cain, could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and how you got involved with Standing Rock.
Liam: My name is Liam Cain. I’m a member of Laborers Local 1271 out of Cheyenne, Wyoming. I’m also a member of Industrial Workers of the Word Environmental Unionism Caucus, and that’s how I got connected with folks who were starting Labor for Standing Rock. (Read More)