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The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's escalating protest against an oil pipeline in North Dakota has unified US indigenous communities in an unprecedented way. Organisers say more than 200 tribes from across the country have converged at Standing Rock in the largest Native American gathering in more than a century. Its national impact was underscored this week when thousands of people across the country took part in a Facebook "check-in" solidarity action. They suggested they too were at Standing Rock in an attempt to thwart potential police monitoring of protesters online.
The protest at Standing Rock has spurred talk of what some call a new civil rights movement around Native American issues. The militarised police crackdown — peaking last week with mass arrests and allegations of abuse — has drawn attention to indigenous communities' treatment by law enforcement. Native Americans die at the hands of police at a rate higher than any other ethnic group. The perception of bias and injustice was amplified when, on the same day as last week's raid, white members of an anti-government militia were acquitted for their armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year. Join us today at 19:30 GMT.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak to:
Simon Moya-Smith @SimonMoyaSmith
Culture Editor, Indian Country Today
Sterling HolyWhiteMountain @MrHWM
Fiction writer and essayist
Eryn Wise @erynwisegamgee
Media coordinator, Sacred Stone Camp
Tara Houska @zhaabowekwe
National Campaigns Director, Honor the Earth
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