The ACLU of Vermont has long been committed to supporting and defending the rights of indigenous people and communities. We recognize the vital roles peaceful protest, nonviolent civil disobedience, and activism play in defending our civil and human rights. ACLU-VT stands with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its allied indigenous nations and supporters across the globe as they speak out against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

As such, we denounce any government suppression of the right to protest and militarized policing of protesters by the state of North Dakota.

In recent months, thousands from across the globe have joined in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. The protest has brought together 200 or so tribes that have not united for more than 150 years. This is historic. But the #NoDAPL water protectors at Standing Rock are being met with resistance from police in riot gear with armored military vehicles, automatic rifles, sonic weapons, concussion grenades, attack dogs, pepper spray, and beanbag bullets.

Fortunately, the Department of Justice – which oversees various federal programs that may have supplied much of the equipment being used against protesters – has the power to help stop this militarized response to indigenous activists and their allies fighting for clean water, just as they took a stand in Ferguson.

Join us in calling on the DOJ to investigate possible constitutional violations at Standing Rock and suspend use of federally supplied military equipment by police.