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Editorial: Concordia students need to fight for what they believe in

by The Concordian November 15, 2016
Editorial: Concordia students need to fight for what they believe in

You probably thought we were going to run an editorial denouncing the results of the U.S. presidential elections. To be frank, though, we are exhausted and sick of talking about it. The dirty campaign feels like it lasted a decade and, at The Concordian, we thought it’d be best to focus on another issue.   

On Thursday afternoon, our news team reported on a demonstration staged by a group of students and faculty in the mezzanine of the Hall building. Their intent was to protest the expanding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (also referred to as DAPL). The group consisted of individuals from a First Peoples elective class, as well as the Indigenous Student Association at Concordia.

If you haven’t heard about DAPL, then you need to get your head out of the sand and head right over to Google search. The situation is currently unfolding in North Dakota, where protesters are trying prevent the construction of a giant oil pipeline that would go straight through several indigenous territories and severely impact the environment in the regions.

This is why you probably saw a ton of people on social media checking in at Standing Rock, a Hunkpapa Lakota and Yanktonai Dakota reservation located in both North Dakota and South Dakota in the United States. The pipeline runs through this indigenous reservation and threatens the region’s only water supply. Protesters from around North America have gathered at Standing Rock, where they continue to challenge authorities as they wage a defiant fight to protect their rights and lands.

Local police units were using Facebook as a means of tracking and arresting protesters. This triggered a social media movement across the world, where individuals checked in to Standing Rock in an attempt to thwart the authorities.

While we applaud social media users for their efforts, checking in to a location with the click of a button is simply not enough. More needs to be done to send a strong message that a major pipeline which can cause severe environmental repercussions is unacceptable and inhumane.

This is why The Concordian fully supports the efforts made by the First Peoples elective class and the Indigenous Student Association during their protest on Thursday at Concordia. We encourage the rest of the student body to emerge from their hibernating states of disillusionment and mobilize towards the cause.

We also applaud the efforts of the Concordia Student Union and Divest Concordia to push for the university’s divestment from fossil fuel investments. If we are to stop pipelines from being built in the future, we need to move towards sustainable energies that won’t pollute our planet.

We know this week has been shocking and tough to say the least. But we cannot give up fighting for our rights, and the rights of others around the world. Even if you aren’t fully behind stopping DAPL or don’t really understand the situation, we encourage you to educate yourself and get behind a cause you believe in.

In the words of author Stephen King, “get busy living or get busy dying.

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