Mark Ruffalo is the latest celebrity to lend his name and his actions to support Standing Rock and their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Hulk actor has famously used his platform to support women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and environmentalism efforts and has now joined the thousands of demonstrators who have gathered in North Dakota.
The actor, who co-founded the clean and renewable energy non-profit The Solutions Project, arrived in North Dakota this week with mobile solar panel trailers that will provide clean power to medical tents and other critical areas for the ‘largest gathering of Native Americans in modern history.’
Protesters have been gathering for months to stop the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The construction of the pipeline could have catastrophic effects on the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well the drinking water of millions of other people, with the proposed plans taking the pipeline across the Missouri River. Construction of the pipeline has already destroyed sacred burial grounds, and with 220 significant spills already reported in 2016, there is a justified fear that the pipeline could do irreparable damage.
Ruffalo is one of many celebrities helping to shine a light on Standing Rock. Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly on his way to North Dakota to support protesters, with Jaden and Willow Smith, Susan Sarandon, and Nikki Reed all joining the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Chris Hemsworth and actor and director Taika Waititi posted a picture on Instagram pledging their support.
Standing with those who are fighting to protect their sacred land and water. #nodapl #waterislife #mniwiconi @taikawaititi I would also like to take this opportunity to raise something that has been bothering me for sometime. Last New Year’s Eve I was at a “Lone Ranger” themed party where some of us, myself included, wore the traditional dress of First Nations people. I was stupidly unaware of the offence this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue. I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action. I now appreciate that there is a great need for a deeper understanding of the complex and extensive issues facing indigenous communities. I hope that in highlighting my own ignorance I can help in some small way.
Actor Shailene Woodley was the first celebrity name attached to the demonstrations, with Woodley’s arrest for protesting and subsequent mug shot making the news in October. If convicted, Woodley could face $3,000 in fines and two months in jail. Reverend Jesse Jackson, who joined Ruffalo at Standing Rock this week, says that he’s prepared to face jail time in order to support protesters. Since protests began in August, more than 260 people have been arrested for demonstrating.
— Shailene Woodley (@shailenewoodley) October 20, 2016
While it’s promising to see so many A-listers and people from around the world supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, it’s important to note that the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline is sadly yet another chapter in the long and dark history of indigenous people having their land and lives desecrated in the name of profit. Whether you’re showing your support by checking in to Standing Rock on Facebook or donating money to the cause, we recommend reading Kelly Hayes’ article on Standing Rock and the history of indigenous people.