November 5, 2016

Jack Kerouac Goes to Standing Rock

These weeks, there is a big flurry of rideshares being organised to and from Standing Rock, to join the Standing Rock Sioux and other native American tribles who have gathered there to protest the construction of an oil pipeline.

In the old days (in the 1950s) a travel bureau could match you up with a car going in your general direction, or if you had a car, they could match you up with riders who can keep you company, and help out with driving and gas money.

These days, you use social media.

If Jack Kerouac wanted to go to Standing Rock today, he would go to a Facebook group called Standing Rock Rideshare which serves as an electronic travel bureau where you can offer or ask for rides.

There are a lot of requests for rides, from people all over the United States.

"Is anyone heading to standing rock from Southeast US. I am currently in florida, and can meet up in the surrounding states if necessary. thanks"

"Anyone heading there from Cincinnati?"

"I live in Portland, Oregon and would love a rideshare to Standing Rock this coming weekend or early next week. I'm happy to pitch in on gas and other expenses. "

Some people can't go but have supplies to donate and are looking for a ride for those. One person is planning to fly in from Hawaii but needs a ride once she gets to Chicago. Lots of people are driving over and looking for company:

""Trying to leave from so-cal within the next week or so, I need help gathering supplies to donate and I have room for 1 more person in my car who can help with gas."

"We're leaving okla saturday to come up to standing rock . Can make room for others. I know last time we went thru mo.iowa.sd.neb. and some others I've forgotten"

"We are planning to leave from Baltimore, MD around 5am Wednesday, November 9th. We have seats available in a van to Standing Rock. We are also willing to take useful donations and supplies out to the camp."

The outpouring of mutual support is astounding, and it inself healing. Here are people who are willing to share their car for days, with complete strangers, with whom they are united in this cause: to stand with a native American trible in their protection of the land that is sacred to them, and the river that is their source of water.

And then there are the people who are opening their homes for the travelers, offering a warm place to sleep, and a meal.

"I'm unable to go to ND, however my husband and I would like to offer our spare room for travelers to and from. We are in STL. We have a spare room, with it's own bathroom. Also couches in the basement that are comfy. We are a cat friendly home, so take that into consideration. We're happy help those road warriors who may need a place to crash for a night."

"I am in Fort Walton Beach Florida, right off interstate 10 (20 minutes) if anyone from South Fla. heading this way, got plenty of sleeping room, food, if you have room I can supply blankets,firewood,jackets,warm clothing other supplies to take to protectors."

It's all very humbling. So I am in no way implying that the people traveling to Standing Rock are as self centered as Jack Kerouac, only that the way they get there reminds me of the way people covered long distances in the 1950s. Come to think of it, a modern-day Jack Kerouac needs to go to Standing Rock. It would show him a bigger picture of life. Maybe it would take away his need for speed.


Background reading on the Dakota Access Pipeline protest:

Sam Levin in The Guardian, "Dakota Access pipeline: the who, what and why of the Standing Rock protests "

The convoluted history behind why some call it "sacred land" and some call it "private property"

This is mostly about Native American rights:
Kelly Hayes in Yes! Magazine, " Remember This When You Talk About Standing Rock"
Jessica Ravitz for CNN, "The sacred land at the center of the Dakota pipeline dispute "

But it has a large climate change dimension:
Bill McKibben, "Why Dakota is the new Keystone"



You may also like:
1. The travel bureaus that put Jack Kerouac on the road
2. The Difference Between Owning a Car and Being Mobile
3. The Difference Between a Road and a Means of Transport


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