Letter to Workers World: Indigenous struggle in New Jersey

There is an Indigenous struggle ongoing at Split Rock in Mahwah, Bergen County, N.J. The Ramapough Lenape Nation is facing threats of eviction from local officials and police, who are attempting to seize the land for private development.

These threats intensified after the Nation expressed solidarity with the struggle at Standing Rock. The Nation is asking for support to sustain their presence — whether that be in the form of supplies or bodies to act as a deterrent to possible eviction and the brutalization associated with it.

We’ve witnessed solidarity and class consciousness solidify in the past few months at Standing Rock, N.D., as the agents of U.S. capital continue their long-standing “tradition” of violating treaties and brutalizing Indigenous people for the profit of corporations. This time, it’s for Energy Transfer Partners, a multibillion-dollar fossil fuel extraction corporation.

With a fascist Trump administration promising to privatize remaining Indigenous lands for big oil and gas corporations, we are about to be in the throes of renewed assaults on Indigenous sovereignty as well as the safety and well-being of the entire U.S. working class.

Since first contact between the foot soldiers of euro capitalism and the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, there has been violent displacement and genocide perpetrated by the former. With the subsequent expropriation of Indigenous lands and the forced cultivation of those lands by enslaved African peoples, U.S. capitalism was able to enter and compete in the world capitalist market, making the U.S. the current imperial behemoth that it is today.

As communists, we recognize the importance of the national liberation of oppressed peoples from the yoke of colonialism and imperialism and the right of nations to self-determination. We cannot talk about a revolution in the U.S. without the inclusion of and leadership of revolutionary elements within the Indigenous movement, whether that be at Standing Rock or at Split Rock.

Now is our chance to let the ruling class know that continued brutalization, mistreatment and displacement of Indigenous people will not happen without formidable opposition, and that this opposition will be channeled toward the goal of overthrowing the rule of the capitalist-imperialist bourgeoisie that has perpetrated crimes against Indigenous people the world over.

The Ramapough Lenape need supplies: food, winterization materials and all of the fixings necessary to create a sustained presence at Split Rock.

For more on the struggle of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, contact them at ramapoughlenapenation.org/ and Facebook.com/RamapoughLunaapeNation/

Joel Northam
Mahwah, N.J.