This 4th of July Celebration kicks off the opening of Camp Constellation. The local activists and Water Protectors have asked Veterans to set up a permanent camp to protect the principal activist, Stella Martin and her family, from the harassment and danger she is experiencing by the opposition force, thought to be either organized crime involved in the illegal toxic dumping and/or local interests profiting from the dumping and/or local officials complicit. To date, there has been no militarized police response as we saw at Standing Rock. The opposition is operating clandestinely at this point.
In addition to setting up Camp Constellation for protection of the family, the veterans will assist the local activists in their efforts, including collecting water samples, publicizing on social media and local activism. Local activists will lead this mission. Our job is to protect and serve and follow their lead.
We will use the model of Standing Rock as our roadmap. The intent is to remain peaceful and prayerful. No weapons, no drugs (unless compliant with NY State Medical Marijuana Laws,) no alcohol at the camp.
I have started a sign-up roster,Active Roster. If you wish to volunteer some time over the summer, please sign up at, Sign up HERE (http://www.columbia.edu/~jw157/NYVWP.html). Be sure to list you availability and any special skills and/or equipment you can bring to camp.
This is, ultimately, no just an issue local to one area. The runoff of the toxic material, principally, metals like cadmium has already seriously affect the health of local activists.. Stella's family abutting one toxic dump has been stricken with cadmium poisoning, their property quarantined and her family rendered, temporarily, homeless. There is emerging evidence that the runoff has contaminated the drinking water of Saugerties, NY with the town looking to spend money on finding additional drinking water source without telling the local residents what this is about. One local water test went off the charts for cadmium pollution. Of course, the poisoning of the Catskill Watershed makes its way to the Hudson River and the Reservoirs supplying NYC with its drinking water.
This is a major, major crises in the making on par with Flint Michigan. Veterans must play a role in protecting our water in New York State.
Contact Email: Mniwiconi@niany.com