Unsigned: Standing up for your beliefs can make a big difference

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For the first time since the protests began, it appears that the Dakota Access Pipeline may be diverted around Standing Rock. In this case, the relentless protests of the Indigenous people and their allies made a difference to their future.

The protests against the pipeline were organized and direct. It attracted the attention of countless people over social media, demanding the attention of news outlets around the world.

When we believe in something, we can’t just stand idly by. This is a perfect example of the differences that we can make.

Signing online petitions, posting political tweets, spreading information: it all starts with the thought to help.

However, we can’t let it end with a thought.

If you can’t physically be at an event to protest, make sure you go beyond just setting a passive status. Bodies have more impact than words thrown into the void.

If you can’t physically attend a protest, send your support to your local politician. Support causes that you believe in by giving your time, effort, or even your money.

Look at Shailene Woodley, for example. As an ally, she brought so much attention to the pipeline. She was arrested for her protest. Her actions held weight in comparison to the celebrities that just tweeted a hashtag.

Do as much as you can for the causes close to your heart.

No matter what, don’t give up on your causes. In a culture that thrives on “the next best thing,” resilience is what makes change. Complaining about an issue does nothing to solve it.

If you have a way, get to where your presence matters to show your support, rather than being a name behind a screen. But if you can’t, you still shouldn’t silence yourself.

Emotions don’t have borders. Standing up for what you believe in shouldn’t be confined to a keyboard. Make your voice heard.

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