LATEST UPDATE (as of 7:03pm EST):
The acts of inhumane treatment and violence on peaceful Protectors on November 20th escalated. Protectors were peacefully trying to remove debris on the bridge. Authorities engaged in violence by shooting at the Protectors with tear gas, water cannons (in 25 degree weather), concussion grenades and rubber bullets. Sophia Wilansky, 21, fell victim to their tactics, faces up to 20 surgeries, shrapnel was pulled from her arm, bone and muscles exposed. A vein was taken from her leg. She was handing out water to the people, and she was hit in the groin and hit with a concussion grenade on her arm. She was taken to a hospital in Minneapolis, MN. Here is an interview with her father, with Democracy Now!. The world waited to see what actions would be taken by the Administration after this…..
The Day After:
A day after Thanksgiving. A time long ago where the first peoples helped the pilgrim’s survive. Two things happened this evening that make me wonder about next week’s developments at Oceti Sakowin.
First, the Bismarck Times reports that the Morton County Sheriff who oversaw most of the dirty tactics, misinformation, and abuse by the Police directed at the Protectors was removed from his post. This event was accompanied by the Morton County Sheriff’s Facebook page going dark. Tactics may be changing.
The second development is that the Army Corp of Engineers has announced the eviction of the protestors from Corp lands as of December 5, a day after the arrival of a large group of Veterans that plan to join the protectors on the frontlines. While I would not put it past Colonel John W. Henderson, author of the letter announcing the eviction, to recklessly act on his own, I believe that a smart bureaucrat would have consulted with the White House, which has announced that it is working on a compromise, as well as the Department of Justice, who will likely have to oversee or closely monitor such an eviction, before issuing the declaration the day after Thanksgiving. No one in their right mind would fan the flames of a dedicated and growing protest movement in this way, knowing that a forced eviction will lead to confrontation the likes we haven’t seen in over a century. With that said, Morton County will need help to clear the camp out, National Guard may be requested, which Governor Dalrymple has reluctantly done so before. National Guard will be there to ensure no one new comes to camp, which if people stay and occupy it, supplies may have a hard time being delivered If that’s the case, they need to start hoarding supplies now, and figuring out ways to get them, much like the activists did at Wounded Knee of 1973. But, we shall see how this plays out. I pray for a good outcome, despite the negative and horrific things we’ve all witnessed, we must remain hopeful.
Here is Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault’s ending statement, click here for full statement on Colonel Henderson’s demand:
“Again, we ask that the United States stop the pipeline and move it outside our ancestral and treaty lands. It is both unfortunate and disrespectful that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving—a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe. Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the mistreatment of our people. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands united with more than 300 tribal nations and the water protectors who are here peacefully protesting the Dakota access pipeline to bolster indigenous people’s rights. We continue to fight for these rights, which continue to be eroded. Although we have suffered much, we still have hope that the President will act on his commitment to close the chapter of broken promises to our people and especially our children.”
The Sheriff is suspended, a date is set for confrontation. Pay attention next week for potential offers to compromise and re-route the pipeline. Let’s hope this is part of a programmatic de-escalation plan that works for everyone.
What Standing Rock Has Created:
Solidarity around the world for #NoDAPL and for Standing Rock has been beautiful. For me, it gives me hope, and restores some of the faith I’ve lost. For me, I hope this solidarity is continued, sustained past #NoDAPL, where we are all still there for each other, or do we go back to how things were? I believe there is a great understanding of indigenous people, and for protecting the environment. We have always stressed that we must take care of our earth. And as Jane Fonda mentioned to Indian Country Today Media Network, “First Nations people have been telling us from the very very very beginning, for what had to happen for our species to survive. We never listened, or not enough of us listened. And it’s almost too late now, we have to start listening, before it’s too late.” Standing Rock has put what environmental genocide looks like on the map, where people are trickling in, realizing what threats may pose on our Unci Maka. This has been a peaceful, unarmed, non-violent resistance. It is youth led. That’s how it is being successful right now, it’s not turning into a Bundy fiasco. It doesn’t need to. If the pipeline does succeed in 100% completion, which, I pray every day that it doesn’t, that a re-route is possible, or better yet, extract the whole pipeline all together, but that this sets the bar, in terms of how we move forward in protecting the environment. Standing Rock has brought many Tribal nations together, but has also brought so many others together as well. The pressure is on Dakota Access, LLC to be pumping oil by January 1st, 2017. That is just a little over a month away. If they don’t, Dakota Access will lose their contracts.
The pressure is on. Call your state representatives. Call the White House. Mail letters to your state representatives and to President Barack Obama. He needs something tangible in his hand to read. And as much as I don’t want this to ever happen or come to this, I ask myself, would a death certificate be the only thing to make him assert himself into this mess and do the right thing? I pray every day that it doesn’t happen and that a repeat of the 1973 Wounded Knee Siege doesn’t arise. We need to be a collective, strong voice. Organize. Help Standing Rock. You have the power to do so.
Timeline of Events (missed some, but hopefully got the most important):
- April 4, 2016: camps are created, youth asked LaDonna Brave Bull Allard if there was land to use, and she had some. Now, life at camp, that started with a handful then, to now, with upwards 10k people being there, depending on time.
- July 15th: the Standing Rock youth began the run to DC to deliver signatures to President Obama and to be a voice in the Nation’s capital opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- August 5th: Run for Water rally and protest that my sister and I put together for them.
- August 6th: rally and protest in front of the White House to tell the President, even though he wasn’t there, to oppose DAPL.
- September 3rd: attack dogs and mace are used on water protectors, including a child and a pregnant woman. Attack dogs and mace being used on people hasn’t happened like this, to this magnitude, since 1963, during the civil rights movement, fight for equality.
- September 6th:emergency hearing scheduled by the court, after the attack dogs and mace incident. Temporary halt on construction granted.
- September 8th: arrest warrant for Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! issued.
- September 8th: Governor James Dalrymple of ND, calls upon the National Guard for assistance.
- September 9th: US District Court denies injunction.
- September 9th: Joint Statement from Department of Justice, Department of the Army and the Department of Interior, step in.
- September 22nd: Congressmen Grijalva and Ruiz, Natural Resources Committee, hold forum on “Taking a Stand: Protecting Water and Native American Sacred Sites Cultural Resources at Standing Rock” with panel witnesses that included SRST Chairman, Dave Archambault II. Both Congressmen have come to SRST, have seen the camp, the pipeline, and stand with them on this issue.
- September 23rd: the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland called upon the U.S. to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline because of the threat it poses to the aboriginal community.
- September 26th: White House Tribal Nations Conference is held, DAPL is lightly discussed and mentioned as footnote by the President. He states when talking about the movement that has come from Standing Rock, and all who are supporting them and opposing DAPL/pipelines, “You’re making your voices heard.”
- September 29th: armored MRAPs, rifles, shotguns, snipers, and tear gas are used on the protectors, on peaceful, UNARMED protectors. 21 arrests that day, after they were told by the police to leave. An elder, an unci, and older woman, stated that she had never seen a gun before and had one pointed at her face.
- September 30: Tribe denied request for state emergency aid.
- October 9th: just before the Presidential Debate, the U.S. Appeals Court releases decision to lift injunction, denying Tribe’s request to stop the 1,178 mile pipeline.
- October 10th: Shailene Woodley was targeted by the Police, she was live streaming the event for just over 2 hours, and when they were all told to leave, she came back to her RV, with her mom, to find that it was surrounded by police in riot gear, guns drawn, and armored vehicle. She was arrested and was one of 27 that day. Ironically, arrested, and mistreated on a day that celebrates the man who discovered America and committed an act of genocide on the Native Americans already living there.
- October 10th: protectors and protestors in Reno, NV, were having a rally to stand with Standing Rock but also to protest Columbus Day, which many feel it should be abolished, and changed to Indigenous Peoples Day, some noticed someone in a white truck lingering around, and then when they started to walk in the streets to raise awareness, and this white truck came, and ended up plowing through the crowd. 5 were injured. The driver was never arrested and no charges as of yet. An elderly woman was hit and taken to the hospital.
- October 11th: Ken Ward and four others shut off the valves to the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline in Anacortes, WA, to avert climate catastrophe and to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. As well as 5 others in MT, MN and ND, along Canadian borders.
- October 12th: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tribal Chairman, Dave Archambault says, “Mr President, Please stand with us,” in a
- October 12th: DC Standing Rock Coalition hold rally in front of AFL-CIO Headquarters where President Trumka has voiced support for DAPL and discounted Native American claims.
- October 17th: first baby born on the banks of the Cannonball River! Hoka Hey!
- October 17th: District Court Judge Grinsteiner REJECTS the “riot” charges on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman.
- October 17th: brothers and sisters in New Brunswick Canada are arrested for protecting their land and water…. You see and hear, of their arrests, especially when they were told to leave, and back up, they did, then you see the phone put in the clothing, and only hear audio.
- October 22nd: brothers and sisters on the frontlines are arrested, some youth, a girl got her wrist broken protecting a little boy that was separated from his grandma from a baton. Roughly 141 arrests. Legal observers and journalists targeted first. Four protectors locked themselves to disabled car, halting DAPL construction for several hours.
- October 22nd: Stand Rock Sioux Tribe has cited 1851 Treaty, establishing new frontline camp, and roadblocks, on the proposed pipeline path. Oceti Sakowin has enacted eminent domain ion DAPL lands by claiming 1851 Treaty Rights, on unceded lands.
- October 24th: my sisters and I host rally in front of White House, urging the President to step in: no easement, conduct a full environmental impact study, and for DOJ AG Loretta Lynch to inquire about the unlawful, illegal, arrests on protectors. CNN commentator, Van Jones, supported us, and spoke as a concerned citizen and as a father, DC United #18, Chris Rolfe attended and showed his support.
- October 26th: Mark Ruffalo and Reverend Jesse Jackson come to Standing Rock, showing their support. Mark, a climate advocate, and against fracking, brought solar panels to power the camp.
- October 27th: 3 bus loads of law enforcement officers show up to new blockade, over 300, in riot gear, arresting women who are praying, apprehending our protectors praying in sweatlodge, youth getting maced multiple times, the girl who broke her wrist was targeted and re-broke it, 140+ arrests, including elders and youth, all spread throughout ND in jails, manygrandmas (Uncis) sitting in their maced clothes, and feeling the burn from it. The screams of our protectors are haunting in all the live feeds you see. Authorities have successfully taken over the new Treaty 1851 camp and blockades. Our protectors are there resisting.
- October 27th: Standing Rock youth, occupy Hillary Clinton’s campaign Headquarters, to deliver letter, and demand she take a stance.
- October 28th: day 2, protectors still on frontlines. Tensions are high, as most were occupying the bridge throughout the night.
- November 2, 2016: Police and DAPL desecrate sacred burial grounds of two indigenous women, Alma Parkin and Matilda Galpin, who once owned Cannonball Ranch, that now DAPL owns. US Army Corps of Engineers ordered Morton County to tear down man made bridge that protectors made to cross, and pray on the hill. They were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, mace, and excessive force with batons. Some had hypothermia, one person was coughing up blood, many had welts.
- November 3, 2016: hundreds of clergy members came to camp, and the frontlines, to offer prayer, and negotiate with the police. They honored and sang a Dakota hymn, in English and in Dakota (to honor the Dakota 38+2, who were taken, and hung in the largest mass execution).
- November 5, 2016: Youth arrive from Arizona, have completed their 1,000+ mile run to Standing Rock!
- November 9, 2016: DAP has stated they will continue pipeline without 408 Permit, which is the last permit that is needed.
- November 10, 2016: #NoDAPL Solidarity lockdown action at TD Bank in Boston, MA (One of the banks funding the pipeline).
- November 11, 2016: DAPL and Morton County, are rounding up wild buffalo, trapping them in fenced areas, and then have been transporting them to undisclosed locations. Report of them being slaughtered have been made.
- November 12, 2016: Man in truck, drives through protectors, and fires 7 shots into the air. Man works for Four Square Concrete out of ND.
- November 12, 2016: NoDAPL/Stand with Standing Rock solidarity action in Annapolis, MD!
- November 14, 2016: US Army Corps of Engineers release statement that construction cannon occur on or under Army Corps lands. Further review and discussions are needed.
- November 15, 2016: United Nations denounce ‘inhumane’ treatment of Native American protectors. Send legal observers to camps and frontlines, as well as Amnesty International.
- November 15th, 2016: National Call to Solidarity Action: All 50 states participated, over 300+ actions. Indigenous Youth Council member, Eryn Wise, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, and Shailene Woodley came to DC, to lead march to US Army Corp of Engineers, and then to White House. Senator Bernie Sanders made an appearance to stand in solidarity, and to motivate the people. He also mentioned to declare Standing Rock a federal monument.
- November 15, 2016: DC Stands and FORCE, team up, for morning rush hour direct action, “We Are Still Here” at Union Station in DC. Focused on #NoDAPL, standing with Standing Rock, the injustices on Indigenous people, as well as honoring and remembering our missing, murdered indigenous women across Turtle Island.
- November 16, 2016: ETP CEO Kelcey Warren states that they wished SRST had engaged in conversations previously to the pipeline being built, SRST came with audio recordings of their opposition back in 2014.
- November 16th, 2016: George Washington University, Native American Political Leadership Program, hosted Water is Life panel that included Eryn Wise, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, SR Councilman Robert Taken Alive, and Jacqueline Pata of NCAI.
- November 18th, 2016: Largest bank in Norway pulls its assets in Dakota Access Pipeline.
- November 20, 2016: Protectors go to remove cars and put out fires, open blockade, to let people drive through and witness first hand what is going on. Authorities fire back with water cannons, tear gars and concussion grenades on the protectors, when it’s 25 degrees out.
- November 20, 2016: One youth, of the Indigenous Youth Council suffered a seizure from the flash grenades.
- November 20, 2016: Sophia Wilansky is hit with concussion grenade on her arm, faces up to 20 surgeries, may face amputation still. Two men speak out on what they witnessed as they tried to help Sophia. If you would like to donate to her medical expenses, here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/30aezxs
- November 21, 2016: Congressman Raul Grijalva releases statement on the inhumane and hostile treatment on the water protectors. Congressman Grijalva has been a huge voice in opposition to the pipeline, has visited Standing Rock, the camps, and has voiced the need for a bi-partisan hearing on this issue.
- November 25, 2016: ND Governor suspends Morton County Sheriff.
- November 25, 2016: Colonel John Henderson issues demand for protectors to vacate Oceti Sakowin camp by midnight, December 5th.
- November 27th: US ACE states that they will not forcibly remove Protectors. They cannot evict Protectors from Treaty lands.May be subjected to tickets and will be considered “trespassers”
- November 27th: LastRealIndians, Standing Rock, and Organizers, host WATER IS LIFE march and rally in Washington DC, from Department of Justice to the Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument. Later that night, Dave Matthews host’s benefit concert for Standing Rock at DAR Constitution Hall in DC.
- November 28th: 17 members, formally worked in the Obama Administration, state their support for Standing Rock and their opposition to the pipeline. They also stress the urgency for the President to take immediate action. Former boss was on the list!
- November 28th: ND Governor files executive order for mandatory evacuation of Oceti Sakowin camp. (see Native in DC facebook page for press conference videos)
- November 30th: ND Governor states they will not block supplies, http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/north-dakota-governor-will-not-block-people-taking-supplies-camps/
For our protectors on the frontlines, we are with you. We support you and Standing Rock. Be strong. Be resilient. Keep the peace. And keep the love. Love you all, always and in all ways! Mitakuye Oyasin! ❤
Follow me on: Twitter: @_NativeInDC and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NativeInDC