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Standing Rock: Militarized police from 5 states escalate violence, shoot horses to clear 1851 treaty camp from pipeline path

October 28, 2016

by Sacred Stone Camp

Cannonball, N.D., Oct. 28, 2016 – Over 300 police officers in riot gear, eight ATVs, five armored vehicles, two helicopters and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp just east of Highway 1806. The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up this past Sunday directly in the path of the pipeline, on land recently purchased by DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline). Today this camp, a reclamation of unceded Dakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, was violently cleared. Both blockades established this past weekend to enable that occupation were also cleared.

Native water protectors blocked the path of the pipeline and were met with militarized police force from five states.

Native water protectors blocked the path of the pipeline and were met with militarized police force from five states.

In addition to pepper spray and percussion grenades, shotguns were fired into the crowd with “less than lethal” ammunition and a sound cannon was used. At least one person was tased and the barbed hook lodged in his face, just outside his eye. Another was hit in the face by a rubber bullet.

A prayer circle of elders, including several women, was interrupted and all were arrested for standing peacefully on the public road. A tipi was erected in the road and was recklessly dismantled, despite promises from law enforcement that they would merely mark the tipi with a yellow ribbon and ask its owners to retrieve it. A group of water protectors was also dragged out of a ceremony in a sweat lodge erected in the path of the pipeline, wearing minimal clothing, thrown to the ground and arrested.

A member of the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) who had her wrist broken during a mass-arrest on Oct. 22 was hurt again after an officer gripped her visibly injured wrist and twisted it during an attempted arrest. At least six other members of the youth council verified that they had been maced up to five times and were also shot and hit with bean bags. In addition to being assaulted, an altar item and sacred staff was wrenched from the hands of an IIYC member by police. Several other sacred items were reported stolen, including a canupa (sacred tobacco pipe).

Two medics giving aid at front line were hit with batons and thrown off the car they were sitting on. Then police grabbed another medic, who was driving the car, out of the driver side while it was still in motion. Another water protector had to jump into the car to stop it from hitting other people.

The Tatanka Oyate, or Buffalo Nation, thundered into the #NoDAPL camp blocking the pipeline on Oct. 28 to strengthen the courage of the water protectors and tell the militarized police that their efforts are futile.

The Tatanka Oyate, or Buffalo Nation, thundered into the #NoDAPL camp blocking the pipeline on Oct. 28 to strengthen the courage of the water protectors and tell the militarized police that their efforts are futile.

Members of the horse nation herded around 100 buffalo from the west and southwest of the Cannonball Ranch onto the DAPL easement. One rider was reportedly hit with up to four rubber bullets; his horse was reported to be hit in the legs by live rounds. Another horse was shot and did not survive.

A confirmed DAPL private security guard was spotted among the protectors with an automatic rifle heading towards camp. Water protectors acted swiftly to stop the man who was attempting to flee the scene in his pickup. One protector stopped the assailant’s vehicle with their own before the security guard fled to nearby waters, weapon in hand. Bureau of Indian Affairs police arrived on scene and apprehended him.

Three water protectors locked themselves to a truck in the middle of the road and surrounded it with large logs. After several hours of standoff, the police advanced in a sweep line and moved people approximately 1 mile back down the highway towards the main encampment on the Cannonball River. Water protectors then retreated to the bridge over Highway 1806 and erected a large burning blockade that the police were unable to cross.

Law enforcement from at least five states – North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nebraska – were present today through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. This law was passed by the Bill Clinton administration and allows states to share law enforcement forces during emergencies. It is intended for natural disasters and has only been used twice for protests – once in the summer of 2015 during the demonstrations in Baltimore and here on the Standing Rock Reservation. Over 100 were arrested today in total.

Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network stated, “I went to the frontline in prayer for protection of the Missouri River and found myself in what I can only describe as a war zone. I was sprayed in the face with pepper spray, the guy next to me was shot by something that didn’t break the skin but appeared to have broken the ribs and another guy beside me was randomly snatched violently by police shoving me into the officers who held me off with batons then tried to grab me. I’m still in shock and keep waiting to wake from what’s surely a nightmare though this is my reality as a native woman in 2016 trying to defend the sacred.”

Native Americans have come from all over the U.S. to stand with Standing Rock, those from the Pacific Northwest arriving by canoe. As of Oct. 25, the 223 people arrested have come from 39 states.

Native Americans have come from all over the U.S. to stand with Standing Rock, those from the Pacific Northwest arriving by canoe. As of Oct. 25, the 223 people arrested have come from 39 states.

Ladonna Bravebull Allard of Sacred Stone Camp says, “My people stand for the water, and they attack us. My people stand up for the graves of our people, and they attack us. My people stand up for our sacred places, and they attack us. My people pray, and they stop us, dragging us from our prayer, and throw us in the dirt. I know this is America; this is the history of my people. America has always walked through the blood of my people.

“How can we stand in the face of violence? Because I was born to this land, because the roots grow out of my feet, because I love this land and I honor the water. Have we not learned from history? I pray for each of the people who stand up. We cannot live like this anymore. It has to stop! my grandchildren have a right to live. The world has a right to live. The water, the life blood of the world, has a right to live. Mni Wiconi, Water of Life. Pray for the water, pray for the people. Stop Dakota Access, killer of the world.”

Eryn Wise of the International Indigenous Youth Council stated, “Today more than half of our youth council were attacked, injured or arrested. In addition to our brothers and sisters being hurt and incarcerated, we saw police steal our sacred staff. I have no words for what happened to any of us today. They are trying to again rewrite our narrative and we simply will not allow it. Our youth are watching and remember the faces of the officers that assaulted them. They pray for them.”

How you can help

The Oakland-based Equal Justice Society has passed along a call from the National Congress of American Indians, on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, for immediate assistance from around the country. The tribe desperately needs:

1) lawyers with civil rights expertise to provide pro bono legal assistance to the hundreds of protectors who have been arrested over the past week; and

2) monitors on the ground who can observe the conflict and ensure that the civil rights of protectors who are peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights are not violated by law enforcement.

If you are able to provide the tribe with such assistance or know who can, contact NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata at jpata@ncai.org.

In addition, the tribe is requesting calls to the Obama administration asking it to:

  • Direct the Department of Justice to send observers to safeguard the protectors’ safety and their First Amendment rights. Contact Attorney General Loretta Lynch via Toulou2@usdoj.gov.
  • Direct the Army Corps to immediately issue an order to stop work on additional construction within a mile between Highway 1806 and the Missouri River to help reduce tensions until the Corps finalizes its decision regarding the Lake Oahe easement. Contact Assistant Secretary of Army Jo-Ellen Darcy at darcy@us.army.mil.

Calls are also requested to North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple asking him to remove the National Guard. It’s an inappropriate use of the United States military to interfere with a peaceful exercise of the First Amendment. Contact Gov. Dalrymple at governor@state.nd.us.

This story first appeared on the new website from the Camp of the Sacred Stones, athttp://sacredstonecamp.org/blog/2016/10/28/police-from-5-states-escalate-violence-shoot-horses-to-clear-1851-treaty-camp.

3 thoughts on “Standing Rock: Militarized police from 5 states escalate violence, shoot horses to clear 1851 treaty camp from pipeline path

  1. MnoGabwutMko

    Well written piece. The militarized police were shooting rubber bullets, sometimes point blank, into unarmed, non-aggressive, non-violent water protectors all afternoon. The police were shooting chemicals into the faces of retreating protectors, then snatch and grabbing the blinded, throwing old women, teenagers and suffering to the ground. Police dropped heavy knees into the lower backs and necks of women and elders as other police held them down. I saw one live aerial view of DAPL security in four ATV type vehicles chasing three horseback riders through the open prairie shooting at the riders from behind. A horse went down. Later we learned the rider was 15 years-old. The horse was later euthanized, saved from her agony from gun shots. Back at the camp, police raided the camp, beating tents with long batons and kicking down tee-pees and tents. The police then attacked a sweat lodge (church) with people inside praying, tearing down the church while other officers stood guard. The Indians were crying. In some photos the officers are seen smiling and smirking. We feel almost helpless under this invasion and occupation of our lands and camps. This is America.

    Reply
    1. American2

      I don't know about your "Non-Aggressive" claim. I would consider someone yelling in my face and throwing gestures to be aggressive. Other than that one thing i agree with you, this is utter BS. We may be living in the 21st century but Washington still behaving like it's the 19th century. I hope no one gets killed. Just remember we are all equally worthless in the Gov's eyes my friend, they would gladly boot us all off any land they can make money from.

      Reply
  2. FUStanding Rock

    Why isn't anyone talking about the millions of tax payer dollars being wasted on this? Oh that's right why would the protesters care they don't pay taxes. How about the damaged cannonball bridge? Who is going to pay for that? Why isn't anyone talking about the fact these protesters are on PRIVATE land. NOT land owned by the tribe? They don't apparently care about ruining someone elses land… The Company doing the work has all of the proper permits and cultural studies done. What this irresponsible reporter isn't telling anyone in this piece is the fact that a second study was done and nothing was again found. The tribe is mad because they tried to strong arm this company into paying twice the offer with a percentage of the pipe line quantities. The company said nope and went next door and did a deal on PRIVATE land. That is what all the up roar is about. It has nothing to do with sacred land. How is it that they have all this free time to protest… That's right Government checks…. Cry me a river. BOO HOO Try working a day or two in your life and funding all of the free loading Liberals, Than you can come crying to me. I work for a living and 33% of my paycheck goes to these bottom suckers that won't quit whining about how they were robbed of their land 150 years ago. Get over it get a degree and a good paying job and buy some land like the rest of the productive People in America. Fact check me, I dare you.

    Reply

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