Water Protectors Won’t Give Up


 

Defiant As Ever, Water Protectors Vow To Continue The Fight Against The Dakota ‘Black Snake’ Pipeline

If Trump truly intends to end unnecessary violence, he must listen to the voices of Native American water protectors

STEPHEN YANG / REUTERS

On his fourth day in office, President Trump took executive action that signaled his desire to complete the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He signed a memorandum ordering the Army secretary and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner… requests for approval to construct and operate the DAPL” as well as an executive order to “streamline and expedite” the environmental review and approval process for so-called “high priority infrastructure projects.”

Trump’s outrageous and provocative executive actions took many people by surprise — even the new Republican governor of North Dakota was not consulted before it was signed. People and water protectors we met with this week in Standing Rock were furious and fearful. Despite this, water protectors say they are very resilient and ready to continue their opposition to the pipeline that many call “the black snake.”

Since August, when the protests against the construction of the oil pipeline reached historic proportions and made major headlines, some Native-American water protectors and allies have been seriously injured by the indiscriminate use of life-threatening crowd-control weapons by law enforcement. Over 300 protestors have been hit with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and mace ― weapons that Physicians for Human Rights have reported can cause emotional, psychological, and physical harm to victims.  People across the globe witnessed much of this abuse through live video feeds shared through social media and footage taken by independent indigenous drone journalists.

ACLU

There has been little, if any, leadership from local authorities to curtail the well-documented abuses. The Morton Country Sheriff’s Department has not released any protocol or procedures for the use of potentially deadly crowd-control weapons. There has been a resounding lack of accountability for law enforcement agents and commanders. Thus far, no officer has been charged with excessive use of force, but over 600 protestors, and even journalists like Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, have been arrested for excessive and outrageous charges like criminal trespassing. Some were hit with outlandish felony charges and high bail bonds. More than likely, if state leaders do not require a significant change in policing tactics, law enforcement will only continue its violent and unconstitutional responses to largely peaceful protesters.

We’ve also seen law enforcement outsource their human rights abuses to private security contractors. This must be investigated, and the people responsible for releasing dogs on protestors should be held accountable. After all, even the Department of Justice has condemned the use of canines on unarmed individuals as “unreasonable.” While the Morton County Sheriff’s Department claimed last September that it created a multi-agency task force to investigate the use of force by DAPL security, we still do not know if anyone has been held accountable.

Recently, the Standing Rock Tribal Council called for the evacuation of the camps behind the Dakota Access Pipeline protests within 30 days, which means by February 19. However, the question remains whether law enforcement will use force to clear the camps and, whether on accident or with intent, injure or kill someone who refuses to leave in an act of civil disobedience.

The Morton County Police Department should adopt policies and practices for the deployment of crowd-control weapons that align with civil and human rights principles:

  • The use of crowd-control weapon should be an absolute last resort when dealing with genuine and imminent threats to the safety of those present, and only after all other means have been exhausted
  • The most effective method to prevent violence is to engage in negotiations and open a dialogue with protesters
  • Even if some protesters engage in or incite others to engage in acts of violence which require police intervention, the explicit goal of intervention should be to deescalate the situation and promote and protect the safety and the rights of those present — protestors, journalists, medical personnel, monitors, and bystanders
  • All deployment of crowd control weapons must be documented, and the reports retained for public record
  • Adequate training must be provided on the use of crowd-control weapons for out-of-state police to ensure a proportionate level of force is applied to the threat

 Adherence to these principles will help increase accountability, transparency, and the safety of everyone.

But where local law enforcement quickly resorts to the massive use of less-lethal weapons, it is the responsibility of the state and federal governments to step in. The state and federal governments must rein in the county sheriff and private security contractors, and they must immediately end any unlawful surveillance practices against individuals and groups expressing their right to free speech and peaceful assembly.

Until then, the ACLU will continue to monitor the situation through legal observers and will consider taking legal action including supporting the Water Protectors Legal Collaborative. We have also released an action requesting the public to call North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and urge him to do everything in his power to prevent police violence against Standing Rock water protectors. Using crowd control weapons will only exacerbate the injuries and trauma that has plagued Native American communities and water protectors since the pipeline protest intensified this past August.

In his inauguration speech, Donald Trump advocated for the immediate end of “American carnage” ravaging this country. That carnage is occurring right now at the hands of law enforcement in Standing Rock. If Trump truly intends to end unnecessary violence, he must listen to the voices of Native American water protectors and those who are supporting them at Standing Rock, and he must vow to protect their right to water, sacred sites, and their future development as sovereign nations.

Human decency requires it.

 

The attacks on the rights of the Native Americans to protect the little land the government hasn’t stolen continues.  The attacks on our Mother Earth in the name of Capitalism continue.

I continue to support the Water Protectors.

Will you?

Namaste,

Barbara

American Land Grab


 

The Negroes are not the only people  America has not treated as equals. The Native Americans were murdered by the thousands, their land was stolen, they were herded onto reservations and killed the Buffalo, a species key to the survival of many tribes and nations.

 

Now our government is trying to quietly pass a bill through congress too take more land away from the Utes in Utah. So we are now stealing more land from the Native Americans.  Again.

 

The Native Americans are protesting the building  of the Dakota pipeline through their sacred land. They care about what we are doing to Mother Earth. The state has been given permission to shoot protesters who do not leave.

 

What kind of world are we living in? President Obama you must stop the shooting of protesters. Peaceable protest is a First Amendment right. What is needed here at a minimum is to sit down together and negotiate and use diplomacy. These are America’s first people. They deserve to be treated with respect and honor.

 

Namaste

Barbara

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Native Americans protesting Dakota pipeline

Native Americans protesting Dakota pipeline

 

 

Dakota Pipeline Protests


Protesters protesting pipeline going through sacred land

Protesters protesting pipeline going through sacred land

The original peoples of America, whom we took their land from are now standing up for the land and protesting the Dakota pipeline which is supposed to go through their land. Lousy land we pushed them onto, the Indian Reservations.  Now we want to build a pipeline through this land that we signed over to them and they worry about it breaking or leaking. This is their story.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

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We Will Use Our Freedom


http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3bf_1378009165

Now I want to explain that I remain a dove. I believe in peace. I believe in living side by side as the sisters and brothers we were created to be. I do not believe that all that is Divine created the peoples who live on this planet to fight and kill each other. That is illogical. We were certainly not created here to kill children and women with any weapons but certainly not chemical weapons. Sarin is the chemical used in the attack on the Tokoyo subway. But Syria has used them upon its own citizens. I condemn the use of chemical weapons, as had the international community for 100 years. There was an agreement put in place over 100 years ago that no country will in future use chemicals to kill human beings.

I am sharing this video with you all because of the treatment of this protester. Having had experience protesting, I will say that things often get out of order. I am not talking today  about war or peace. I am talking about the right that this young woman had to protest. To stand and play her banjo and speak her truth. One small young women and all of those cops to handcuff her. My point today is that no matter whether you believe that we should stop Assad from continuing the chemical warfare,  we live in the United States of America and we the people have the right to gather in groups and to protest what our country is doing. This is part of freedom.

We the people have the right to meet and to say what we believe to be true. Freedom is for all citizens and people in our country. The police were, I feel, sexist in their actions of taking this young woman into custody. They should have left her alone but chose to try to humiliate her and violate her rights as an American citizen. Situations in America are violent enough, they are filled with enough hatred that the police do not need to add to this serious problem. This incident will only grow and spread across the country if the police do not control their behaviour. Google Kent State if you have any doubts about my words. The question of going to war or not is always a tough one to deal with. But as this situation expands, we do not want to revisit the protests of Vietnam. We do not need to be attacking each other here in America.

So if you see police violating the rights of citizens, take pictures or video and take this evidence to the media. If we shine a light on police brutality, it will stop. It will have to because they won’t be able to defend their actions. Remember this country belongs to all of us: We who are the citizens of America.

Four killed at Kent state protest

Four killed at Kent state protest

National Guard killed four protestors at Kent State

National Guard killed four protestors at Kent State