Friday, November 4, 2016

RED OWL LEGAL: Standing Rock Cars Ransacked, Sacred Items Destroyed by Police

Photo by Rob Wilson
Standing Rock Water Protectors Report Escalating Surveillance, Civil Rights and Privacy Violations

Impounded cars ransacked, sacred items destroyed; one water protector arrested and held for conspiracy while transporting donated supplies to camp


Contact: Angela Bibens
Ground Coordinator, Red Owl Legal Collective
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans at NAIS

CANNON BALL, North Dakota – Members of the Red Owl Legal Collective (ROLC), a group providing pro bono legal support to the thousands of people encamped near the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, are condemning increasing incidents of disturbing overreach by local and state law enforcement.
Since August 2016, Indigenous people and allies have been encamped on the shores of the Cannon Ball and Missouri Rivers in North Dakota to protect ancestral land and waters from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their numbers have since swelled into the thousands.
On October 27, law enforcement launched a violent raid on a new frontline camp. Over 100 armed officers, accompanied by a sound cannon, armored vehicles, and a bulldozer deployed tear gas, mace, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades against Indigenous protectors and horses. But what happened after and since the raid has not been so visible, report Red Owl Legal Collective members.
As part of the raid, law enforcement created a blockade between protectors and their vehicles, then impounded over 60 of those vehicles after mass-arresting protectors; because many vehicles belonged to protectors who were arrested, dozens were released only to find themselves stranded in Bismarck or Mandan, over an hour’s drive from camp. And when owners finally regained possession, it got worse.
“Most of the vehicles had been totally ransacked,” said Red Owl Legal Collective’s Angela Bibens. “We saw items removed from cars with no explanation, medicines emptied and scattered around, property destroyed, damage to steering columns, and evidence of attempts to open locked luggage.” One protector discovered an airjack – a device used to force open car doors – in their passenger seat.
The property damage didn’t stop with cars. A dumpster load of seized property was recovered at a Bureau of Indian Affairs checkpoint on the highway about 2 miles from the camp. When protectors returned for their things, they found sacred item after sacred item had been defaced, with apparent intentionality. One item, a bull skull, had its horns snapped clean off. One protector, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Sabelle, believes these actions are attempts to intimidate potential travelers to the camp. “When they target us like this, it makes other people scared of coming,” she said.
Clergy Standing With Standing Rock
The Red Owl Legal Collective also reports two disconcerting incidents of arrests. On November 2, a protector was pulled over, arrested, and told he was he being held for conspiracy charges. He was later charged with “impeding government function,” a charge Bibens finds disturbing given what the protector was doing at the time of his arrest: driving a U-Haul full of donated kayaks to the camp.
On November 3, at least 17 clergy representing multiple faiths were arrested at the governor’s office [praying] and charged with disorderly conduct and “criminal trespass.”
Rather than bring all the arrestees to a holding facility in Bismarck, law enforcement separated the group by gender, then drove all the women to Fargo, North Dakota, more than four hours’ drive away.
Red Owl has found no evidence that this decision was made because of a lack of space. The separation is part of a larger pattern of separating arrestees on seemingly arbitrary bases; Red Owl reports that arrestees have been sent to six different facilities all over the state so far.
“We get treated differently because the color of our skin, when we’re all human. It’s uncomfortable to get targeted like that,” said Star, another protector living at the camp.
“We just want clean water for everyone. We get put in dog kennels – they don’t care. We’re not here to be angry, we’re here in peace and prayer, for all of us. The only weapons we have are our prayers, our good thoughts, and our humanity.”
Red Owl volunteers have maintained a 24/7 presence at the main camp since August 2016 to deal with the growing pile of criminal cases and civil litigations resulting from the excessive use of force and suppression of First Amendment activity at Standing Rock.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So pray, meditate ALL TOGETHER on the same intentions... that the cops will get confused, very confused... forget who they are and why they are there... they will drop their guns and leave... it can be done and I know that the Native American people are of the TRUE Israel so HE will listen. Besides that, HE said that your words speak life or death... so use your words... in UNISON!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I shared this to Facebook, with great sorrow and anger. May The People prevail.

Anonymous said...

Isnt it illegal in the U.S. to desicrate Eagle feathers??? And yet they allow them to bulldoze em?!

Anonymous said...

Blessings, peace, protection, courage, justice, support, victory, comfort, angels, ancestors, prayers, gratitude and love , love, love, love, love, love, love to the Water Protectors.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at the pics of these soldiers all covered up w/face masks & rifles, walking along in front of these HUGE tanks. I wonder. Do they know just how stupid they look???? All decked out to face what? Men, women, grandmothers, grandfathers, children (even a newly born child right there at the site)who are praying. All they are doing is showing the whole world how stupid they are. What natural born bullies they are to make up lies to try and show everyone how big & bold & brave they are against the so called enemy. Arresting Ministers & Preachers while praying? Must have been pretty powerful prayers to scare them so. Man kind has not moved forward in their thinking. They have moved backward. Learned nothing from their mistakes. Are we so intimidating they think they need to count coup on us to show everyone else how brave they are? The truth. Just what an idiot looks & acts like.
Anonymous.

victoria said...

Amen !!
Sending much love & prayers !!
If my health would allow it I would be there !!
My Heart is there !!

Anonymous said...

I am just curious, because their behaviour (police), seems really an illness; they seem psychos, are you asked for psychologist to check them?

Seven Generations said...

What kind of world will we leave to the next seven generations. All colors of people, all faiths, are coming together to protect all life on this planet. We all-- every human, every animal, every plant; MUST have clean water or we perish. How people are being treated who are trying to stop this genocide of life, is deplorable. Money can only make you feel powerful, but without water we ALL perish. REGARDLESS of what side of the earth movers we are on. I think of all those police officers who are told to harm or scare the water defenders regardless of their own personal convictions. The holocaust repeats...I pray they all unite and say "NO. I WILL DEFEND OUR GREAT NATION AGAINST ACTS OF TERROR. I WILL NOT INFLICT PAIN AND SUFFERING ON PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THE WATER SO MY FAMILY AND NATION CAN SURVIVE." Perhaps i am only a foolish old woman, but, can poison the earth and expect that it will sustain life? Look into your children's eyes. Do you see their grandchildren? Fight for their future. That is what the water protectors are doing for all humanities children. Take a stand. NoDAPL, FRAKKING, CHEMTRAILS. FIGHT FOR LIFE.

Seven Generations said...

What kind of world will we leave to the next seven generations. All colors of people, all faiths, are coming together to protect all life on this planet. We all-- every human, every animal, every plant; MUST have clean water or we perish. How people are being treated who are trying to stop this genocide of life, is deplorable. Money can only make you feel powerful, but without water we ALL perish. REGARDLESS of what side of the earth movers we are on. I think of all those police officers who are told to harm or scare the water defenders regardless of their own personal convictions. The holocaust repeats...I pray they all unite and say "NO. I WILL DEFEND OUR GREAT NATION AGAINST ACTS OF TERROR. I WILL NOT INFLICT PAIN AND SUFFERING ON PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO PROTECT THE WATER SO MY FAMILY AND NATION CAN SURVIVE." Perhaps i am only a foolish old woman, but, can poison the earth and expect that it will sustain life? Look into your children's eyes. Do you see their grandchildren? Fight for their future. That is what the water protectors are doing for all humanities children. Take a stand. NoDAPL, FRAKKING, CHEMTRAILS. FIGHT FOR LIFE.

Anonymous said...

I give great gratitude to all of you that are coming together to protect your ancestors burials, our drinking water and the earth that sustains us all. I pray with my heart and soul that you all remain safe and well and those that threaten it have compassion and understanding and take their masks off and relinguish their adherence to orders that are not in favor of the people. Much love to you all. I am their in spirit and commend all of you water protectors for putting theceartg above your own well being.

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