August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Standing Rock Police Standoff Wed. Oct. 5, 2016

Excessive police force protecting illegal construction operations of Dakota Access Pipeline, as Federal Appeals Court continues temporary halt to DAPL construction today.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Morton County police showed up with excessive force to stop the prayer today. Water protectors were blocked from a public access road, once again by an armored police vehicle, sound cannon (acoustical weapon vehicle) and armed police force.
Water protectors were unarmed as usual and planned to pray.
However, police denied access to the public road where DAPL has continued work in violation of a court order from the Federal Appeals Court in Washington.
DAPL construction work was halted when the news arrived that the water protectors were on the move.
Today, in Washington, a federal Appeals Court continued the halt to DAPL construction.

Read more at Censored News:

Standing Rock Chairman announces Federal Appeals Court halt to construction continues:

Watch breaking news video below from Standing Rock water protectors:

North Dakota Files More Felonies against Water Protectors
From: Sacred Stone Camp
North Dakota continues to escalate repression of the people protecting sacred sites and waters from the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Tuesday, two more felony charges were sought for water protectors, bringing the total to seven. One of the we charges is against Dale “Happi” American Horse, the first person to lock to lock his body to active Dakota Access Pipeline construction equipment.This comes days after a heated exchange at a prayer ceremony when police abruptly dispersed the crowd with shotguns, a Bearcat armored vehicle and a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
Dale “Happi” American Horse, the first water protector to lock his body to active Dakota Access Pipeline construction equipment (on August 31), appeared with his court appointed counsel, Steven Balaban. His misdemeanor case was dismissed and then refiled as a felony case. The new charges include one count of felony Reckless Endangerment, one count of misdemeanor Obstruction of a Government Function, one count of misdemeanor Preventing Arrest, and one count of misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct. Despite the gravity of these new charges, American Horse was undaunted. “We as protectors are not intimidated when it comes to defending Mother Earth, either on the front lines or in the courtroom,” American Horse said. He remains free on a $500 bond, and trial was set for December 23rd.
Mason RedWing of the “spirit riders”, a group that patrols actions on horseback to protect people praying on the front lines, appeared this morning on two active warrants, one misdemeanor and one felony. He was charged with felony reckless endangerment of law enforcement and a second felony count of terrorizing law enforcement for allegedly riding his horse towards the police line. His bond was set at $2000. He was taken into custody and released on bond.
Seven water protectors who were arrested without warning for failing to disperse from a Dakota Access work site on September 13th appeared in court this morning for arraignments. All who appeared entered pleas of not guilty and are scheduled for trial in late December and early January.
Ladonna Bravebull Allard says, “We will continue to stand in the face of injustice. We stand because we must protect the water.”

Also see: Helicopter over Standing Rock Camp altered plane identification number, violated FAA rules:

Standing Rock Chairman: Federal Appeals Court Temporary Halt to DAPL Remains Oct. 5, 2016

On October 5, 2016, Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe read the following statement after a court hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the Tribe’s request for an injunction to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline during the appeal process. A ruling wasn’t issued, keeping the temporary halt to construction in place until the court decides.
"Millions of people across the country and world, more than 300 federally-recognized tribes, members of Congress and dozens of city governments across the country stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We stand together in peaceful prayer and solidarity because this pipeline threatens the lives of the more than 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River for their water. This pipeline has already destroyed the burial places of our Lakota and Dakota ancestors. If construction continues, our people stand to lose even more of our sacred places and cultural objects.
The Obama administration and all federal agencies have a trust responsibility to uphold the treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline without consulting with our tribe. The approval of this pipeline by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a violation of our treaty rights and we will not stop fighting until our lands, people, water and sacred places are permanently protected."

Women's Boat to Gaza Missing: Intercepted by Israeli Forces

Zaytouna-Oliva taken in International Waters
Whereabouts of Participants Unknown
This afternoon, the Women's Boat to Gaza was making good progress to the shores and the women were emotional about meeting all the people in Gaza who were waiting for them. Some of the Palestinians had spent the night at the beach to greet them.

At 9:58 (EST) we lost total contact with the Zaytouna-Oliva. The US embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted. We do not know where our friends are.

It is important to know that this happened in international waters and it is not only illegal but sets a bad precedent in giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli.

Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. They were committed to nonviolence as much as they were committed to breaking the blockade. 
Ann has a message for you
Ann deserves our support
Ann has traveled thousands of miles and made a great sacrifice for human rights.  We can help her with a few small efforts:

Contact President Barack Obama    (202) 456-1111
Contact Secretary John Kerry           or  
                                                          (202) 647-4000
Kerry's Chief of Staff. Jonathan Finer at
Unlike other nations that have women on the boat, we Americans provide military equipment to Israel that may very well have been used against Ann and our international friends.  Please ask Secretary Kerry and President Obama to demand Israel immediately release the women and that they do an investigation on the incident as there are a number of troubling circumstances that are against US and international law. And don't forget to say that the blockade on Gaza must end. 
In solidarity!

Snowden the Movie: The Force of Trajectory that Can Not Be Classified

Shailene Woodley and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Snowden the movie. The real life ongoing protests to halt Dakota Access Pipeline by those gathered at the Standing Rock camp. The real life Shailene Woodley at the DAPL protest in D.C. Snowden.
Snowden the Movie: Familiar Faces on the Big Screen reveal the Force of Trajectory -- the Peace that Results from Truth Telling

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The movie Snowden held a few surprises. Here, I saw the faces of friends.
There she was, Shailene Woodley, the face that I had been seeing as I posted photos of the Standing Rock runners during their run to Washington, as they battled the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
There she was, in the movie, Snowden's girlfriend, at the real life age of 24.
Then there were the faces of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, and Bolivia President Evo Morales. Many of us were with these leaders at the gatherings at the Mother Earth Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and again at the United Nations Climate Summit in Cancun, Mexico. 
Finally, there was Snowden himself, who at the age of 29 felt he had no choice but to do the right thing. He changed the world as we know it, as we now know that it always was.
Among the great gifts of this film is a clear vision of the kill button, and how easy it is for someone seated at a computer to carelessly push a button and use a drone to kill on the other side of the world. This includes women and children who happen to be near a certain cell phone. It is a reckless disregard for human life.
It is one of the facts that President Obama's public relations people, and the complicit media, keep out of the news in the U.S. for the most part.
Computers, Snowden says, are his sin of choice. Computers, too, have become the sin of choice for those who assassinate women and children carelessly. There is no way to know who really has that cellphone, on the day the kill button is punched by someone seated before a computer, between their morning coffee and their lunch hour.
The Trajectory
Snowden said he was moved forward by a trajectory, a propelling force beyond himself.
It must be a similar trajectory that moves forward the Dakotas, Lakotas and Nakotas at Standing Rock, and the force that they can not deny, can not turn back from. It is this trajectory that carried the young Native American runners to the White House. It is this trajectory that led Native Americans and their supporters to lock down to Dakota Access Pipeline machinery as the movie Snowden opened in theaters.
What price is paid for freedom and truth? This is the question which the movie Snowden leaves one with.
In the movie, Snowden gained a sense of peace, or at least acceptance of his fate. He had moved forward with that trajectory, that force, when he was called to do so.
The force of trajectory is present in the words of Red Warrior Camp, as they fight the Dakota Access Pipeline. This oil pipeline now targets the Missouri River and could poison the water source of Native Americans, and millions of others, for future generations.
On the day when Crazy Horse was assassinated 139 years ago, on Sept. 5, 1877, Red Warrior Camp, at Standing Rock Camp, wrote, "Our spirits are lit afire and nothing can stop us. Warriors, brothers and sisters, we may never receive an opportunity like this to send a powerful message to the world. The world is in need of healing. The battle field has changed, the theatre has evolved thus we cannot be armed, we cannot succumb to their psychological ploys to incite our violence. We must stay strong. Do not back down. Crazy Horse lives."
President Evo Morales grounded in Austria.
Because of Snowden, we know that every phone call, every e-mail, and every chat, is saved and searchable by the U.S. government. It is warrantless spying of U.S. citizens, and used globally by the U.S. to gain business and government secrets of countries around the world, in the pursuit of global domination and control.
After releasing those files, Snowden attempted to reach Ecuador. President Morales' plane was forced to land in Austria, because he was believed to be transporting Snowden to South America.

In the end, Snowden never made it to Ecuador. The U.S. revoked his visa, leaving him in limbo in Russia, where he remains.
And as I left that theater, I felt that peace which I hope Snowden too had finally felt. I looked out at an open sky and a sunset full of colors that Snowden may never see again.
In realizing how much Snowden was moved to give up, to sacrifice for truth and justice, and his acceptance of it, I too found a new sense of peace and freedom.

Brenda Norrell is publisher of Censored News. It was created in 2006 after she was censored, then terminated, as a staff writer for Indian Country Today. She has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years, beginning at Navajo Times, and as a stringer for AP and USA Today during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She has been censored by the mainstream media since 2006.

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