August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, November 28, 2016

Standing Rock Medics Urge Army Corps to Rescind Eviction Notice to Prevent Morbidity and Mortality

The front line between Water Protectors and Riot Police on Thanksgiving on treaty land. Photo by Rob Wilson Photography

The front line between Water Protectors and Riot Police on Thanksgiving on treaty land. Photo by Rob Wilson Photography
Standing Rock Medics Urge Army Corps to Rescind Eviction Notice to Prevent Morbidity and Mortality

By Standing Rock Medic Healer's Council

Censored News
November 28, 2016

RE:  Urgent request for Lieutenant General Todd Semonite (US Army Corps of Engineers), Secretary Robert A. McDonald (US Department of Veteran Affairs) and Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (US Department of Health and Human Services) to immediately rescind the December 5th, 2016 eviction notice given to the Oceti Sakowin camp by the Army Corps of Engineers as well as a removal of the blockade on Highway 1806 in order to prevent unnecessary further morbidity and mortality
The Standing Rock Medic Healer’s Council (SRMHC) is a council of traditional Indigenous healers, physicians, nurses, paramedics, midwives, and medics who have provided continuous medical care at the camp since August, in response to poor healthcare access and escalating use of violence by Morton County Sheriff’s department and Dakota Access Pipeline security upon unarmed people who are peacefully assembled to protest a pipeline going through the source of drinking water for 16 million people.
We have been active in assessing the health needs and have been keeping people safe in what US veterans have described as “war-like conditions”—with surveillance aircraft, police checkpoints and the constant threat of violence from local law enforcement. We have also been providing daily no-cost care for acute and chronic conditions to thousands of people assembled peacefully to exercise their first amendment rights.
The vast majority of cases we have witnessed and treated -- in patients ranging from the young to elderly -- have been the direct result of the following:
Blunt force trauma, including but not limited to near amputation, retinal detachment, and multiple fractures, concussions, lacerations, and contusions as a result of rubber bullets, battery with batons, and concussion grenades,
Bites from attack dogs
Exposure to chemical weapons.
Hypothermia as a result of water cannons power blasting individuals in freezing temperatures.
Since October, the Morton County Sheriff’s department has blocked the northbound highway 1806, currently with razor wire, military vehicles and concrete blocks. This is in violation of the Geneva Convention, Article 18, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention II which provides that “[a]fter each engagement, Parties to the conflict shall, without delay, take all possible measures … to ensure … adequate care” of the shipwrecked, wounded and sick.” The blockade makes quick and expeditious travel by emergency services to the nearest level two trauma center in Bismarck impossible. What should be a 35 minute ambulance ride in an emergency becomes over an hour due to this blockade and checkpoints. This has been and continues to be a major threat to public health that has been not been addressed by local health agencies.  We urge you to address it immediately.
Of greatest concern is the previously mentioned December 5th eviction notice by the Army Corps of Engineers upon the Oceti Sakowin camp. Based upon all evidence to date we have good reason to believe that excessive, violent force will be used against unarmed people in winter conditions that threaten life simply through hypothermia. In our professional opinion, the Oceti Sakowin community composed of several thousand women (many of whom are pregnant) men, children, elderly,are firmly committed to remaining upon the land that was clearly outlined by Treaty laws belonging to the Lakota and Dakota peoples. We affirm that during the entire term of our service we have never seen any evidence of weapons, whether in the form of firearms or incendiary devices.  Given the urgency and immediacy of the care we provide, such evidence would be impossible to conceal. If the goal is to protect health and well being, that purpose will best be served by allowing the Oceti Sakowin to remain, unmolested, in full exercise of their constitutionally protected First Amendment rights.
We want to make clear that the SRMHC is committed to fulfilling the spirit of the Geneva Convention by providing medical services to Oceti Sakowin regardless of the  decisions and conditions imposed by state agencies. This decision occurs despite clear observations that designated and labeled medics are being unethically and illegally targeted by law enforcement -- once again in violation of the Geneva Conventions (Rule 25. Medical personnel exclusively assigned to medical duties must be respected and protected in all circumstances).
We urge your respective agencies to prevent the alarming threat to loss of life and limb on December 5th. From our assessment as the medical team on the ground, the violence from law enforcement has been the largest threat to public safety. If you are concerned for human health and safety, we call for the following:
A rescission of the December 5 eviction notice as it provided a de facto invitation for Governor Jack Dalrymple to order an “emergency” evacuation under the false premise of public health. This in turn provides  the Morton County Police Department justification to enter and inflict harm upon the current encampment referred to as Oceti Sakowin
Acknowledging that the excessive violence, militarization, and disregard of the well being of the community is the source of violence and public health endangerment, we call for a disarmament of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.
The immediate opening of northbound county highway 1806 to allow expeditious travel by emergency health services.
The Army Corps of Engineers has the power to immediately de-escalate the situation by denying the easement and bringing a permanent end to the construction of the DAPL through Lake Oahe.
As health workers, we urge you to recognize this as a public health issue and address it accordingly—with respect for human dignity and the right to clean healthy water which we all know is absolutely crucial for human health.
Respectfully,
Standing Rock Medic Healer Council
Linda Black Elk, PhD, Ethnobotanist, Sitting Bull College
Noah Morris, EMT
Michael Knudsen, MPH candidate
Vanessa Bolin, ALS paramedic
Amelia Massucco, RN
Howard Ehrman MD, MPH, University of Illinois, Chicago
John Andrews, RN’
David Kingfisher, MD/JD Witchita State University
Jesse Lopez, MD, Heartland Surgical Care
Kalama O Ka Aina Niheu, MD Aha Aloha Aina
Rupa Marya, MD, University of California, San Francisco, Do No Harm Coalition
Kristina Golden, EMT
Sebastian Rodriguez, RN
Rosemary Fister, RN, MNPHN, DNP candidate
Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, University of Chicago
Elizabeth Friedman, MD

Navajo Veterans Leave Dec. 3 for Standing Rock

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Navajo Code Talkers AP File Photo
Navajo Veterans Leave Dec. 3 for Standing Rock

This article has been updated. Please go to:

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/11/navajo-veterans-leave-for-standing-rock.html


North Dakota Gov. Orders Evacuation -- Winter Storm Latest Ploy to Remove Water Protectors

Aerial view of Oceti Sakowin Camp today during snow, on Treaty land.

Chairman calls on Army Corps to reaffirm their position of no forcible removal

CANNON BALL, North Dakota —The following statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman, Dave Archambault II, can be quoted in part or in full.
French translation by Christine Prat
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=3861
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans
http://www.denaisgazet.be/nieuws/gouverneur-van-noord-dakota-beveelt-evacuatie-winter-storm-laatste-tactiek-om-kamp-te-ontruimen


“Today, Gov. Dalrymple issued an executive order calling for mandatory evacuation of all campers located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lands, also known as the Oceti Sakowin camp. This state executive order is a menacing action meant to cause fear, and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority. The USACE has clearly stated that it does not intend to forcibly remove campers from federal property. The Governor cites harsh weather conditions and the threat to human life. As I have stated previously, the most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold. If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings. This is a clear stretch of state emergency management authority and a further attempt to abuse and humiliate the water protectors. The State has since clarified that they won’t be deploying law enforcement to forcibly remove campers, but we are wary that this executive order will enable further human rights violations.”
The Chairman called on the Army Corps to affirm their previous statement regarding no forcible removal.

Dalrymple Orders Emergency Evacuation To Safeguard Against Harsh Winter Conditions

Signed November 28, 2016
WHEREAS, Morton County is currently experiencing severe winter weather storm conditions, and it is anticipated harsh winter conditions will continue until next spring; and
WHEREAS, winter conditions have the potential to endanger human life, especially when they are exposed to these conditions without proper shelter, dwellings, or sanitation for prolonged periods of time; and
WHEREAS, large populations have chosen to stay in areas of Morton County managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers south of the Cantapeta Creek and the Cannonball River (The areas include the confluence with Cantapeta Creek east, east of North Dakota Highway 1806, north of the Cannonball River, and west of the Missouri River) in tents, vehicles, temporary and semi-permanent structures which have not been inspected and approved by Morton County as proper dwellings suitable for winter habitation; and
WHEREAS, the aforementioned areas of Morton County are not zoned for dwellings suitable for living in winter conditions, and also do not possess proper permanent sanitation infrastructure to sustain a living environment consistent with proper public health; and
WHEREAS, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has ordered the aforementioned area of Morton County which they manage to be vacated due to public safety concerns related to the inability to effectively provide emergency, medical, fire response services, and law enforcement services; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the state to assist citizens and visitors to North Dakota in addressing the emergencies, disasters, and other hardships that may face the state, its citizens and visitors, to include issuance of orders in the best interest of public safety.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jack Dalrymple, Governor of the State of North Dakota, order a mandatory evacuation of all persons located in areas under the proprietary jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers located in Morton County, and defined as a prohibited area in Exhibit A of the United States Army Corps of Engineers memorandum provided to the Morton County Sheriff on November 25th, 2016 and attached to this order. This definition of the evacuation area shall remain in effect even if the United States Army Corps of Engineers redefines or removes these prohibited areas. These persons are ordered to leave the evacuation area immediately, and are further ordered not to return to the evacuation area.
All persons in the evacuation area shall take all their possessions with them upon their evacuation. 
Any action or inaction taken by any party which encourages persons to enter, reenter, or remain in the evacuation area will be subject to penalties as defined in law. 
I direct state agencies, emergency service officials, and nongovernmental organizations to reduce threats to public safety by not guaranteeing the provision of emergency and other governmental and nongovernmental services in the evacuation area, unless otherwise approved on a case by case basis by the Morton County Sheriff or Superintendent of the Highway Patrol.  The general public is hereby notified that emergency services probably will not be available under current winter conditions.
Any person who chooses to enter, reenter, or stay in the evacuation does so at their own risk, and assumes any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of the evacuation area.
This order is issued pursuant to the following authority and for the following reasons: 
The Governor is vested with the executive authority pursuant to Article V, Section 1 of the North Dakota Constitution; and, 
The governor is vested with statutory authority to issue executive orders to minimize or avert the effects of a disaster or emergency pursuant to Chapter 37-17.1 of the North Dakota Century Code; and, 
The governor is vested by Section 37-17.1-05(6)(e), N.D.C.C. with authority to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if the governor deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response, or recovery; and 
A coordinated and effective effort of all state departments is required to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies in this state.
This order is effective immediately, and it shall remain in effect until rescinded. Executed at Bismarck, North Dakota, this 28th day of November, 2016.
Signed Executive Order:   application/pdf iconExecutive Order 2016-08.pdf

Water Protectors file class action suit for retaliation and excessive force against brutal police


Water Protectors file class action suit for retaliation and excessive force against brutal police

by Lauren C. Regan on November 28, 2016 in Articles, Cases, Current Cases, News
Water Protectors file class action suit for retaliation and excessive force against brutal police

Contact:  Lauren Regan, Director and Attorney, Civil Liberties Defense Center; Water Protector Legal Collective attorney, 541-687-9180; info@cldc.org

Complaint and TRO filings included

Oceti Šakowiŋ camp at Standing Rock, North Dakota— On November 20, 2016 Native Americans and their allies walked on to a public bridge and prayed.  They bowed their heads in the frigid North Dakota dusk, lit sage and cedar, and began praying for the survival of the Missouri River, for their indigenous cultures, and for the planet and all its inhabitants.  On the other side of a thick razor wire fence, reminiscent of that found on prison walls and war zones, an army of trained killers began to amass with their weaponry.  The people praying, which included elders and youth, looked up from their exercise of First Amendment expression and into the foreboding line of police in riot gear, face masks, shields, guns, giant fire extinguisher-sized containers of chemical weapons, grenade launchers of tear gas, Tasers, batons, and what appears to be shotguns which shoot less than lethal bullets, called Specialty Impact Munitions (SIM). The public servants humiliated their profession by chastising and taunting Native American protectors, laughing when they injured a water protector with their munitions.

Water Protectors began to include the police in their prayers for peace and nonviolence.  They prayed for an end to environmental racism as the DAPL pipeline construction loomed in the background.  They prayed for an end to systemic racism, as they were surrounded by white allies in the hope that police might spare their brown bodies because they were surrounded by white ones of privilege.  Police readied into position a water cannon, or commonly described as a high-pressure fire hose.  And then, in an act deemed illegal and morally intolerable since the 1960’s civil rights era, law enforcement who took an oath to protect and serve everyone, unleashed a violent torrent of freezing cold water upon the brown indigenous people assembled in prayer and allyship in an apparent attempt to wash them out of sight and mind.  Bodies were whipped to the ground, innocent people were shocked into hypothermia and unable to move, and worse—many were trapped on the bridge unable to escape. Police used floodlights to blind the protectors and then began firing less than lethal bullets—the pop pop pop noise and the screams of pain penetrating the freezing night air.  Then chemical foggers were sprayed into the crowd, CS gas (teargas) canisters were launched out of high powered weapons, grenades were aimed at peoples’ heads, and the relentless icy force of high pressured fire hoses were continuously used as a form of crowd control for over 5 hours. Protectors collapsed unable to breathe from the chemical weapons, one person began having a seizure and was rendered unconscious.  One woman had a cop intentionally aim a flash bang grenade into her groin.  At least two people had their heads split open by less than lethal bullets and required dozens of staples to survive, another young woman was shot in the eye and face, another in the kneecap, another had his knuckles shattered and finger flesh peeled away while he gripped a camera; many more people walked away with welts and bruises.  Many people required medical attention for chemical weapon exposure, respiratory and vision problems.  Explosive chemical devices and other incendiary weapons were launched into the crowd by police with reckless abandon.  One officer held onto his explosive Instantaneous Blast CS grenade[1]  for 5 of the 7 seconds he has to launch it before it explodes, and then threw it directly at a 21-year-old Water Protector named Sophia Wilansky.  It is believed that the grenade exploded on her left arm almost tearing it from her body.  As blood began to pour from her body, and in an absolute demonstration of malice, police targeted medics and people attempting to rescue her and other injured people from the bridge.  It is still unknown whether Ms. Walinsky must have her arm amputated at her elbow.  These are just a few of the almost 300 injuries that were reported on November 20th.

It is for these reasons and more that Water Protectors have filed a civil rights class action seeking an emergency restraining order from the US District Court of North Dakota requesting that the Court put an end to the potentially deadly tactics used by law enforcement against them.  The request urges the Court to grant interim relief consisting of an order prohibiting Defendant law enforcement agencies from using excessive force in responding to the pipeline protests and prayer ceremonies and asks specifically for a prohibition on the use of SIM, explosive grenades, chemical agents, and water cannons or hoses, as means of crowd dispersal. The civil rights complaint seeks justice against the constitutional violations perpetuated against the mostly Native American water protectors, including claims of retaliation and police brutality by law enforcement, as well suing the Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, and City of Mandan Chief of Police Jason Ziegler for maintaining policies, customs, and practices that led to grave violations of Plaintiffs’ rights secured by the U.S. Constitution.  This Court must decide whether the poorly trained defendant law enforcement agencies used SIM, freezing water, chemical agents, and explosive grenades to harm the Water Protectors and chill or deter them from their lawful exercise of the rights to free speech, association, and religion in violation of the First Amendment.

During the 1960’s civil rights era in the United States, African American activists were killed by police while exercising their constitutional rights.  People were injured, traumatized and killed for standing up for what is clearly the right side of justice. Native Americans, long brutalized and repressed by colonizing terrorists, are taking their stand in the fight for justice and environmental sanity.  The State is again responding with terror and violence in the face of a changing moral and social society.  The world is watching what is happening at the Oceti Šakowiŋ camp at Standing Rock, North Dakota.  The CLDC is honored to be part of the team of lawyers and legal scholars that will relentlessly pursue justice for the Water Protectors against the fascist police attack that occurred on the Backwater Bridge spanning the Cannonball River in Sioux Standing Rock land.

If you would like to support the current efforts at Standing Rock please consider the following actions:

–Call local and federal agencies to demand:

(1) the immediate end to construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, (2) the immediate cessation and a full investigation into law enforcement and DAPL Security guard abuses against Water Protectors, and

(3) demanding the Morton County State’s Attorney dismiss all felony charges against water protectors from the October 27 police raid.

(4) Permit the water protectors to stay at their current encampment until the DAPL’s application to drill under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River is permanently denied.

White House: 202-456-1414

or sign the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s White House petition http://standwithstandingrock.net/take-action/

White House Situation Room, 202-456-9431              

North Dakota Governor’s Office: 701-328-2200

Morton County Sheriff’s Office: 620-697-4313

Morton County State’s Attorney’s Office: 701-667-3330

Army Corps of Engineers-Bismarck 701-255-0015

To support CLDC’s efforts to provide legal support at Standing Rock please contribute at https://cldc.org/nodapl



You can read the full suit below:

Complaint-1983-Class-Action standing-rock-emergency-injunction

Standing-Rock-Emergency-Injunction





[1] https://www.safariland.com/products/less-lethal/chemical-agent-devices/chemical-grenades/non-pyrotechnic/instantaneous-blast/instantaneous-blast-cs-grenade-1012496.html





Standing Rock Resistance Spirit Radio is Back!


Govinda of Earthcycles is starting up the radio station now!




Standing Rock Resistance Spirit Radio is Back!

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Govinda is back at Standing Rock Camp setting up Standing Rock Resistance Spirit Radio!
He's at Oceti Sakowin camp. The solar system is set up, and onward and forward as he readies for broadcast the new van of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Rising.
Govinda will be setting up the transmitter and preparing for those great interviews, and audios that the radio stations across the continent have been asking for!
We hope to be broadcasting and sharing on Monday, stay tuned!

AIM West Audios
Govinda and I have just finished broadcasting from the American Indian Movement West Conference Conference in San Francisco, check out the video and articles at Censored News.
AIM West Day 1 includes Rachel Lederman, Standing Rock Camp attorney, and Black Panther Erica Huggins speaking on the power to heal within.
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/11/aim-west-live-monday-nov-21-2016.html
AIM West Day 2 includes Raquel Arthur, Paiute, and her father Webster Arthur, Nez Perce, in a delegation describing how a pickup truck of white supremacists plowed into the anti-Columbus Day Rally in Reno. A grandmother spent a month in the hospital, and is now in a wheelchair, and the driver was charged with only a misdemeanor.
Also, Dine' Jean Whitehorse describes her journey from boarding school to the takeover of Alcatraz and her life-long struggle with the United States genocidal policies of boarding schools, relocation and sterilization of women.
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/11/aim-west-live-tuesday-nov-22-2016.html

Audios for Radio Broadcast
Thank you radio assistant Tony Single Eagle for preparing our audios for a radio station in Tampa, Florida on Sunday. We now have these audios from the broadcast at American Indian Movement West Coast Conference ready for radio broadcast in mp3 format. These audios are the talks by: Rachel Lederman (Standing Rock Camp Attorney) Erica Huggins (Black Panther) and Akabundu (All African Revolutionary Party.) (The tapes are in Singing Eagle's file in the Standing Rock Resistance Spirit Radio DropBox for radio stations. Those are listed in alphabetical order.) Thank you to Alvon Griffin at WMNF in Tampa, Florida, for continuing to broadcast breaking news from Standing Rock on his broadcast Two Worlds Indigenous Radio.

Donate to Govinda at Earthcycles:
https://fundrazr.com/41BSGf?ref=ab_a6CDU2
Donate to Censored News for equipment and travel:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/11/donate-to-censored-news.html

Army Corps says no forced removal of Standing Rock water protectors


This is not Syria. This is Standing Rock. These are water protectors on Thanksgiving Day at the river prepared for attack by militarized police, DAPL hired mercenaries and the the Morton County Sheriff.
Photo copyright Rob Wilson.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
The US Army Corps said today, Sunday, that it has no plans to forcibly remove Standing Rock water protectors camped on Treaty land at the Oceti Sakowin Camp on the banks of the Cannon Ball River. The Army Corps said it will issue citations.
However, there is no guarantee that the Morton County Sheriff, Dakota Access Pipeline's hired mercenaries, and militarized police will not attack, as they have done repeatedly, if these out-of-control police come into Oceti Sakowin Camp to issue citations.
After the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would shut the camp down on Dec. 5, Native American women warriors, including Dine', Lakota and Paiute women warriors, began acquiring bulletproof vests, gas masks, goggles and body armor.
A Lakota youth now faces possibly losing her eye after being hit by a police projectile by police. Doctors are trying to save the arm of a young woman in New York, after her arm was shattered by a police projectile during the prayerful blockade.
Reuters news agency reported Sunday:
U.S. authorities said on Sunday they had no plans to forcibly remove activists protesting plans to run an oil pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, despite telling them to leave by early December.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the federal land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said last week it would close public access to the area north of the Cannonball River on Dec. 5
On Sunday, the agency said in a statement that it had "no plans for forcible removal" of protesters. The statement said anyone who remained would be considered unauthorized and could be subject to various citations. It also said emergency services might not be adequately provided to the area. Read article at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13N00P
Previous post at Censored News:
Letter from the Army Corps, with Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault's reponse:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/11/army-corps-will-shut-down-oceti-sakowin.html

ANONYMOUS News Report on Police Violence at Standing Rock

Police Fire on Standing Rock Peaceful Water Protectors Nov. 20, 2016
Photo copyright Rob Wilson


A Factual News Account from Anonymous on Police Violence at Standing Rock

Published on Nov 21, 2016
Good day to the citizens of this world

Today the 21 of November ANONYMOUS TV IS reporting ON POLICE ENGAGING ON PEACEFUL PROTEST. 
THE TEMPERATURE IS BELOW ZERO. THESE ARE THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THEY ARE BEING TREATED LIKE terrorist

Hundreds of water protectors were injured at the Standing Rock encampments when law enforcement blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening. The attacks came as water protectors used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that police had chained to concrete barriers weeks ago, blocking traffic on Highway 1806. Water protectors’ efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Some flares shot by law enforcement started grass fires which were ignored by the water cannons and had to be extinguished by water protectors. Law enforcement also shot down three media drones and targeted journalists with less lethal rounds.
National Lawyers Guild legal observers on the frontlines have confirmed that multiple people were unconscious and bleeding after being shot in the head with rubber bullets. One elder went into cardiac arrest at the frontlines but medics administered CPR and were able to resuscitate him. The camp’s medical staff and facilities are overwhelmed and the local community of Cannonball has opened their school gymnasium for emergency relief. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Emergency Medical Service department arrived on scene to administer medical services. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe also sent Emergency Medical Service vehicles to the Oceti Sakowin Camp to assist. Hundreds are receiving treatment for contamination by CS gas, hypothermia, and blunt traumas as a result of rubber bullets and other less lethal ammunition. The military vehicles blocking the bridge were burned in a blockade fire on October 27, after law enforcement raided and cleared the “1851 Treaty Camp,” an occupation of the pipeline corridor and reclamation of unceded territory. Despite the obvious public safety risk, and despite promises from Morton County that they would clear the road, law enforcement has insisted on keeping the vehicles on the bridge for weeks. This obstruction of Highway 1806 threatens the lives of the water protectors and residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, as emergency services have been needed but unable to reach camp quickly. The blockage also unjustly restricts the free movement of local residents and hurts the Tribe economically by cutting off travel to and from the Prairie Knights Casino. Images of the burned vehicles have fed negative, distorted, and sensationalist media portrayals of the encampment.
Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth, says, “For weeks, the main highway to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has been cut off, with no movement by the state to address a public safety risk. Attempting to clear the road was met with police spraying people with water cannons in 26 degree weather -- that’s deadly force, it’s freezing outside. They want to kill people for clearing a road? When will our cries be heard? Stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Respect the rights of indigenous people, of all peoples.”
LaDonna Allard, Director of the Sacred Stone Camp, says, “All I can say is why? We are asking for clean water, we are asking for the right to live, we are asking for our children to live. Instead they attack us, because they protect oil. Morton county and DAPL security are inhuman- what is wrong with their hearts?”
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, says, “It is below freezing right now and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is using a water cannon on our people, that is an excessive and potentially deadly use of force. Tribal EMS are stepping up and providing services that should be the responsibility of Morton County, this is ridiculous. Because of the police enforced road block, ambulances now have an extra 30 minutes to get to the hospital. Those are life and death numbers right there, and Morton County and the State of North Dakota will be responsible for the tally.”