Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 13, 2022

Palestinians Supported Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Were Targeted by TigerSwan Mercenaries

Palestinians Supported Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Were Targeted by TigerSwan Mercenaries 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

When Palestinians joined the support of water protectors at Standing Rock in 2016, TigerSwan mercenaries targeted them, according to files leaked to The Intercept.

Now, in North Dakota, TigerSwan's documents include Palestinians, who were racially profiled by TigerSwan, and others targeted and stalked by the pipeline's mercenaries.

Today, there are 16,000 pages of TigerSwan's spy files from Standing Rock in a court battle before the North Dakota Supreme Court. A district court ruled these are public documents and ordered the release. The pipeline rushed to the higher court to keep these documents secret.

Energy Transfer, the owner of Dakota Access Pipeline, is fighting First Look Media, the owner of The Intercept, in this expensive legal battle to keep the documents secret.

Already, it is known that TigerSwan mercenaries, hired by the pipeline, used inflammatory language when it targeted Palestinians at Standing Rock and placed Palestinians in danger.

TigerSwan supplied the surveillance to militarized law enforcement at Standing Rock. 

A Palestinian-American activist singled out in the reports, was shocked to hear his name mentioned in that context.

"As indigenous people, Palestinians stand in solidarity with other indigenous people and their right to land, water, and sovereignty," he told The Intercept. 

"To insinuate that our assumed faith is a red flag for terrorist tactics is another example of willful ignorance and the establishment’s continued attempts to criminalize nonviolent protest and justify violence against it."

Now, the North Dakota Supreme Court must decide whether to release 16,000 documents that TigerSwan turned over to a North Dakota regulatory board, after the board ruled that TigerSwan worked in North Dakota without a license.

The stakes are high for Energy Transfer, who owns the pipeline and hired the mercenaries.

In September of 2016, Nadya Tannous was present with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, and reflected on the power of this solidarity, its power, and its future.

"The council fire sits at the mouth of the main entrance of Oceti Sakowin Camp, outlined by rows of flags representing many of the Indigenous Nations who have come to stand with Standing Rock," Tannous writes in her article at Mondoweiss, Palestinians Join Sioux to Protest Dakota Access Pipeline.

"At the end of one of the rows is the Palestinian flag. Seeing it filled me equally with joy and sadness because it confirmed two things that I had pondered throughout the long drive from California to North Dakota: the first thought is that the power of collective resistance against greed and settler-colonialism is a mighty force.

"That thought was embodied by my joy to see a representation of will by the presently unseen Palestinian siblings who had come to take a stand against destructive powers.

"The second thought was embodied by sadness for, if the struggle for the protection of water, culture, land, heritage, and livelihood is truly mirrored in Standing Rock and Palestine, then the struggle ahead is both vast and uncompromising," Tannous wrote.

The Palestine Youth Movement said in their support statement of Standing Rock Water Protectors: “We condemn all forms of state violence against our First Nation siblings and denote that the undermining of their sovereignty and livelihood is a part of the continuing dialectic of settler-colonialism transnationally."

"Since the arrival of settlers on Turtle Island, First Nations have resisted genocide and displacement. From seizure of land to reservations, from boarding schools to massacres, the state has done everything in its power to erase and eradicate First Nation peoples. Yet, they are still with us today and they continue to resist. Protecting their land, people, and future generations from the DAPL is a testament to their strength and resilience."

Today, good hearts around the world arise in solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors and Palestine.
Read more:

Palestinians join Standing Rock Sioux to Protest Dakota Access Pipeline (2016)


North Dakota Supreme Court: Summary (Current)

Energy Transfer LP and Dakota Access LLC appeal after the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board and First Look Institute, Inc.

Energy Transfer hired TigerSwan, LLC to provide security services. The Board filed an administrative action against TigerSwan resulting in TigerSwan producing nearly 16,000 documents to the Board. Energy Transfer asserts ownership of the documents and claims they are confidential. Energy Transfer brought the present case seeking an injunction prohibiting the Board from providing the documents in response to open records requests and compelling the Board to return the documents. The district court granted summary judgment ruling the documents were public records and the Board has an obligation to maintain them.

On appeal, Energy Transfer argues the district court erred when it categorically determined the documents were public records, the Board did not establish the documents are public records, Energy Transfer should have been given the opportunity to conduct additional discovery, and there are issue of fact that preclude summary judgment.

No comments: