“No matter how peacefully the opposition acts, armed defenders of Big Oil interests seem determined to brutalize, disrespect, and generally incite and inflict violence against those who desire unsullied water for generations to come.”
“The land of the free,” my ass!
Like A “Concentration Camp” Police Mark DAPL Protesters With Numbers And Lock Them In Dog Kennels
On Thursday, police from no less than five states sporting full riot gear and armed with heavy lethal and nonlethal weaponry, pepper spray, mace, a number of ATVs, five tanks, two helicopters, and military-equipped Humvees showed up to tear down an encampment of Standing Rock Sioux water protectors and supporters armed with … nothing.
Under orders from the now-notorious Morton County Sheriff’s Office, this ridiculously heavy-handed standing army came better prepared to do battle than some actual military units fighting overseas.
But the target of their operation — a group of slightly more than 200 Native American water protectors and supporters opposing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline — never intended to do battle with the armed, taxpayer-funded, corporate-backed, state-sponsored aggressors.
Reports vary, but no less than 141 people were arrested Thursday, and — according to witnesses — police marked numbers on arrestees’ arms and housed them in cement-floored dog kennels, without any padding, before they were transported as far away as Fargo.
“It goes back to concentration camp days,” asserted Oceti-Sakowin coordinator Mekasi Camp-Horinek, who, along with his mother, was marked and detained in a mesh kennel, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Although Thursday’s incident remained relatively peaceful for some time, with only shouts, chants, and occasional attempts by water protectors to convince this standing army to examine its motives and reconsider, clashes nonetheless broke out — solely because of gratuitous police aggression.
After facing off for a couple hours, these militant cops began closing in on the water protectors to shut down the Treaty of 1851 camp — in reference to the Fort Laramie Treaty of that year, which established a large parcel of land designated exclusively Native American territory not to be disturbed by the U.S. government. Prior to his arrest, Camp-Horinek had established the camp, stating, as cited by Indigenous Rising:
Today, the Oceti Sakowin has enacted eminent domain on DAPL lands, claiming 1851 treaty rights. This is unceded land. Highway 1806 as of this point is blockaded. We will be occupying this land and staying here until this pipeline is permanently stopped. We need bodies and we need people who are trained in non-violent direct action. We are still staying non-violent and we are still staying peaceful.
Despite the water protectors’ commitment to nonviolence, the militarized police response went as would be expected — horribly awry.
“A prayer circle of elders, including several women, was interrupted and all were arrested for standing peacefully on the public road,” stated a press release from Indigenous Environment Network. “A tipi was erected in the road and was recklessly dismantled, despite law enforcement statements that they would merely mark the tipi with a yellow ribbon and ask its owners to retrieve it. A group of water protectors was also dragged out of a sweat lodge ceremony erected in the path of the pipeline, thrown to the ground, and arrested.”
Claims to the contrary by Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier aside, Native American and Indigenous water protectors and supporters have refrained from violent acts on the whole, preferring instead peaceful prayer vigils and acts of civil disobedience.
No matter how peacefully the opposition acts, armed defenders of Big Oil interests seem determined to brutalize, disrespect, and generally incite and inflict violence against those who desire unsullied water for generations to come.
In fact, at the beginning of September, a private security firm hired by Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for pipeline construction, indiscriminately unleashed vicious attack dogs on water protectors, press, and supporters — for reasons as yet unknown.
During the savage attack, a pregnant woman, young girl, and many others suffered serious dog bites thanks to the ineptitude of the dogs’ handlers. Afterward, a warrant for inciting a riot was issued Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman — for doing her job, filming events as they happened — though charges were subsequently thrown out…
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