From countercurrentnews.com: ‘While Americans Focus On DC, Cops Unleash Fury During DAPL Water Protector Eviction’, jan 22, 2017
“Cannon Ball, ND — All water protectors must leave the camps — and abandon plans to relocate to a higher elevation — the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council wrote in a resolution passed during an executive session of a district meeting just before President Donald Trump took the oath of office.
Decisive, sharp consequences soon followed.
Journalist and livestreamer Jon Ziegler — known better as Rebelutionary Z — met the full force of the law enforcement coalition led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department on the front lines of brutal and indicative attacks on peaceful water protectors opposing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“All the individuals at all the camps in and around Cannon Ball need to leave the district,” Standing Rock Sioux Council resolved. “The building of an alternative site for the camp(s) within the Cannon Ball District is not needed or wanted. If there is to be any kind of a ‘site’ for the commemoration of this historic event that took place with all the tribes, the people of Standing Rock need to vote on where, what and cost before any ‘shanty town is built.’”
According to the Bismarck Tribune, “The resolution, approved by the full council Friday, applies to all of the protest camps in the area: Oceti Sakowin, Rosebud and Sacred Stone […]
“Cody Two Bears, the Cannon Ball district representative to the tribal council, said the district is requesting federal law enforcement aid in removing protesters from the district and setting up posts blocking those who do not live or work in the district from entering. The district requests these actions be taken in the next 30 days.”
Oceti Sakowin, considered the ‘main camp’ housing pipeline opposition, lies just south of Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge — the site of fraught contention in months previous, after police fortified a makeshift barricade blocking access by emergency personnel to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
“We need to take the fire that was lit here and burns within us and go back to our own respectful reservations,” Lewis Grassrope told the council.
A lone dissenter on the resolution, Ed Blackcloud, stood against the unpopular actions of the tribe, stating, per the Bismarck Tribune,
“Very few people (at the camp) are the ones who agitate. I do not think all these people should be asked to go home when they fought for you guys, they fought for me, fought for my children, fought for your guys’ children … I feel sending these people home is wrong.”
Police and U.S. National Guard were quick to capitalize on the tribe’s resolution, moving in shortly afterward in yet more aggression against the largely peaceful group who’d maintained semi-permanent encampments near the banks of the Missouri River since last April.
Miserably parallel to similar uses of unnecessary force, law enforcement inflicted targeted attacks against the both the unarmed and journalists documenting the scene Wednesday night.
Despite previous confrontations on Backwater Bridge, police remained behind their barricade to the north — until that night — when they crossed into the south side, in order to remove a tipi.
Water protectors quickly demanded officers return the tipi, and — upon being refused — began to construct another in its place.
As The Daily Haze reports, “Police reportedly went to the south side of the barricade once again and began using rubber bullets against water protectors to prevent them from being able to assemble the second tipi. This led to a standoff that went on for hours, until the police would cross the barricade for the third time.”
Ziegler livestreamed that crossing — and paid the price.
As his own camera recorded heightening police aggression, Ziegler noted the judiciously militarized police moving into sovereign land where no U.S. law enforcement would have a right to be according to centuries’ old treaties between Native Americans and the government.
For some time, the situation remained mostly a battle of insults and screams — until the journalist learned firsthand the telling portent of the incoming administration. Someone yelled his name.
Audio seeming to emanate from the officers’ ‘side’ sends a chilling and direct portent of events immediately to conspire. An authoritative voice — quickly echoed — grunts, “Jon Ziegler!”
Mere seconds later, this wall of officers opens fire on the peaceful water protectors — the second or third rubber bullet fired hitting Ziegler in the hand and leg, as if a last resort to shut down the activist’s live stream.
“Fuck!!” he yells, “they’re hitting me in my fucking camera — you assholes!”
Ziegler immediately calls for medics, but ‘less-than-lethal’ force had already done its damage — he had to be transported to the local hospital for a viciously broken finger. Apparently, law enforcement purposefully targeted his camera — caring little for his personal safety.
My finger just now getting some color back after turning blue.. nurses say shot to my leg looks like a burn?!?
— Rebelutionary Z (@Rebelutionary_Z) January 19, 2017
Ziegler tweeted just after midnight on January 21, “Surgery went good (twice as long as expected). I’ll be elevating my hand at hotel for a day or 2. DR-’like a chicken bone smashed w/ hammer.’”
Surgery went good (twice as long as expected). I’ll be elevating my hand at hotel for a day or 2.
DR-“like a chicken bone smashed w/ hammer”
— Rebelutionary Z (@Rebelutionary_Z) January 21, 2017
Rebelutionary Z wasn’t the only person seriously injured in that confrontation — an unnamed water protector shot at close range by a rubber bullet was left with a gaping hole in the leg — proving less-than-lethal a purely relative description of such police weaponry.”
But from Rebelutionary_z yesterday:
No, there was never a plan to remove the protesters. What we were doing was trying to help them understand what they were doing to mother earth and ask them to voluntarily leave, and we didn’t sit down with the governor, didn’t sit down with the federal government, we didn’t sit down with anybody to ask for their assistance to remove anybody. We were just trying to come up with a way to clean the area and relocate the campers if they were there or ask them to leave. So we were working on that. But today, things changed and we’re always going to have to explore our options as the saga evolves.
Cody Two Bears is a member of your council has asked for federal law enforcement for help to remove protesters. Would you be willing to ask federal law enforcement to remove people for safety and security?
Cody is a councilman of our tribe and this is something the membership of his community was asking for because they were concerned for their safety if they made this decision. But the important thing is just trying to work with everybody and build relationships, positive relationships with everybody and as they evolves, everything changes.
Would you be a proponent of having more BIA officers on the ground?
We had more BIA officers on the ground since this whole thing started. That was something I requested from day one. If you understood what was happening, and that’s the problem is nobody really understands. If you understood what was going on prior to all of this, we had the federal resources that came to Standing Rock for law enforcement was minimal. We had eight officers total to police an area the size of Connecticut. So eight of them. They can’t all work at the same time. So when this thing started, I said we need more officers to make sure the communities throughout our nation are safe.”
Pretty muddy responses, imo.
I reckon by ‘asking protectors to leave’ he meant that the tribal council had voted to bull-doze the camps to deal with any detritus that might flood downstream during the spring melt, and had promised to clear the snow off a spot higher up for a new camp, then reneged on that… No more camps, you ruffians!
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard was none too pleased that they’d meant her own privately owned camp, as well (h/t TarheelDem), not to mention that the council would use the donated $3.2 million to pay off tribal debts.
Zo: if he said it, what changes today? And who’s woofin’? Dave or the Bismarck Times? Was there any causality between Cody Two Bears’ statement about asking for law enforcement help to remove ‘protestors’ and bloc entrances to the camps and the ensuing attacks with rubber bullet fire? I didn’t include the photos of the grisly ‘non-lethal’ wounds; take a look if you have a strong stomach.
From thefreethoughtproject and valleynewslive.com: ‘Morton County officials respond to executive action to advance DAPL’, Jan 24, in part:
“The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is monitoring the area of the camps in the event that protestors choose to gather in opposition to the executive action. While the department does not release details of its operational plans and strategies or confirm the number of law enforcement it has available to respond at any given time, the department does have plans to respond and deal with any potential protest actions that may become unlawful. This is prudent when it comes to what the department does and how it prepares for situations.”
“I would like to remind any protesters to please remain peaceful and lawful in your actions. Protesters have a right to take a position on the pipeline, but they do not have the right to break the law. To introduce rule of law within the camp, we will be asking the Trump administration for much-needed law enforcement support and public safety resources, requests that were ignored by the last administration. North Dakota residents expect us to hold these unlawful actors accountable; even the Standing Rock Sioux tribe – who has hosted the protest camps – have asked the protestors to leave out of fear that their presence could pollute the waters they claim to protect. This is not about the pipeline or the protests, it is about the rule of law.”
And Kirchmeier wasn’t the only Morton County official to mischaracterize the largely peaceful and unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline opposition in that statement.
“We are hopeful that this announcement brings us closer to finality in what has been an incredibly challenging time for our citizens and law enforcement professionals. Having dealt with riots, violence, trespassing and property crimes, the people of Morton County are looking forward to getting back their normal lives,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz. “This decision is encouraging because it shows that the federal government is finally interested in the rule of law. It is said that America has a ‘government of laws, not men.’ There is a legal and regulatory process in place for a reason – so everyone knows what the rules are, and those rules are applied objectively.”
As mr. wd said, if some of the protectors really mean to see this through to the end at Standing Rock in the spirit of Crazy Horse…one shudders to imagine what escalation might look like, and how many might get hurt…or worse. Smudge the protectors with sage or sweet grass, pray for them, and keep them safe as you can.
Mitakuye Oyasin! (All My Relations!)
Rebelutionary_Z had tweeted this heartfelt polemical FU song by dee snider w/ awesome images: