I am so sick of the misinformation going around about Standing Rock. To begin with DAPL was set to go through a town called Bismarck, a town that is mostly white. The people of this town expressed concern for the pipeline leaking, and said they didn’t want it.
When the pipleline was re-routed, it was set up to go through land that belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux. For those who don’t know what I mean by “belongs to” because “Oh me oh my, this is American land,” no, it isn’t. Not all of it. There is land that belongs to different Native tribes. Including part of the land that the pipeline will be going through. This was not done with permission. How was this done? This was done by bulldozing up the graves of ancestors. (If that doesn’t bother you, read it as the graves of our veterans; the graves of our presidents’ families; the graves of your family.)
Outside of the media finally watching us for the last six months, the camps have been there before that. I know someone who was there on April 1, 2016. That’s well before the media started paying attention in August. Well before. The camps have been self-sustaining. Yes, there have been donations. Yes, donations were made in physical items, money for items, and money for legal funds. That money and those items went to keeping something beautiful alive.
People who were arrested had numbers written on their arms, they were kept in dog cages. Protectors who were peacefully in prayer had untrained dogs set on them to attack. There are photos floating around of one trainer who couldn’t keep her dog, who had blood in its mouth, under control. In sub-zero conditions in the early morning protectors were hosed down with freezing water - this includes the elderly and children. (Yes, there were children. Guess what, they were getting schooled there. Self sustaining.) Police shot bean bags, rubber bullets, and flash-bang bombs into the crowds. A woman had her arm blown to pieces because of this.
At every point since the beginning, there has only been peace on our end. No rioting, no fire, no weapons, no alcohol, no drugs; nothing but peace. And from the end of law enforcement has been violence. Even residents had been violent, and police did nothing to them. But they sure as hell arrested people from camp for praying - a nonviolent act.
If you are not Native, you don’t get to dictate what happens on our lands. I don’t give a damn if the government does. The government is breaking a treaty right now, ignoring tribal sovereignty. Just because they do it, does not mean you get to. I don’t care how tired you are of hearing about it. We’re tired of having our lands stolen and having our rights violated.