Standing Rock! America 2016: A Police State Enforcing Corporate Rule and Privilege.

2 11 2016

To see pictures of what is described below visit my Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745178703&sk=photos&collection_token=745178703%3A2305272732%3A69&set=a.10154633257858704.1073741841.745178703&type=3&pnref=story

If for some reason the above link doesn’t work then just go to my Facebook page (url here at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745178703) and look for my November 2 Standing Rock album post.

 

It is becoming all too clear who our politicians, who are laws, who our police and military work for?  The United States of America stands for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for supposedly the individual.  However, the name of our country should be correctly re-labeled as the United Corporate States of America standing for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the moneyed and corporate interest.  What is going on at Standing Rock Native American Reservation in North Dakota is a harsh example of what America has very aggressively become and how communities within our own borders are experiencing imperialism and police/military force brought on against its own peaceful people to further the projects of the 0.1 percent corporate interest group.

 

I arrived late last night at Standing Rock after a fifteen-hour drive and running some errands for gathering resources for some of the people at Standing Rock.  I set up my tent to hearing unlit planes and/or drones flying overhead and the noise of construction going on in the background.  I instantly crashed and needed some sleep to not feel like a zombie.  I hate getting to campgrounds or places I’ve never been before when it’s dark and super late.  I didn’t really know where I was and if I had set my tent up in the right place or what was going on.  It was a bit anxietal, especially after driving for hours on end in the utter darkness of South and North Dakota.  It felt like I was traveling through space.  The daylight would be very welcoming in the morning.

 

I slept hard and it was freezing upon getting up in the morning.  Forty degrees in a humid environment I forgot feels like 30 degrees and I woke up many times during the night with my face feeling like it was going to freeze off.  I burrowed myself full cocoon style into my sleeping bag and pulling the drawstrings tight only to allow my mouth to breath outside of it.  Instantly upon getting out of my tent in the morning there was an announcement by the Native people that as many people as possible were needed at Turtle Island.  I got my day bag with all of my supplies and ran over.

 

A showdown was occurring between the police/state troopers and the water protectors while a seventy-five foot wide river separated the two and a small, meager, makeshift bridge.  There were about three to five hundred people on the water protectors side and about fifty to seventy military/police who were dressed in full, modern day military weaponry and riot gear.  The corporate soldiers were telling the water protectors and all the people standing in the peaceful protest on native land to disperse or else they will be arrested.  Peaceful protesting was only allowed back in center camp where there was nothing going on apparently.  There were lots of chanting, drumming, and a high level of energy on the side of the water protectors in response to the oil pipeline military soldiers.  A few of the water protectors would go out on the bridge and up to the soldiers to say things and then walk back.  The bridge couldn’t hold more than probably about seven to ten people spread very much apart or else it would sink into the river.  It was a very fragile bridge.

 

This went on for about an hour and then a military boat full of about 5 corporate soldiers rode up to the bridge.  They brought with them giant chain hooks and rode up to the little makeshift bridge, fired pepper spray/mace and rubber bullets at the water protectors and into the crowd on the shore while destroying the bridge.  This was a super intense moment and one man I saw bleeding out of his mouth after getting shot with the rubber bullets.  These bullets sound innocent enough but they definitely cause severe bodily injury.  These actions by the corporate soldiers inflamed the peaceful crowd immensely.  Shortly thereafter people jumped into the river to swim over to the side of the soldiers.  About 60 people made the jump and upon reaching the other side were met with pepper spray, mace, and more rubber bullets.  The peaceful protestors held strong though and continued to just sit there on the shore chanting and signing and praying in a peaceful way.  There were a few boats/canoes the water protectors had and they would ride back and forth carrying water and fresh people and taking away the worst that were hit from the mace/pepper spray and rubber bullets.  It was a beautiful act of peaceful defiance by the water protectors.

 

The actions by the state troopers were barbaric and instigatory.  It was clear to anyone there that there was no need for the bridge to be demolished.  If the bridge had been left up, then that would have continued to be seen as the pathway towards the island.  This pathway could not sustain more than ten people being on it but when it was destroyed for no reason that led about 60 people into the water.  Firing rubber bullets into a crowd was absolutely unnecessary as well.  Nobody on the shore was doing anything and the few people that were on the bridge were walking off it.  When people swam across the river the officers that sprayed pepper spray and/or rubber bullets would do it in such a way as out of nowhere and like they were in a gun slinger, quick draw shoot off.  They would spray/shoot at them when everyone was just sitting in the water on the shore.  It was as if it was a game where eventually the officers would become bored and decide that suddenly they would shoot some defenseless people in order to be entertained again.  There were even a few officers so fired up from firing on peaceful protestors that they would lay down their arms and beat their chests as if they were a gorilla or in the NFL and getting ready for a big game.  That’s just it, though.  For many of those officers, this was all just a fucking game.  A game where they had permission to shoot at defenseless, peaceful people like it was a video game or whatever.  This game went on for about 3 hours until the Water Protectors pulled back and gave medical need to everyone who was on the front lines.

 

I came to understand during this time period through talking to people on the shore that the construction of the oil pipeline was going on not far away from where the corporate soldiers were positioned.  Also, directly behind the soldiers was a huge hill where a lot of the military was perched on top off.  In these places there were numerous grave sites as well and many of the screams coming from the water protectors were to get off the grave site and stop desecrating their grandparents, their elders, their loved ones buried there.  The soldiers were also littering like crazy.  They would try to throw water bottles down the hill and many would break open and explode upon the attempted deliver and none of this was cleaned up or gone after.  So, foreign soldiers on your land, stepping on all your families graves, all in defense of an oil pipeline that will pollute your waters, and throwing plastic garbage all around?  No wonder the natives are mad as hell.  I was mad for them.  The restraint they showed with basically being raped in these ways was admirable.  It was hard for me to show similar restraint as I wanted to squash every single last one of those soldiers and all the entities of power that are shitting on these peaceful people.  I followed the lead of the peaceful protestors, though, and maintained composure.  I will continue this pursuit in ways that I know how as being confrontational with an awesome, raw, power is very self-defeating and limited.

 

This confrontation is the same old story for the Native American people.  A treaty with their people and the U.S. government happened in 1851.  This treaty gave them this land at Standing Rock but just like any other treaty they’ve ever signed with the U.S. government it gets changed every time the U.S. feels like a change is needed.  The government claims they have all the necessary permits and clearances to put a pipeline on land that they own while the Natives say this wasn’t done with consulting them, as this is totally corrupt and not abiding by any agreement since the original treaty in 1851.  Standing against the oil pipeline is a community standing up against climate change and their waters getting poisoned with oil from guaranteed eventual leakage.  It is also a defense of their humanity and their right to live their lives as peaceful people.  Anybody living at Standing Rock, even if it were the corporate soldiers, would want to defend their community, their land, their health.  I personally kept yelling at the soldiers, “what would you do if you lived here?  Would you not fight back against someone taking over and poisoning your land?”  I wish somehow there was instant karma in this world.  That whatever someone did to another then something would be done instantly back at them.  If they attacked defenseless, innocent people or fired bullets on them then their own communities would experience the same attack and they would get a rubber bullet fired back at them (this actually did happen at one point as the wind picked up right when the soldiers sprayed, blowing pepper spray back onto them and bringing 10 of them to their knees).  Nobody thinks about what they are doing to others.  They are just following orders and in this scenario it is a clash of cultures.  It’s a mostly white, well-armed military force once again attacking native cultures and their peaceful ways that don’t revolve around capitalist values.  Corporate rule and corporate law vs the plight of common people.  People armed to the teeth bullying people armed with nothing and being peaceful.  When we read it in history books we all too well know what is corrupt, but most Americans will not even consider they are currently living in this type of environment with this kind of government.  If only people could wake up to the whole story and know what kind of repression is really happening.

 

Both sides are proclaiming that each other is trespassing and on their land and subject to arrest.  It was humorous at times as the soldiers were saying that arrests were going to be made for trespassing, the Natives would fire right back on their loudspeakers saying that they were going to start making arrests for trespassing.  Being a history teacher, I can’t help but be reminded by the original imperialism put on indigenous communities when Christopher Columbus landed.  He propped up a sign in a foreign language that said if you don’t surrender you will be considered an enemy of god and of them and will be pursued as an enemy and no mercy shown.  Surprising that in the last 550 or so years very little has changed.

 

There is very little one can do when confronted by the ultimate, corrupt, military power of the corporate state but I felt that today was a win for Standing Rock.  There was so much unification and solidarity and peace and love and prayer and comradery and compassion and community displayed by the water protectors and those living at Standing Rock that myself and everyone else there who is not from those communities has been shown something so remarkable.  We will take this back with us to our communities and continue to live and act and behave in the Standing Rock image.  We will continue to fight for the values at Standing Rock all in our own ways and this persistence will win over time as there is no way to defend against millions of people acting on their own good will and positive intentions.  It is becoming all too easy to recognize who is at fault here.  The soldiers on the other side of the water might as well been wearing storm trooper masks and led by a man dressed as Darth Vader.  The evil empire is becoming increasingly more evil at the hands of its corporate overlords and the power of the people is not going to stop.  It will only continue to grow as equally and more intense as anything that is corruptly throw it’s away.

 

Thank you standing Rock and the Water Protectors for making me a better person:)

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