Standing Rock 3

(My Standing Rock posts are a diary of two trips James and I took to Standing Rock as, with the backing of our church, we protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. The first four posts come from around Labor Day, 2016. The remaining posts come from around Thanksgiving, 2016.)

Let me assure you that despite all the muddy reports about what else happened at the Red Warrior Camp, everyone can agree that the private security folks are the ones who brought German shepherds and chemical spray. They released both weapons on a crowd that had at least one child. And from what I heard from the campers, the dogs were the ones who got so riled that they frenzied. (Perhaps on account of the chemical spray.) We campers heard that they bit anyone they could.

This brings me to my second point. The article says a security agent went to a Bismarck hospital for “undisclosed injuries.” Gee. It’s hard not to be sarcastic here. But let’s not assume anything. Maybe he had heatstroke or something. Let’s just say that if the injury actually came from a protestor, we’d likely have heard about it.

Third, the article claims that no one reported any protestor injuries to the police. Well, you don’t contact the police when you’re at the protest camps. The police have handcuffed campers, and pushed them face-first into the ground. James and I got locked out of our van, and we had to find someone who could actually break in, because… no. No po-po.

Finally, when James and I asked if we could observe a protest, our camp leader said we wouldn’t be allowed to participate unless we had training in non-violent resistance. When we told about the 30 pipeline arrests in Iowa, he asked if the protestors had been peaceful. He told us the media had already alleged there were gunshots and pipe bombs at the North Dakota camps. He said these were lies—and we were inclined to believe him, because all that we witnessed was prayer, song, horse-races, speeches, community picnics, and lots of dishwashing. I will admit that whenever you get 180 nations together, different people will have different ideas about what peaceful protest is. But I would stake my life on the fact that nobody did anything to warrant the atrocity of a dog attack. The protestors took a child to the Red Warrior Protest. They brought a pregnant woman. This was not a war party. The private security agents should receive an investigation. And the mainline media should be rebuked for resorting to one of the oldest and longest-lasting weapons of all—which is defamation.

(Originally posted September 4, 2016)

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