Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt Hosting Standing Rock Benefit.

Iconic musicians Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt,will perform a benefit concert along with Native performers on November 27 for the Water Protectors on the front line at Standing Rock. Courtesy Photos Jackson Browne / Bonnie Raitt.

Iconic musicians Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt,will perform a benefit concert along with Native performers on November 27 for the Water Protectors on the front line at Standing Rock. Courtesy Photos Jackson Browne / Bonnie Raitt.

Iconic musicians Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, along with performers Joel Rafael, and Bad Dog, will perform a benefit concert on Sunday, November 27 for the Water Protectors on the front line at Standing Rock. Storyteller Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Standing Rock Sioux Camp at Sacred Stone, will speak at the concert. Other performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

The concert will be on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Prairie Knights Pavilion in Fort Yates, ND, which is seven miles from the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday at 10 am central; The link to purchase tickets is HERE.

“Just as we give thanks for our good fortune and the bounty of our lives as Americans, let us thank the Native people who are gathered here at Standing Rock to protect the natural world and defend our place in it,” said Jackson Browne in a statement submitted to ICTMN.

Bonnie Raitt also expressed solidarity with Standing Rock in the statement.

Full story is here.

Over 100 Cops, Part 3.

The kayakers were able to get in and out quickly, avoiding the cops while dropping supplies to those on the front line, such as bottles of apple cider vinegar, to help counter the near constant clouds of pepper spray. They never stopped spraying, just took a break from it now and then. The irony may have been lost on the cops, but it certainly wasn’t lost on the protectors when cops started carting water down the hill, and it was being passed out among the cops. There were more than a few offers to replace that water with cans of oil. Many of the cops happily took a break, sucking down clean water, chatting, telling jokes, and laughing. Then it was back to gassing and shooting unarmed people. Click for full size.

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Over 100 Cops, Part 2.

Part 1, in case it was missed. Click for full size. All photos © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

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Standing Rock Camp: Back Home.

We’re back home, and safe. As always happens when we’re back to camp, we wish we could simply dig in and stay. In the first two shots, you can see where the fire was set. (That night, the constant air surveillance mysteriously stopped about two hours prior, and no one responded to the numerous 911 calls about the fire.) There are always infiltrators in the camp, you can’t keep them all out, and then there are people like the man in a truck full of weapons, who wanted to put up a confederate flag. Security has tightened up within the camp, and at least one infiltrator was found and being detained as we were on our way to the action on Turtle Island. There were many new semi-permanent structures up, and many more in the process of going up. Lots of yurts popped up all over camp, too.

Back to the beginning. We loaded up with firewood and supplies, and took off. Things were mostly normal for about half the trip, then we started seeing cops everywhere. Right about when we hit the town of Solen, which is still many miles away from camp, we saw cops pull over a large U-haul truck, that was full of supplies and donations for the camps. Cops were pulling them over and making them take everything out of the trucks. When we got to the Cannonball pit stop, there was another large U-haul truck, many more trucks and vans, several large dumpsters, and piles of good all over the place. At the time, we didn’t know what that was all about. We had to pass through several large masses of cops and finally made it to camp. We headed straight for the main kitchen, to offload the firewood, but it was gone. We found a spot to stay in Oglala camp, then wandered off to try and figure out wtf. Calls were going out for the elderly and women with children to get to the Cannonball School across the river. Then there were calls to get out to Turtle Island, for the action there. (In the 5th photo, you can see the cops massing on top of the hill). We took off on the long walk (in the 8th photo, you can see where it starts – all the way to the left, there’s cops on the hill, and in the boat almost directly down). Warriors race by on horseback, going full speed with messages and information. Cars were driving on the small road non-stop, and foot traffic was thick.

A bridge had been built, and subsequently destroyed by cops. On the other side of the hill, DAPL was working, and once again, DA and ETP failed to report finding sacred sites and artifacts. Up on the hill, where the cops are, right by the tree, are the graves Alma Perkin and Matilda Gain. People wanted to protect this area. Cops showed up, in increasing numbers, armed to the teeth, saying they were asked by ACE to keep the land clear. A cop at the top of the hill kept shouting through a megaphone for everyone to take the protest back across the river, then they would leave. Right. You’ve seen some of those photos, there will be more to come. As always, surveillance was constant. There were three planes and two helicopters that day.

Later that day, we made it back into camp, and settled into the council fire area to hear the latest. Rick was working on more walking sticks, and I had the horse quilt with me. 500 ministers had descended, from all over the states, and burnt a copy of the Doctrine of Discovery  in an act of ceremony and solidarity. We spoke with one minister, Vicki, from California, who was active in Indigenous affairs and actions local to her, and was still a bit blown away and dazed at being in the camp. There were visitors to the camp representing Amazon Indigenous peoples, and it was very moving, listening to them talk, through translators, about their own troubles with extractive industries, and the importance of unity in the fight to protect our earth. About that time, the wind was whipping up, so I retreated to the van to continue working on the quilt. I could still hear what was going on at council fire. There was an announcement that there would be trucks coming in, including a Veterans for Peace van, with all the stuff from the Cannonball pit stop. When the cops finished destroying the 1851 Treaty Camp, and arresting and/or injuring everyone there, apparently, they tossed everything they could find into four dumpsters and just left them at the pit stop. Volunteers had been out there for a couple of days, going through the dumpsters, and retrieving peoples’ goods, and many sacred items. Everything was being brought into the camp to be sorted, and to start the process of trying to return things to their rightful owners, especially all the sacred items which had been treated so disrespectfully by cops. Head over to the Sacred Stone Blog to read more about the 1851 Treaty Camp and what happened there. ICTMN has more on the police action which took place on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll be going back out again next week, so things might be very slow on Affinity for a while.

Oh, it has been reported that two cops have turned in their badges over what they have been made to do lately. Here’s hoping more of them find their conscience.

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© C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Over 100 Cops…

Driving by back home to pick up more firewood. We arrived at camp in time to hear a call for all women with children and the elderly to get to the school across the Cannonball River, word was the camp (Oceti Sakowin) was going to be raided. It wasn’t, but that’s because they were busy a bit to the northeast of camp, what was being called Turtle Island by all those at camp. More on this later, when I have more time. The unnecessary, cowardly actions taken by cops was very ugly to see. Protectors were being gassed and shot by cops who were mere feet away from them. (Rubber bullets, but one young man has already been hospitalized with bleeding from the lungs, thanks to one of those harmless bullets). It was a terrible shock to hear and see one of the cops raise his gun and fire into the protectors. Over one hundred cops were there, including snipers. Okay, off again, back home tomorrow. Click photos for full size.

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All photos © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Gone to Camp.

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We’re headed back to Sacred Stone and the No Dapl camps, be back on Friday. Sorry, Affinity will be closed until then. I won’t be live blogging, because we aren’t taking much beside firewood and supplies, and support, of course. I also don’t have a spare computer in case I run into cops, so it will stay safe at home. Will be taking the camera though.

If any pests show up, please ask PZ nicely to deal with them. Thanks. See you all in a few days.

NoDAPL roundup.

Courtesy Dallas Goldtooth/Indigenous Environmental Network A line of prayers and police facing off at construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The takeaway: Stay peaceful, and stand firm.

Courtesy Dallas Goldtooth/Indigenous Environmental Network
A line of prayers and police facing off at construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The takeaway: Stay peaceful, and stand firm.

A Turbulent Week on Front Lines at DAPL.

The mass arrest of 127 water protectors on Saturday, October 22 led to the resulting Oceti Sakowin reclamation of 1851 and 1863 Fort Laramie Treaty land in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Heightened tensions in the days that followed culminated in an even more violent clash between militarized law enforcement officers and unarmed water protectors on Thursday, October 27. In the aftermath of that confrontation, in which 141 more people were arrested, protectors at the camps know it is critical now more than ever to remain focused and calm.

Water protectors continue to hold their ground at the Sacred Stone Camp, Oceti Sakowin. They hold their ground in the name of spiritual commitment to ancestors, future generations, water and Mother Earth. …

There’s been a call for more people to come to the camps, people who are willing to be arrested. We will be back out this week, carrying more firewood. If I happen to go absent for a day or three, well…

Courtesy Karen Pomer. A delegation from Labor For Standing Rock, comprised of rank-and-file workers and union members to mobilize growing labor support for the First Nation's fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock camp the weekend of October 29.

Courtesy Karen Pomer.
A delegation from Labor For Standing Rock, comprised of rank-and-file workers and union members to mobilize growing labor support for the First Nation’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock camp the weekend of October 29.

Rank-and-File Union Members Speak-Out at Standing Rock Camp, Challenge AFL-CIO Leadership’s Support for Pipeline.

Despite escalating police violence and AFL-CIO leadership of pipeline, a delegation of union members from around the U.S. are spending the weekend of October 29 at Standing Rock camp to join Sioux water protectors against Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL.)

The delegation from Labor For Standing Rock (LSR), comprised of rank-and-file union members and working people.

Liam Cain, Union Laborer at LIUNA Local 1271 Cheyenne, WY and a LSR spokesperson, over years worked on numerous heavy construction sites and pipeline construction spreads. “To the union laborers working on these projects I would just implore you to listen to what regular folks are saying,” Cain said. “Don’t just listen to the bosses, and not to just the echo-chambers on the spread.

“Listen to the water protectors, listen to folks talking about just transition, a view of the future, involving good paying union jobs, involving many of your skill-sets. Just generating energy in a much more environmentally sustainable manner, rather than just gross over reliance on fossil fuels, that we currently engage in. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no jobs on a dead planet’.” …

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© C. Ford.

Society of Indian Psychologists’ Response to Pipeline Protest.

…Psychological scholarship has demonstrated the importance of land and water to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Psychological and spiritual well-being are inextricably linked to traditional lands sacred to Native people. In the instance of the events at Standing Rock, the proposed pipeline is designed to violate sacred space that includes a traditional burial ground. For American Indian and Alaska Native people, threats to the natural environment are a continuation of historical trauma contributing to current health disparities. The proposed project threatens the well-being of our relatives directly affected and indeed all U.S. citizens. The specter of genocide is continued in the pipeline yet to be built.

Finally, the treatment of the Indigenous people in this protest is a chilling repeat of a pattern of dismissal, disrespect and dehumanization. The pipeline was not placed near Bismarck, North Dakota, because of danger to the citizens there. Yet, contaminating Indian Country was considered acceptable. For American Indigenous Nations, the energy and spirits of water, earth, air, the standing ones (trees), winged ones, crawling ones, four leggeds, and life in all expressions, are composed of the same root spirit – hence, all are related. Yet in Western society, few speak for these relatives. The Standing Rock People steadfastly remain our principal spokespersons. The Standing Rock Dakota and Lakota have withstood degradation of their water, lands and their own bodies with resilience and strength over many generations, with the most recent being the unprovoked use of attack dogs and mace on peaceful protesters. Health equity for all citizens can never be achieved without first acknowledging and respecting basic human rights and dignity, including that due to the land and water on which life depends.

Water is life, and without respect for water, its source in the land, or the human need for water, not only are Indigenous rights violated, so are the rights to humanness and human life. Land is a part of our people’s psychological wellbeing. When our land and water are threatened, it is an unimaginable spiritual, physical and mental burden not just for Native people but for all residents of the United States and the world. This protest is essentially in support of humanity. Native people leave no one out. All are welcome to the well.

Jailed protesters say they were temporarily kept in cages that felt like ‘dog kennels’, but officials say the allegations of poor treatment are untrue. Photograph: Morton County Correctional Center

Jailed protesters say they were temporarily kept in cages that felt like ‘dog kennels’, but officials say the allegations of poor treatment are untrue. Photograph: Morton County Correctional Center.

Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses.

BOOM.

 Flames shoot into the sky from a gas line explosion in western Shelby County, Alabama, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry.

Flames shoot into the sky from a gas line explosion in western Shelby County, Alabama, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry.

While cops are playing soldier with military equipment, snipers nested in hills, and busy writing numbers on the arms of those arrested, and white Ndakotans are busy yelling slurs, making fun of the dumb Indians, and oil companies continue to insist all this pipeline stuff is just so darn safe…LEAKA LEAKA BOOM LEAKA. Unfortunately, it’s Alabama who sees this explosion, with fatalities, injuries, fires, and of course, gasoline everywhere. Some of us in Ndakota aren’t too keen on this happening here. Oh, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the person who died. People are doing this work because it’s work, and well paid work in areas which don’t have much of that going on. No one should end up dead because they wanted to make a living wage.

Colonial Pipeline Co shut down its main gasoline and distillates pipelines on Monday after an explosion and fire in Shelby, Alabama, killing a worker and sending five to the hospital – the second time in two months it had to close the crucial supply line to the U.S. East Coast.

A nine-man crew was conducting work on the Colonial pipeline system at the time of the explosion, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told a briefing. Seven of the crew members were injured, with two evacuated by air.

The explosion occurred when a contract crew hit the gasoline pipeline (Line 1) with a trackhoe, igniting gasoline, Colonial said an e-mailed statement late on Monday.

One worker died at the scene and five individuals were taken to Birmingham-area hospitals for treatment, the company said.

 

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A segment of pipeline was undergoing maintenance on Monday afternoon when it exploded. The fire had been contained as of around 9 p.m. (0100 GMT on Tuesday), according to local media reports.

Crews built a 8-foot (2-meter) tall dirt dam to contain burning fuel, Bentley said on Twitter late on Monday.

The explosion sparked wildfires, burning 32 acres, the governor said.

 

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Bentley’s office said on Twitter the site was about a mile west of a massive leak last month that closed the gasoline pipeline for over 12 days. A 3-mile (4.8-km) area around the site had been evacuated, the governor said.Colonial was working to restart a section of pipeline damaged after its biggest leak of gasoline in nearly two decades on Sept. 9, which released as much as 8,000 barrels (336,000 gallons) of gasoline in Shelby County. The restart was planned for mid-November after removal of a bypass line installed after the September leak.

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The 5,500-mile (8,850-km) Colonial Pipeline is the largest U.S. refined products pipeline system and transports gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the New York Harbor area. The pipelines that shut run from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina.

It has already had five spills reported in Alabama in 2016, including the one in September, according to PHMSA data.

Gosh, it would be great if people could figure out that pipelines are not safe, they are not just short term destructive, they are long time destructive, they will see this planet dead, and then what? As Mark Trahant has been at pains to point out, decisions could be made right now, which would not only turn things around, make Ndakota a leader in clean energy, but be a large, and permanent economic boost. That isn’t happening because KKKJack is so damn deep in oil’s pockets, he’ll lose everything if he doesn’t push this through, and he’s a known bigot who thinks there would be no loss if all us Indians dropped dead. The Ndakota cops, such as they are, have been sold to DA and ETP, paid thugs for oil, all for the price of getting to play soldier with shiny toys.

That’s really the key in North Dakota — and beyond. Starting the transition by saying that Dakota Access Pipeline represents our past and a mistake. And as part of a managed decline, major fossil fuel infrastructure projects — this pipeline — are no more.

But what about the jobs? What will this do to North Dakota? Actually it could be a great thing. Data from Stanford researchers shows that the transition to clean energy could happen faster than projected — and benefit a state almost immediately. In North Dakota the Solutions Project says an transformation “plan pays for itself in as little as 2 years from air pollution and climate cost savings alone.” Two years? Imagine the intellectual activity, the construction, the jobs, the fresh investment, all that would come together to make that so. It would be mind-blowing.  The Stanford data says such a transition would create 8,574 permanent operations jobs and 21,744 construction jobs.

Doesn’t that sound good? Sounds good to me. But no, better to force this fucking destruction through, and hey, if Ndakota happens to go happily Hitlerian genocidal, well, it’s just a buncha Injuns, right?

Full story here.

Making Native Sense of Disney’s ‘Moana’.

The Maui skin-suit.

Anne Keala Kelly has an excellent column up about Disney’s Moana, and the Thanksgiving release date. A brief excerpt:

…If the promotional trailer is anything like the film, Disney’s about to get even richer by exploiting and mocking us in deeply genealogical and spiritual ways—turning Tutu Pele into an ugly lava monster and Maui into a ridiculous, clowning sidekick. The noted psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer Frantz Fanon was so on the mark when he said, “…Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it.”

Disney has reduced us and our world to a cartoon at a time when our political future is hanging in the balance, when Hawaiians absolutely need to be heard and taken seriously, not distracted by or silenced for entertainment. Disney is trying to do to our culture and identity what America is doing to our land and nationhood: we are being carved up, sold off, and drained of our mana.

Since the Maui-Skin-Suit debacle, Disney’s 21st century iteration of the white supremacist ideology that informed people like British Major General Horatio Gordon Robley, a proud collector of Maori heads, and the guy who tried to sell a Hawaiian kupuna skull on eBay, I’ve been thinking in metaphors. I’m looking at what’s happening right now, but looking, too, at the horizon, at what’s coming toward us, imagining what might follow, hoping that whatever it is Hawaiians and all Pacific Islanders can face it together instead of letting it further divide us.

I have no doubt that Disney’s “Moana” will materially and psychologically aid and abet the colonial project of Indigenous erasure and removal. …

Anne Keala Kelly is the Native Hawaiian award-winning filmmaker of “Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i. She is also a journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation and on Pacifica Network and Al Jazeera. www.annekealakelly.com www.nohohewa.com

The full article is at ICTMN.

Being used as costumes just got worse…

Every year, there’s always a slew of  “Indian” costumes, and plenty of thoughtless, ignorant people to use us and our cultures as a shallow dress up day. Social media on Halloween is especially bad for Indians, as you see one asshole after another, most often white, tweeting or facebooking their oh so cool gonna be an Indian for a day costumes, bristling with defensiveness over their right to appropriation, and how awful us damn Indians are for speaking out about it, that’s just bullying poor white people who aren’t doing anything wrong!

This year sees yet another celebrity who thinks Indian dress up is cool and fun:

Hillary Duff and Boyfriend Jason Walsh Dress as Pilgrim and Native American ‘Chief’ - MICHAEL KOVAC/GETTY IMAGES.

Hillary Duff and Boyfriend Jason Walsh Dress as Pilgrim and Native American ‘Chief’ – MICHAEL KOVAC/GETTY IMAGES.

UPDATE: Apologies proffered by Duff and Walsh. Walsh’s, um, apology, trotted out the standard “I meant no disrespect, I have nothing but admiration!” yada, yada, yada. No, you don’t have admiration, and that’s not wanted anyway. There are, of course, a number of people who are upset any apology was offered, tweets at the link. Some non-native people have also posted photos of themselves dressed up as “Indian” and have posted to #NoDAPL. As for Natives who play dress up, Dr. Keene addresses that at Native Appropriations.

This year, 2016, sees a new twist on the bigotry and appropriation. It seems some people think it’s really cool to depict those NoDAPL water protectors for what they are – lazy, shiftless, drunken injuns living on handouts from all those hard working white people:

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These are Ndakotans, people we are surrounded by. I can’t say anything right now, this is one lousy way to start the day. You can read more here.

No DAPL and Indigenous News Roundup.

Unicorn Riot/Vimeo Officers liberally douse water protectors with pepper spray at the front lines of the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Unicorn Riot/Vimeo
Officers liberally douse water protectors with pepper spray at the front lines of the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Trigger Warning: Disturbing Video of DAPL Confrontation.

This video, taken directly from the front lines of the October 27 police crackdown on the camp established in the pipeline’s path on treaty-protected indigenous land, contains disturbing images. Police douse protectors with mace as if squirting water from a hose, shoot them with tasers and throw them to the ground, all in the name of building a pipeline. Those against the project say they are there solely to protect the water.

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NO DAPL: An Urgent Request from Chairman Archambault II.

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My name is David Archambault II, and I’m the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has long opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline project. This proposed pipeline presents a threat to our lands, our sacred sites, and our water. Current and future generations depend on our rivers and aquifer to live.

Will you stand in solidarity and urge President Obama to reject the Dakota Access Pipeline, once and for all?

Yesterday, militarized law enforcement agencies moved in with tanks and riot gear on water protectors who stand in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline—a massive pipeline project that would cut through four states, impact the water to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and violate sacred sites and ancient grounds. While native elders prayed in peace, they were attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, as well as sound and concussion cannons. By the end of the day, more than 140 people were arrested.1 Please, add your name and demand that President Obama reject this pipeline once and for all.

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While we engage in the long legal process to curtail construction of the pipeline, Dakota Access is still poised to begin construction. Halting the construction was an unprecedented step in response to our powerful movement—and now President Obama must reject the pipeline’s permit outright.

Current and future generations depend on our rivers and aquifer to live. The Dakota Access pipeline jeopardizes the heath of our water and could affect our people, as well as countless communities who live downstream, as the pipeline would cross four states. The pipeline, as designed, would destroy ancient burial grounds, which is a violation of federal law.

Please, please, sign, and pass this on to as many people as possible. Lila wopila to all you who do so (very great thanks). If enough people do, we can get millions on this petition.