No DAPL: Protectors call on Justice Department.

Protestors face off with the Riot Police across the fenceline near a Dakota Access construction site. CREDIT: Facebook/Rob Wilson.

Protestors face off with the Riot Police across the fenceline near a Dakota Access construction site. CREDIT: Facebook/Rob Wilson.

Concerned and angered by the use of dogs, pepper spray, military tactics and strip searches against unarmed water protectors at the construction sites of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to step in.

“I am seeking a Justice Department investigation because I am concerned about the safety of the people,” Archambault said in a statement. “Too often these kinds of investigations take place only after some use of excessive force by the police creates a tragedy. I hope and pray that the Department will see the wisdom of acting now to prevent such an outcome.”

In a formal letter, Archambault called on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the alleged civil rights violations, outlining the ways in which the protectors’ safety is being compromised and their First Amendment rights jeopardized.


Archambault said protesters and tribal members have told him that “the militarization of law enforcement agencies has escalated violence at the campsite,” even as the tribe’s lawful efforts to keep the 1,172-mile-long pipeline from being routed through sacred burial sites and underneath the Missouri River a half mile from its reservation have drawn worldwide support.

“Firsthand accounts and videos filmed by participants reveal a pattern of strong-arm tactics targeting Native Americans and peaceful protestors,” the Standing Rock Sioux said in the statement. “The abuses include strip searches, violent security dog attacks, pepper-spraying of youth and intimidation by law enforcement.”

Archambault’s letter went further, describing roadblocks, checkpoints and unwarranted stops, all of which “are clearly targeted at Indian people, and are designed to intimidate free speech.”

Add to that the “constant surveillance, with low-flying planes and helicopters constantly overhead at the camps of the water protectors,” the confiscation of at least one drone and the shooting down of another, even those being used by journalists, plus the actual arrests of journalists such as Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, add up to a “larger effort by local law enforcement to intimidate the press and to prevent the full and fair reporting of the activities of law enforcement on this matter,” Archambault’s letter said.

“Rather than seeking to keep the peace, law enforcement personnel are clearly working in tandem with private security of Dakota Access,” the chairman wrote, adding that the tactics not only evoke the civil rights movement of 50 years ago but also bring up the collective memory of the U.S. government’s “long and sad history of using military force against indigenous people.”

Via ICTMN. In related news: Justice Dept Reaffirms It Will Not Grant DAPL River-Crossing Permits Anytime Soon.

NO DAPL: Water Protectors Needed!

Courtesy Rob Wilson Photography.

Courtesy Rob Wilson Photography.

Sarah Sunshine Manning highlights and details the need for more water protectors to make their way to the camps.

On October 18, water protectors called for reinforcements as the Dakota Access construction is quickly closing in on the Missouri River in North Dakota.

Water protectors, skilled in non-violent direct action, should plan to make their way to Standing Rock as quickly as you can get here.

This massive call-to-action is endorsed by more than 10 groups, including the Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3), The Ruckus Society, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor The Earth, the Oceti Sakowin Camp, the Sacred Stone Camp, West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative, Ancestral Pride, Digital Smoke Signals, Greenpeace USA, and The Other98.

“If we’re going to beat the pipeline, we’re going to need more people,” Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, and co-founder of the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, told me.

An informational video was released in accompaniment with the joint-statement made by the groups with the title, “Warriors Wanted.”

“We’re asking for reinforcements to come stand with us, to pray, and to protect,” Tilsen said. “Of all the times to take action, the time is now.”

On October 22, water protectors in the camps reported that Dakota Access construction was just a few miles from the camp, and approximately 5 miles from the Missouri River.


In another Facebook video posted by Mark K. Tilsen, Oglala Lakota from Porcupine, South Dakota, Tilsen delivered a poignant message to allies across the globe:

“I’m asking you to come to Standing Rock,” he said. “Follow local leadership, but you will be given autonomy to choose your actions, and how you choose to creatively stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Please. Come to Standing Rock.”

Mark Tilsen has been stationed at the Oceti Sakowin camp for the past two months, also assisting in non-violent direct action trainings.

“We need help. We need bodies on the ground,” said Tilsen. “We need people here who are dedicated and willing. This is not a tourist action. This is not a party. We’re here to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thank you.”

There’s much more here, including a video about strip searching protesters who were arrested for disorderly conduct. This is an obvious tactic on the part of the Keystone cops here to humiliate those who dare to protect the earth and water. Even Chairman Archambault was subjected to this.

In other NO DAPL news:

[Read more…]

Reno Truck Assault: Driver Charged.

 Courtesy Louis Magriel/Reno Gazette-Journal.

Courtesy Louis Magriel/Reno Gazette-Journal.

The 18-year-old man who drove through a crowd of 40 protestors was charged Friday with provoking assault and released on a $1,000 bond, police said.

Five people were injured when Nick Mahaffey rammed his white Nissan pickup truck into a group of Columbus Day protestors in Reno, Nevada, last week.

Police also charged two protesters involved in the incident. James Fletcher and Samuel Harry were both charged with simple battery, CBS News reported.

ICTMN has the full story.

The Fuzziness of the Army Corps.

Major General Donald Jackson.

Major General Donald Jackson. Mary Annette Pember.

As with most issues between Indian country and the federal government, the important bits are steeped in legalese and long numerical references to laws and regulations. The very stuff of life and its protection, however, is referenced and hidden within these dryly-worded documents.

A set of regulations created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) called Appendix C is one such example, and it may determine the future of the Dakota Access Pipeline project as well as other projects for which the Army Corps is responsible for issuing federal permits.

It turns out that tribes have been complaining about the legality of Appendix C for a very long time, and with good reason. Appendix C spells out how the Corps will meet its obligation to fulfill Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), created to protect places of historic, architectural and/or cultural significance.

Part of the NPHA’s Section 106 requires that agencies carry out the process in consultation with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPO) and identify and assess impacts to properties of traditional religious and cultural significance to tribes. Although all federal agencies are allowed to create their own means by which they fulfill the requirements of Section 106, the Army Corps chose to streamline the process by creating its own regulations that tribes and other federal agencies argue not only fail to meet the requirement of the NHPA’s Section 106, but are also in direct conflict with the law.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with overseeing implementation of the NHPA. The Corps contradicts several of ACHP’s regulations through use of its own process spelled out under Appendix C.

The differences between Section 106 regulations and Appendix C are substantial. Chief among these differences includes the Corps’ decision in the Standing Rock case to review each river crossing of the Dakota Access pipeline as a separate project rather than consider the entire pipeline as one project.

“This allows the Corps to dismiss the potential for effects to historic properties that may be located within the broader project area of an undertaking,” according to an August 2, 2016 letter from the ACHP to the Corps.

The full story is at ICTMN.

Solidarity: 19 Cities Say No DAPL.

 Nineteen cities stand in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux in opposing the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Nineteen cities stand in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux in opposing the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Although more than 300 tribes have rallied in support of the Standing Rock Sioux’s stance against the routing of the Dakota Access oil pipeline under the Missouri River near their reservation, the support has not all been Native.

Nineteen U.S. city governments have passed resolutions or written letters opposing construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement on October 13.

From Seattle to Saint Paul and Minneapolis, to Cleveland, to Portland, Oregon, and all over Turtle Island, the resolutions have been streaming in for weeks. In California the cities of Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Oakland have sent in resolutions. So have Asheville, North Carolina; Sitka, Alaska, and Urbana, Illinois, the latter one of the four states that the pipeline will pass through.

The myriad resolutions being passed by city and municipal councils around the United States express solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and Indigenous Peoples in general. They reference everything from treaty rights and broken promises, to the common need for drinking water and the burgeoning of distrust in oil companies’ ability to ensure the safety of their pipelines.

This is good news, and I’m thankful to have such allies. Full story at ICTMN.

Amy Goodman Charged with Engaging in a Riot.

Amy Goodman.

Amy Goodman.

Just a few posts ago, I mentioned how embarrassing Ndakota has been lately. Apparently, the state I live in isn’t finished in the quest to scrape the bottom of the barrel, when it comes to stupid, ignorant, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, asshole antics. I do not take any pride in being surrounded by ignorant assholes who proudly wallow in bigotry and willful ignorance.

Bismarck, North Dakota–October 15, 2016 — A North Dakota state prosecutor has sought to charge award-winning journalist Amy Goodman with participating in a “riot” for filming an attack on Native American-led anti-pipeline protesters. The new charge comes after the prosecutor dropped criminal trespassing charges.

State’s Attorney Ladd R Erickson filed the new charges on Friday before District Judge John Grinsteiner who will decide on Monday (October 17) whether probable cause exists for the riot charge.

Goodman has travelled to North Dakota to face the charges and will appear at Morton County court on Monday at 1:30 pm local time (CDT) if the charges are approved.

“I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting, ” said Goodman. “I wasn’t trespassing, I wasn’t engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters.”

In an e-mail to Goodman’s attorney Tom Dickson on October 12, State’s Attorney Erickson admitted that there were “legal issues with proving the notice of trespassing requirements in the statute.” In an earlier email on October 12, Erickson wrote that Goodman “was not acting as a journalist,” despite that fact that the state’s criminal complaint recognized that, “Amy Goodman can be seen on the video …interviewing protesters.” In that email Erikson justified his quote in the Bismarck Tribune in which he had said that “She’s [Amy Goodman] a protester, basically. Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions.” The First Amendment, of course, applies irrespective of the content of a reporter’s story.

The charge in State of North Dakota v. Amy Goodman, stems from Democracy Now!’s coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. On Saturday, September 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the pipeline company attacking protesters. The report showed guards unleashing dogs and using pepper spray and featured people with bite injuries and a dog with blood dripping from its mouth and nose.

Well, Mr. Erickson, thanks ever for helping to paint a picture of my state as one full of shit-for-brains bigots. Christ, I feel like I should just find a cave to hide in.

Via Democracy Now.

Standing Rock: Winter Wish List.


Oct 14, 2016 — Winter is approaching fast here in North Dakota – and we’re not going anywhere. Dakota Access may think that they can simply wait us out, but we are here for the long haul.

That being said, we need supplies and support to survive here at camp. Dakota winters are no joke! We have created an Amazon wishlist with all sorts of gear for sleeping, staying warm, lighting our camp, and organizing our group. We’re hoping for tents, lanterns, phones for communicating between groups, and more. Take a look and see if there’s anything you can purchase and send to help us out:

Thank you as always for your generosity!

Anna, Bobbi, and the Oceti Sakowin Youth.

Via I will add my thank you thank you thank you to anyone who can help out. As usual, I’ll say that you don’t need money to help – spreading the word and signal boosting is incredibly important, so if you’re a social media person, please, pass this on, with all my gratitude.

The Senators Standing with Standing Rock.

Bernie Sanders (Good Morning America).

Bernie Sanders (Good Morning America).

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and four other senators on Thursday called on President Barack Obama to order a comprehensive environmental review of a pipeline project that has stirred widespread opposition from Native Americans and environmental activists.

After a U.S. appeals court on Sunday night denied a request to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the senators asked Obama to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact statement for a contested part of the route that includes stronger tribal consultation.

“The project’s current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project,” said the letter by Sanders and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey, Patrick Leahy and Benjamin Cardin.

In recent weeks, protests against the Dakota Access pipeline led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota drew international attention, prompting the U.S. government to temporarily block its construction on federal land.


On Tuesday, anti-pipeline activists in four states closed pipeline valves to halt the flow of crude through arteries transporting 15 percent of U.S. oil consumption..

When fully connected, the 1,100-mile (1,770 km) pipeline would be the first to carry crude directly to the U.S. Gulf from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.

The $3.7 billion project is being built by the Dakota Access subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, which has vowed to complete construction.

“There must be a serious consideration of the full potential climate impacts of this pipeline prior to the Army Corps of Engineers approving any permits or easements for the Dakota Access pipeline,” the senators said.

Experts say that the full environmental review requested by the senators could take several months.

The U.S. appeal court’s ruling was the second time the federal judiciary rejected the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline. On Sept. 9, a U.S. judge rejected a similar request.

Oh, so scrutiny would take a couple of months, golly, the agony for those poor, poor billionaires. Cry me a river, oil wašichu, cry me a river of clean, untainted water. Once again, we see just how much, and how easily Indigenous concerns are brushed aside, and treaties broken, again. And again. And again. My thanks to Senators Sanders, Feinstein, Markey, Leahy, and Cardin. Please, please keep the pressure on. I think everyone should remind the President of his visit to Standing Rock two years ago. How can it possibly be, in any way, to turn away from people who keep asking for justice? How long for people to wake the fuck up to all the lies, all the crimes committed by DA and Energy Transfer Partners? Remember when they swore up and down that the oil running through this travesty of a pipeline was “sweet and light”? The only people pointing out that that was a lie were Indigenous people who live in the Dakotas. I posted about that, and heard arguments and “oh no, you’re wrong.” No, we aren’t wrong. Oil lies, and it would be great if people would wake up to that fact, and stay woke. This is a disaster waiting to happen, to all of us.

Via Raw Story.

Reno Truck Assault On Protesters: Update.

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Detectives are preparing legal documents for possible criminal charges after an 18-year-old man drove a pickup truck through a crowd of protesters rallying in support of Native American rights in downtown Reno, Police Chief Jason Soto said Wednesday.

Soto made his remarks to the Reno City Council as a parade of American Indians, local clergy and others expressed their outrage over the fact no one’s been arrested after five protesters were struck Monday night by the truck on the street beneath the city’s famous arch with the slogan, “Biggest Little City in the World.”

Soto said an affidavit is in the works that could lead to prosecution. But he said he won’t discuss the possible charges or any other details because the investigation is ongoing.

In a different article, Soto was making noises about the protesters being in the street, rather than on the sidewalk, heavily implying they deserved to be run over, because street. It has been stated that people gathered in this spot to take photographs. It’s more than obvious that the police chief does not want to press charges in this case, and it’s also obvious he doesn’t think much of anything done was wrong. I’d like to see the Mayor address that little problem.

The Rev. Luther DuPree, an African-American bishop who oversees the Northern Nevada Churches of God in Christ, questioned whether the driver remains free because he is white.

“If it was any other culture, I believe an immediate arrest would have been made,” he said.

Kitty Colbert, 59, the most seriously injured woman who remained hospitalized Wednesday, was accompanied at the rally by her grandchildren who “saw her run over like a bag of beans,” said Ray Valdez, who was drumming and leading the group in prayer just before the incident.

Soto said the activists did not have a permit to protest in the street, but some had gathered in the travel lanes of Virginia Street on the main casino drag.

Jessica White, a local artist, said the activists were gathering in the crosswalk for a group photograph when “the driver began honking and revving his truck’s engine in an obvious attempt to frighten us.”

“I saw a driver purposely drive into a group of people and continue until there were injuries and terror,” she said Wednesday.

Tara Tran said the driver and passenger were yelling “racist” remarks before she was struck by the truck.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say the protesters deserved it… they were blocking traffic,” Tran told the council. “We were not blocking their direction. They were following us. They were not scared. I looked into their eyes. It was not a look of fear. It was a look that they were having fun.”

Grace Potorti, ex-leader of the Nevada Conservation League, said she was driving the opposite direction on Virginia Street when she saw the truck “plow into people, stop and — while people were lying on the road — continue to run over them.”

“This happened under the very symbol of Reno,” she said. “It happened under the arch!”

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said in a statement Tuesday Reno police “will hold anyone responsible accountable for their actions once the investigation has concluded.”

“The city does not condone hate,” she said Wednesday.

Full story at The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Shailene Woodley Released.

Courtesy Morton County Sheriff's Office Shailene Woodley, charged with criminal trespass during peaceful civil action against the Dakota Access oil.

Courtesy Morton County Sheriff’s Office
Shailene Woodley, charged with criminal trespass during peaceful civil action against the Dakota Access oil.

Celebrity support flooded in for the actress after her arrest on Monday October 10 with other water protectors at a Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL) construction site. She paid a $500 fine and prepared for an October 24 court date, according to USA Today.

“Shailene Woodley has been released from the Morton County Jail in North Dakota,” her spokesperson told Us Weekly in a statement on Tuesday. “She appreciates the outpouring of support, not only for her, but more importantly, for the continued fight against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

The star of Snowden, Divergent and The Descendants, among other films, was among 28 unarmed people arrested by riot police for peacefully demonstrating at the site where Energy Transfer Partners is working on the 1,172-mile-long, $3.8 billion pipeline set to wend its way through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, carrying as many as 550,000 barrels of crude daily from the Bakken oil fields. She livestreamed the arrest on Facebook.

Actor Mark Ruffalo also spoke out in support of Woodley, as did Maggie Q, her costar in the Divergent series.

“I stand with @shailenewoodley for standing with the Standing Rock Water Protectors. #NoDAPL,” tweeted Ruffalo, who is outspoken against climate change and walked with Indigenous Peoples alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City.

“You can arrest someone but you CANNOT silence them,” wrote Maggie Q on Twitter.

Mainstream media picked up on the arrest and mentioned the pipeline controversy. But MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell took it a step further by noting the irony of date of the arrests, including Woodley’s, on criminal trespassing charges. It was for many (though not for all) a celebration of Christopher Columbus, who he dubbed “the greatest trespasser in human history.”


Breaking: Truck Smashes Into Reno Water Protectors.

KOLO TV After a confrontation with some of the 40 demonstrators rallying in downtown Reno to protest against Columbus Day and the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the driver of a white pickup truck plowed into the crowd, injuring five and sending one to the hospital.

After a confrontation with some of the 40 demonstrators rallying in downtown Reno to protest against Columbus Day and the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the driver of a white pickup truck plowed into the crowd, injuring five and sending one to the hospital.

A pickup truck plowed into a crowd of mostly Native demonstrators in Reno, Nevada on Monday October 10, injuring five and sending one to the hospital. Participants in the demonstration, organized by the American Indian Movement of Northern Nevada (AIMNN), were gathered under the city’s Reno Arch downtown to draw attention to the real meaning of Columbus Day. They were also there to educate passersby about the conflict surrounding the Dakota Access oil pipeline being routed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Suddenly, witnesses said, a white Nissan pickup truck drove by, its occupants hurling slurs. Then it circled back, and stopped. Some of the demonstrators walked up to the vehicle and had words with the occupants. Suddenly the engines revved, and the truck plowed into the group, sending people flying.

Cameras were already rolling to document the demonstration, and they streamed the entire horrifying incident on Facebook. Police said in a statement that the incident occurred at 6:41 p.m., according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

One witness recounted how two men “drove into marchers after first being seen at the rally start point, driving by once shouting slurs, and then doubling back around to get in front of the protesters before driving into them,” wrote Diana Heideman, owner of Wallflower Botanicals, in a Facebook post. “One elder, a grandmother there with her grandchildren, was hospitalized with injuries to her legs, a broken tailbone, and further tests pending. She is stable and in good spirits. She was planning to depart for #StandingRock tomorrow.”

Several protesters were posing for a photo under the arch when the pickup pulled up for the second time, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Police told KOLO TV that the driver called in from a few blocks away to give his own side of the story, and that police had interviewed him and are cooperating with authorities. That was not enough for one of the rally’s organizers, though.

“This is a hate crime,” Quanah Brightman, executive director of United Native Americans Inc. told the Reno Gazette-Journal, adding that the driver had been “stalking” the group of demonstrators. “It’s still brutal to see this kind of racism in America. That man deserves life [in prison] for what he did.”