“injustice aligns with cruelty”

The New York Times gets something right with an editorial on the Standing Rock violence.

When injustice aligns with cruelty, and heavy weaponry is involved, the results can be shameful and bloody. Witness what happened on Sunday in North Dakota, when law enforcement officers escalated their tactics against unarmed American Indians and allies who have waged months of protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

They drenched protesters with water cannons on a frigid night, with temperatures in the 20s. According to protesters and news accounts, the officers also fired rubber bullets, pepper spray, percussion grenades and tear gas. More than 160 people were reportedly injured, with one protester’s arm damaged so badly she might lose it.

They call on the federal government to step in and end the violence from the pipeline goons. That’s what ought to be done, but I’m questioning whether our government has the will to do what is right — I know they won’t in January.


  1. wzrd1 says

    When the NYT starts off referring to “heavy weaponry”, they lost me, as heavy weaponry are things like an M2 .50 BMG machine gun, artillery and similar objects of mass death and mayhem.
    From all reports that I’ve found, counting protestors, small arms were used and water, the latter being equally as potentially lethal as a “rubber bullet” to the head, due to the very real risk of hypothermia.*
    There is no need to add hyperbole, as that detracts from already current atrocities that have been committed. Atrocities that the US government has repeatedly condemned in other nations, but seems to be acceptable here when the real government, big business witnesses contempt displayed by citizens against it.

    But, considering some certain events from not all that long ago, I ask, where are all of those militias, who claim to be standing up for We the People?
    Oh wait, no free beer at the protest.**

    *My very first patient as a military medic was a service member with severe hypothermia. Due to an odd congruence of circumstances, we had a shattered and dysfunctional command staff and mass confusion.
    Fortunately, a bit of common sense, best treatment practices, some inventiveness and disregard for the condition of US Army property won the day and that service member recovered fully.

    **Have I missed any repressive, contemptible group? If so, let me know. Just don’t gripe that I’m not there, as I’d not be unarmed.
    Nothing personal, I just have this thing that, if someone shoots at me, I fully reserve the right to return the favor.

  2. qwints says

    The attacks on protesters are not new, they used attack dogs back in September. The federal government has had the ability to stop this from the beginning, but they lack the will to do so.

  3. Petal to the Medal says

    If you look at the video very closely, you may see the ghost of Bull Connor in the background, looking on approvingly.

  4. Nullifidian says

    I don’t understand something. Rosanna Deerchild’s excellent program on CBC radio, “Unreserved”, this Sunday evening & repeated Tuesday lunchtime, featured the camp at Standing Rock. But there was no mention of the assault. I understand that the program was made before things got bad, but surely a report on the situation could’ve been added? It would have reached, & informed, many sympathetic listeners.

    I think CBC was remiss there.

  5. Nullifidian says

    I just realized something. My listening to the radio does get interrupted & even drowned out sometimes. Maybe I missed a short news item?

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Why has Obama ignored this?
    He stopped Keystone Pipeline using native American lands, why not exec order North Dakota Pipeline cancelled (in the correct form) as well?
    Isn’t that the usual MO of a “lame duck”, write executive orders to clean up loose ends?

  7. says

    :Snort: Standing Rock pleaded with Obama, with the DOJ, months ago, for oversight. They have repeated that plea, over and over and over and over. Nothing. Silence.

    See Kendrick Eagle’s video. Obama made a lot of promises to the people of Inyan Woslata in 2014.

    We’ll be back out at the Oceti Sakowin camp tomorrow.

  8. says


    When the NYT starts off referring to “heavy weaponry”, they lost me,

    YOU NEED TO SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. No one gives a shit about you or your constant need to the know it all in the center spotlight. You haven’t been there. I have, and there is a fucktonne of military equipment out there – arms and vehicles. Just because they haven’t used it yet doesn’t mean it isn’t there, you fucking shit encrusted asspimple.

  9. says

    1. Concussion grenades, rubber bullets, and firehoses against unarmed protesters counts as heavy weaponry.

    2. Please stay away from any and all peaceful protests if you go in with the attitude that you get to shoot back.

  10. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Nothing personal, I just have this thing that, if someone shoots at me, I fully reserve the right to return the favor.

    And I’m sure the police and oil company would love you for it since that’ll only result in finally giving them the retro-active justification for their violence that they’ve been looking for this whole time.

  11. says

    @PZ # 11: I totally agree. Percussion grenades and rubber bullets might be classified as “non-lethal” or more correctly “less-than-lethal” weapons, but they are far from benign and can in fact kill people.

    Question: How many police officers have been injured by these protesters so far?

  12. qwints says

    #Erland Meyer, I recommend reading Democracy Now, as well as Caine’s reports.


    Most of the coverage shows (except for the sheriff department’s statements) that the violence is entirely one sided, as the police and private security seek to violently suppress the protests. I believe that the police have only ever claimed one officer being injured from a thrown rock.

  13. starfleetdude says

    More about the injured protestor:

    Protester undergoes surgery for injuries – (Bismarck Tribune)

    Wayne Wilansky and several involved with the protest are alleging Sophia Wilansky’s injuries were caused by a concussion grenade thrown by police that exploded as it hit her arm while she was delivering water to protesters at 4:30 a.m. The medic council is pointing to a lack of charring of flesh at the wound site and grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery as evidence.

    Wayne Wilansky said at a press conference on Tuesday in Minneapolis that his daughter saw law enforcement throw a grenade “right at her.”

    Law enforcement did not have any concussion grenades or flashbangs with them on Sunday, North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson said.

    “We are aware of the information about the woman on social media who has claimed she sustained injuries to her arm due to law enforcement tactics. The injuries sustained are inconsistent with any resources utilized by law enforcement and are not a direct result of any tools or weapons used by law enforcement,” he said in a statement.

    Iverson said the CS gas canisters thrown by law enforcement officers do make an audible boom but they do not fragment, making them inconsistent with the shrapnel found in the woman’s arm. He also said the canisters were not being used at the same time the woman reported her injury.

    Stinger balls used by law enforcement, which throw out rubber pellets, were also no longer being used at the time of the injury.

    Iverson said officers must file detailed reports accounting each use of non-lethals that they have with them.

    The incident remains under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

    “We will exhaust all efforts to make sure whoever is responsible for (the woman’s injuries) is held accountable,” Iverson said.

  14. says

    Erlend Meyer @13:

    Percussion grenades and rubber bullets might be classified as “non-lethal” or more correctly “less-than-lethal” weapons, but they are far from benign and can in fact kill people.

    They have been deliberately aiming at hands and heads. A number of people have sustained serious injuries, hundreds, actually. Also, the cops have barricaded the quickest route to Bismarck, which has the nearest hospitals. Also, the only ambulances which showed up on Sunday were those from Standing Rock rez. Not one fucking state ambulance.

    Want to know what’s going on? Stay current with #nodapl.

  15. says


    2. Please stay away from any and all peaceful protests if you go in with the attitude that you get to shoot back.

    Oh, the thugs would love that. Kirchmeier has been promoting the “oh, they are violent savage animals” crap from day fucking one, and he’s still doing it, trying to say the protectors were trying to make bombs, and that’s what happened to Sophia. It’s a goddamned lie, and if you watch the live streams, you’ll know that, but Kirchmeier still lies.

    You wouldn’t fucking believe what it looks like out there. As for supposed investigations and accountability on part of the thugs? That won’t happen. The arson which took place at the Oceti Sakowin camp was never investigated, even though they said they would. They fucking knew about it, and didn’t care. They are all working for oil.

  16. says

    Oh yes, Kirchmeier was just handed another 5 million to keep us nasty savages down. This is what that criminal asshole thinks has been necessary so far.

    The help was made possible by a bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton about 20 years ago, which created an interstate agreement for emergency management. The agreement helped bring law enforcement agents to North Dakota to the site of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protests at Standing Rock, and the Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, represent some of the only times the compact has been invoked outside of a natural disaster.

    The ACLU assembled the names of law enforcement agencies below from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and from media accounts. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the cities and counties in North Dakota that sent officers as well as the 10 states that contributed, and where there was a news story about a particular force, we included a hyperlink. Where there was mention of the number of officers deployed, we noted that as a minimum — though more may have been deployed later.

    North Dakota:

    1. North Dakota Highway Patrol

    2. North Dakota National Guard

    3. North Dakota Parks & Recreation

    4. North Dakota Department of Emergency Services

    5. North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Parole and Probation


    6. Beulah Police Department

    7. City of Bismarck Police Department

    8. Dickinson City

    9. City of Fargo Police Department (50 officers)

    10. Hazen City

    11. Jamestown City

    12. City of Mandan Police Department

    13. Minot City

    14. Steele PD

    15. Grand Forks City

    16. Williston City

    17. Rolla City

    18. West Fargo City

    19. Wishek City

    20. Watford City

    21. Grafton City


    22. Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department

    23. Cass County Sheriff’s Department

    24. Pennington County Sheriff’s Department (12 officers)

    25. Dunn County

    26. Emmons County

    27. McKenzie County

    28. McLean County

    29. Mercer County Sheriff’s Department

    30. Morton County

    31. Stark County

    32. Stutsman County

    33. Ward County

    34. Williams County Sheriff’s Department

    35. Grand Forks County

    36. Divide County

    37. Kidder County

    38. Grant County

    39. Bowman County

    40. Benson County

    41. Burke County

    42. McIntosh County

    43. Barnes County

    44. Bottineau County

    45. Logan County

    46. Trail County


    47. St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Department


    48. Montana Highway Patrol (at least 10 officers)


    49. Wisconsin State Patrol (at least 17 officers)

    50. Dane County Sheriff’s Department (at least 10 officers)

    51. Dane County Special Events Team (at least 3 supervisors)

    52. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department (at least 4 officers)

    53. Rock County Sheriff’s Department (at least 5 officers)

    54. Marathon County Sheriff’s Department (at least 4 officers)


    55. Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department (at least 29 personnel)

    56. Anoka County Sheriff’s Department (at least 6 personnel)

    57. Washington County Sheriff’s Department (at least 5 personnel)

    South Dakota:

    58. South Dakota Highway Patrol


    59. Wyoming Highway Patrol (at least 6 officers)

    60. Laramie County Sheriff’s Department


    61. Nebraska State Patrol (at least 11 officers)


    62. Lake County Sheriff’s Department

    63. Schererville Police Department

    64. Hammond Police Department

    65. Griffith Police Department

    66. Michigan City Police Department

    67. Munster Police Department

    68. Indiana Department of Natural Resources

    69. Marion County Sheriff’s Department

    70. Brookville Police Department

    71. Porter County

    72. LaPorte County

    73. Jasper County

    74. Newton County


    75. Ohio State Highway Patrol (at least 37 officers)

    Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/11/23/subdue-peaceful-protest-166560

  17. rietpluim says

    Last time I checked, peaceful protest was a constitutional right.
    Isn’t the police supposed to protect our rights?

  18. says

    @ 20:

    Their job is to serve the government.

    Oh no it isn’t, not in nDakota. Here, there job is to do whatever Oil wants them to do. KKKJack, the governor, is openly corrupt, he alone constitutes the “oversight committee” regarding oil, and he’s invested everything he has in this shit. No, all the thugs here belong to oil.

  19. says

    In that case the government is bought and paid by Big Oil. The police is a tool, it’s usually that simple. They do what their told by the ones paying the bills and writing the rules.

  20. rietpluim says

    Sorry, I can be quite naive sometimes.
    What was I thinking, the police serving the people and all