Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests

“Meanwhile, the Dakota Access Pipeline itself has confirmed some of the Standing Rock Sioux’s fears: After becoming fully operation on June 1, the pipeline has already leaked at least five times.”

Source:  thenation.com

In the year since the last activists were evicted, the crackdown on journalists and activists has only intensified.

By Zoë Carpenter

February 23, 2017: Law-enforcement officers point their weapons at two water protectors praying near the Sacred Fire of the main resistance camp of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Both men were arrested, along with the photographer, shortly after this image was taken. (Tracie Williams)

On February 23 of last year, a day when the frozen ground had started to turn to mud, law-enforcement officers rolled into the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Donald Trump had been inaugurated a month earlier, and the new president quickly reversed an Obama administration decision to deny Energy Transfer Partners a permit to finish construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.78 billion project running directly under the Missouri River. The water protectors, as protesters called themselves, had been fighting the pipeline since the spring of 2016, concerned that the proposed route cut through ancestral land of spiritual significance, and that a pipeline leak could contaminate the primary water supply to the reservation. The small group who had remained through the bitter winter at Oceti Sakowin had been ordered to leave by February 22 or face eviction and arrest. Most did; a few dozen remained the following the day, when Humvees with snipers on their roofs rolled into camp, a helicopter buzzing above them.

Photojournalist Tracie Williams, on assignment for the National Press Photographers’ Association, captured some of what happened next. Officers wearing military fatigues walked through the camp with assault rifles and knives, which they used to slice open the skins of teepees. Rain and fat flakes of snow fell against a backdrop of smoke rising from structures that had been set alight in a ceremonial gesture. Moments after clicking through the last two frames on her memory card—of two men in prayer, weapons aimed at their heads—she was arrested. Williams, who had been documenting life at Oceti Sakowin for three weeks leading up to the raid, told officers she was a journalist—and says she’d previously identified herself as a member of the press to the governor and the Army Corps and let them know that she’d be there, documenting, and obtained a press credential from the Morton County Sheriff—but they confiscated her equipment as evidence and detained her anyway. Williams was later charged with physical obstruction of government function, a Class A misdemeanor that could result in a year in jail and $3,000 in fines. Her trial is scheduled for June.


13 replies »

  1. Look and listen to the young people from Parkland & many other places who have stepped up and spoken out against the current attitudes! We all should be so proud of these kids – I hope the “powers that be” listen – because couple years more & they can not only protest but VOTE! All of us should be standing with these kids – there are many many issues that must be addressed – one of them our wild horses!


  2. Let’s see. They don’t want FOIAs, they don’t want EISs, they don’t want journalists, they have taken down or entirely confused most government websites, they don’t give a whit for the “public” part of public lands, and aren’t concerned about Russian intereference or gerrymandering in our elections, yet continue to insist on making all of us pay for this for massive deficits for uncountable generations to come. Will the next step be changing the Constitution to read “We, the Sheeple?”



    Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies (excerpts)

    .” Central to the Oglala Sioux’s complaint are ties between a US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) official and trophy hunting juggernaut, Safari Club International, and an apparent connection to multinational energy company, Anadarko Petroleum and Gas. The official, former Acting FWS Director, Matt Hogan, who now works out of the FWS Mountain-Prairie regional office and has been FWS’s point man on grizzly delisting, was formerly Safari Club International’s chief lobbyist to Capitol Hill.

    Rock. When President Trump nominated Zinke for Secretary of the Interior, Blackfeet Chairman Harry Barnes called it “a great day for Montana” and said Zinke was “an ally of the Blackfeet.” On March 10, during Zinke’s first official visit to his home state as Secretary, he held a meet-and-greet with Glacier National Park staff and members of the BTBC in West Glacier, Montana.
    There, after Barnes oversaw the presentation of a pipe to Zinke, the new Secretary, our self-appointed “champion,” told the media that he thought “clearing protesters” at Standing Rock was a “spectacular job.”
    As a victim of that “spectacular job” I take a different view. I was arrested with many others at Standing Rock, not because we committed a crime, but because we stood to defend our lands, our cultures, our ancestors, and seven future generations from further devastation and corporate exploitation. In October 2016, I was cuffed with plastic cable ties and dumped on the side of Highway 1806 for what seemed like an age in a fog of percussion grenades and screams, but it was probably closer to an hour



  4. HOW many American Soldiers have sacrificed everything to protect American Freedom?

    From COUNTERPUNCH (more excerpts)

    Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies (excerpts)

    They positioned us so that we had to watch as our tipis were bulldozed by DAPL security, and then we were herded into a ditch where they wrote numbers on our forearms. Until I made bond, I was #137, not Chairman Brandon Sazue of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. The process of dehumanization underway, we were forced onto a bus and driven through a throng of celebratory DAPL workers. Forty-five minutes later, we were being unloaded in a hanger in Morton County. Before I noticed the cages, I was hit by a wall of sound, the screams of our people reverberating around the storage space that was now a makeshift Morton County jail. We were processed like livestock and shunted into the cages that were more dog kennels than cells, twenty of us per kennel. Behind us, to the north, hung targets in human form, taser tips protruding for the silhouettes and scattered about the floor. To the south was a huge tarp, behind which they held the women. And then our ordeal began. We now know that what Zinke described as a “spectacular job” was spearheaded by TigerSwan, a private defense contractor that was employed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was engaged to crush our people at Standing Rock, whom, TIGERSWAN ludicrously reported, “generally followed the jihadist insurgency model.”


  5. Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”
    Part 1

    Internal TigerSwan documents provide a detailed picture of how the mercenary firm surveilled Dakota Access Pipeline opponents and infiltrated protest camps.

    A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.



    TigerSwan, Counter-Terrorism and NoDAPL: 10 Astonishing Revelations in ‘The Intercept’ Report ((excerpts)

    ‘The Intercept’ posts internal memos by TigerSwan, an international counter-terrorist military group, allegedly hired by Energy Transfer Partners
    ICT Staff

    They are still at it.

    Even though the camps have dissipated, surveillance was still intense. As recently as May 4 an alleged internal memo “describes an effort to amass digital and ground intelligence,”
    The Intercept revealed.
    Such revelations only corroborated the water protectors’ experience.

    “Now the evidence of this is coming to bear,” said Goldtooth in his Facebook statement. “This proof also tells us more about the militarization of the police and the violence they imposed on Water Protectors. By comparing Indigenous Peoples and civilians to Jihadist Terrorists, police and security were essentially given permission to carry out war-like tactics on Water Protectors-and perpetrate ongoing suppression of peaceful voices dedicated to the defense of water.”


    • Seems the “government” (or the current one in power) hasn’t changed its tune since hundreds of years ago when they put Native Americans onto reservations & slaughtered their horses AND the buffalo! Doesn’t exactly give me a warm feeling! So we, the American people (AND native people) are no longer allowed to protest??? I remember quite a bit of bad press given to some of the military “contractors” a few years ago for doing some of the same things in other countries!


  7. We must never NEVER forget the core principles of our country.
    Although not perfect to be sure, our country is a work in progress and one of the most important documents that clearly defines our belief in Freedom is the BILL OF RIGHTS:
    Every civil servant and every elected official should required to recite it before taking office:

    Transcript of Bill of Rights

    During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government.
    Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution.
    They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.


  8. To allow assaults upon ANY group of peaceful protestors is a threat to EVERYONE’S right to peacefully assemble and a threat to EVERYONE’S freedom speech.

    Transcript of Bill of Rights

    Article the third… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, orprohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


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