Friday

Meet some of the water protectors who are determined to keep the fight going beyond Standing Rock in the premiere of this new short film.

On Thursday, the effort to stave off the pipeline at Standing Rock came to an end with more than 40 arrests and a smattering of burning campsites, small blazes started by holdouts.

The movement of water protectors that has been occupying treaty lands in North Dakota demonstrated that for the Great Sioux Nation—as well as the many native and non-native allies that joined them—struggles for the environment, autonomy, and a new way of life cannot be restricted to reservation boundaries.

Since the summer, territories like the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Morton County, and North Dakota were challenged by the circulation of tens of thousands of people gathering to confront the decimation of their sovereignty and decision-making.

These people—as we saw during the weeks we spent at the camps from September to December—came to defend the rights of the water, the rights of the land, and the rights of the seven council fires of the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota peoples, or Oceti Sakowin.

What made Standing Rock distinct was a historical context of both war and prayer, a continuation of the Indian Wars of the 19th century defending tribal sovereignty and a way of life as being one and the same.


Standing Rock became an opportunity for people to recreate a life and community not simply in resistance to the construction of a pipeline, but to a whole architecture of an imposed economy of time, subsistence, and human relation.
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On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

 The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protectors have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.

The North Dakota Joint Information Center reports that 46 people were arrested. Others left the camp voluntarily throughout the day, according to a news release from the center.

Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol said that 200 police officers were on site, with officers from various North Dakota agencies, and others from as far as Alabama, Wisconsin, and Indiana. A line of officers, prepped with riot gear and supported by about a dozen Humvees, made their way slowly through the camp as the day wore on, checking every standing shelter, and arresting the people who remained.

The Morton County Sheriff's department tweeted that camp was completely cleared by 2:09 p.m. local time, though afterward approximately 100 people stood on the opposite bank of the Cannonball River, singing and praying as police set up barricades to block off the site that had been the Oceti camp.

The eviction force was comprised of a variety of agencies including the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Bismarck Police Department, the North Dakota National Guard, Out-of-state law enforcement from the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) was also deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Standing Rock Woman stands in dignity: I will treat women in a sacred manner. The Creator gave women the responsibility for bringing new life into the world. Life is sacred, so I will look upon the women in a sacred manner. (Indigenous teaching)

Several water protectors who remained in the camp were arrested. Some of the water protectors had been engaged in prayer at the time of arrest. It was reported that other arrestees told the officers that they were violating treaties as they made arrests. A group of veterans was also arrested while passively resisting.

Scenes from North Dakota USA

A separate force with utility terrain vehicles entered from the east.

As on the previous day, North Dakota authorities arrested several journalists who were reporting on the scene. Independent journalists Ed Higgins and Christopher Francisco were both arrested while documenting the eviction.

Oil Protector

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier pledged that resistance to the DAPL pipeline would continue.

 An American stands in dignity against oil protectors

 Being on the right side. Future generations will remember

 Raymond Kingfisher giving closing prayers upon leaving camp. Thanking the Protectors


Regina Brave Women She was also at Wounded Knee 73 
The Old Ones say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people.

  I am one with the Earth. All around me my land

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. - Lakota 

Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. - Navajo

The hurt of one woman is the hurt of all women, the honor of one woman is the honor of all women. Show honor and esteem for all women! Consider and treat them with deference or courtesy

An online campaign to have the Aboriginal flag permanently flying above Sydney Harbour Bridge is gaining momentum.

 An online campaign signed up to by thousands is calling for the NSW Legislative Assembly and NSW Government to consider a third flag be flown alongside the Australian and NSW flags on a permanent basis.

Kamilaroi woman Cheree Toka created the petition and wrote: "as Australians, we are proud of our Aboriginal heritage and we want to recognise and celebrate this heritage every day."

Ms Toka said the Aboriginal flag should be flown every day.

"It needs to be flown 24/7, seven days a week to recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people," she told NITV. "I don’t want any flag replaced. We have a flag to represent Australia and the Aboriginal flag is to represent the First Peoples of Australia, which is an acknowledgement to them."

Ms Toka said she wants to see a change in Australia.


"Everyone is all for unity and reconciliation and I feel the perfect way to get that is to have the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is Australia’s iconic landmark and everyone from each and every country come to Australia, and to recognize that flag is recognizing the old culture that was here a long time ago," she said.


The change.org petition has already garnered thousands of signatures from across the country.

"The response I've been getting and the support, it's just amazing how many people are actually on board, and non-Aboriginal. I really do appreciate everyone’s support wholeheartedly," she said.

Ms Toka says this small step to unity can make a big difference.


"I feel like it’s a small step for something greater for Aboriginal people. I would feel greatly respected and I’m already proud of my culture but I’d be even more prouder," she says. "At the end of the day I just want these decision makers or the Legislative Assembly to come to a decision and raise that flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What an amazing day it will be for all Aboriginal people to see that happen."
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About 200 officers took part in the operation to arrest elderly peoples, veterans and peaceful women in prayer

 The final holdouts at the sprawling pipeline protest camp south of here were arrested Thursday, and the authorities began using heavy equipment to tear down the remaining structures and destroy tepees on the treaty land where thousands had lived in recent months.

The arrests, of 46 people, came a day after an evacuation deadline issued by Gov. Doug Burgum. Most protectors left Wednesday of their own volition, and others departed Thursday by crossing the frozen Cannonball River to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Those who remained at the main campsite were taken into custody.

Many activists have disputed the governor’s characterization of the site and criticized his evacuation order. Million of social media people condemned disgraceful actions on people in prayer while arrested

Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, which has been active here, said in a statement that the evacuation was a “violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech.”

“Our hearts are not defeated,” Mr. Goldtooth said. “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight. It is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”


About an hour after the protest camp was cleared, Mr. Burgum signed into law four bills that had been passed largely as a result of the protests. They expand the scope of criminal trespassing laws, make it illegal to cover your face with a mask or hood while committing a crime, and increase the penalties for riot offenses.







The Last Stand

Camp is razed




Thursday

Dustin Monroe held up an old Gatorade bottle filled with orange, oil-contaminated water and implored Montana legislators to approve a bill that would ban fossil fuel pipelines from crossing under rivers and lakes.

“How many of us in this room would drink this?” Monroe, CEO of Native Generational Change, asked the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications Committee during a hearing for House Bill 486 on Monday.

The measure would ban pipelines with a diameter of 10 inches or greater from going under navigable water bodies and establish construction requirements for them to cross above ground, including rules on casings and leak detection. The new regulations would apply to fossil fuels such as crude petroleum, coal and their products.

The bill’s introduction comes after several major spills into Montana rivers over the last decade, ranging from Glendive to Billings. And it comes as the nation debates the best methods to transport crude oil, what risk to water sources is acceptable, and how far tribal sovereignty extends when projects cross aboriginal lands that are no longer tribally owned, as was the case outside Standing Rock where thousands have gathered for months to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The decision by President Donald Trump in January to revive the Keystone XL pipeline project with a handful of executive actions drew a mixed response. As proposed, 284 miles of the 1,700-mile project would cut through Montana, crossing the Canadian border north of Malta and passing into South Dakota north of Ekalaka. It would cross the Missouri River near Fort Peck and the Yellowstone River south of Glendive. It would transport Canadian Tar Sands crude — argued to be more difficult or impossible to clean up because it is thicker than other oils — to southern U.S. refineries and ports.

The current industry standard for crossing streams, rivers and lakes is to use horizontal drilling — the same technology used in some oil exploration — to dig tunnels underneath them. Federal rules require pipelines to be at least four feet deeper than water bodies, but opponents of the bill said Monday most are now dug 20 to 60 feet deep, depending on geographic features.


Rep. George Kipp III said the bill, which he introduced, is as much about protecting underground aquifers from contamination as it is about rivers and streams.

“The further you get from the surface, the closer you get to the (aquifers) down there,” he said. “It’s not reasonable, it’s not rational to go between two fresh water sources with a major contaminant.”


The Heart Butte Democrat and Blackfeet tribal member said Montana needs to take a more hands-on approach to fulfilling the state constitution’s requirement for “a clean and healthful environment” by updating and expanding its oversight of how these products are transported across the state.


“It is time for the State of Montana and this legislative body to start structuring some sideboards and provide some controls…As we know, all manmade objects are designed to break at some point in time,” he said. “Ask yourself, how do you fix a leak 40 feet under the water? How do you protect the aquifer under it? How do you preserve that water for your grandchildren? I think going overhead is a simple fix that allows you to actually get to a line and fix it.”
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