Published October 30, 2016
CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — This weekend hundreds of supporters and additional media sources traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation to support and document the violent accounts between law enforcement and water protectors. Hundreds gathered on Highway 1806 for prayer at the site of the last barricade, where dozens of police vehicles and police officers stand guard to prevent protestors from approaching the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As protestors are slowly released from jail, details continue to be confirmed from those arrested. Many arrested share that they were strip-searced, placed in dog kennels, were written on various parts of their bodies, transported as far away as 300 miles from the site of the location, and were ridiculed and laughed at by correctional officers.
“We were being laughed at and ignored while detained,” said Karen Little Wounded, one of the protestors released from jail. “It was embarrassing and we felt bad for them.”
After prayer, hundreds walked to the Oceti Sakowin camp to listen to the words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader and Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman C’anupa. He addressed the crowd in thanks and guidance to keep the gathering committed to prayer and unity. He also shared with the crowd the letter he wrote to President Barack Obama.
“During your campaign in Sioux Falls you shared with me you were a lawyer and you understood treaties and their laws,” said Looking Horse. “Well, I call upon you to honor your words and honor our treaties the United States made with our people long ago.”
Cost of Standing Up Add UP
Phylis Young, Oceti Sakowin Camp organizer addressed the crowd and shared that an ally came forward to bail out all those remaining in jail. At a total of 120 people as of Saturday and each with a bail amount of $1,500, the total cash contributed exceeded $180,000. In addition to the bail amount, Morton County is asking for $890 for each vehicle that was confiscated. With 70 cars still remaining in impound, the total amount needed exceeds $62,300 with the amounts doubling daily.
As the days unfold and protestors are slowly released, details continue to be confirmed on the mistreatment by law enforcement to the protesters.
Darren Thompson (Ojibwe/Tohono O’odham) is a Native American flute player and writer from the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Wisconsin. He contributes to Native Peoples Magazine, Native News Online and Powwows.com. For more information please visit www.darrenthompson.net