“First Daughter and the Black Snake” Lights the Path

LA PROGRESSIVE’s Dick Price wrote: Besides being a masterfully conceived, thoroughly engaging film, what makes “First Daughter” so moving is the heartening solution it offers in these dark times.

There are two videos at this link…

READ: “First Daughter and the Black Snake” Lights the Path – LA Progressive

[BREAKING NEWS] The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines

By Winona LaDuke

Special to News From Indian Country and Everybody Else

Standing Rock is an unpredicted history lesson for all of us.  More than any moment I recall since Wounded Knee, the Vietnam War, or the time of Martin Luther King, this moment stands as a crossroads in the battle for social justice.  It is also an economic issue, in a time of economic system transformation, and profoundly a question of the future of this land.  The world is watching.

As the US Army Corps of Engineers issues a December 5 eviction notice for thousands of people gathered on the banks of the Missouri River, we face our truth.  Those people at the Oceti Sakowin and Red Warrior Camps, along with the 550 people who have been arrested so far, are really the only thing standing between a river and a corporation that wants to pollute it.  That we know, because absent any legal protections, and with a regulatory system hijacked by oil interests and a federal government in crisis, the people and the river remain the only clear and sentient beings.

In short, this is a moment of extreme corporate rights and extreme racism confronted by courage, prayers, and resolve.  This moment has been coming.  The violence and the economics of a failing industry will indeed unravel, and this is the beginning.

The Deep North

North Dakota did not become Alabama – or the Deep North, as it is now called – overnight. Native people in North Dakota have been treated poorly for more than a hundred years, whether by the damming of the Missouri and the flooding of millions of acres of tribal land, or by poverty and incarceration, North Dakota is a place of systemic and entrenched racism.

Two of the poorest counties in the country are on Standing Rock, Native people comprise almost a fourth of the people in prison, Native suicide rates are ten times that of North Dakotans, infrastructure (like the fifty year old hospital with four doctors for 8000 people, and a now blocked Highway l806, without a shoulder) is at an all-time low, and people freeze to death and overdose in the shadow of the Bakken Oil fields.

That’s the first layer of abuse, aside from the day to day racism, emboldened by Morton County and the incoming Trump government. It is visible for the world to see now.

For many who come, North Dakota is something unknown. Americans fly over the state, talk about how the movie Fargo was funny, and wonder sheepishly about how it’s working out in the Bakken.  Very few visit, and there is almost no civil society to advocate for the environment or the people.

Let me put it this way, until this year, the Sierra Club had one staff person in North Dakota, and the American Civil Liberties Union had one staff member covering both North and South Dakota. It is as if North Dakota is just too uncomfortable for a progressive movement to visit or work in.  Instead, we have watched.

After all, the sex trafficking, violence, and corruption has overwhelmed most of the state’s capacity to address it, and a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences found widespread groundwater contamination in the fracking fields.

For North Dakotans it has become just how it is… That is to say: accommodating corporations is the North Dakota way.  This last year, North Dakota health officials excused more oil spills without penalty, and increased the allowable levels of radiation in municipal and county dumps to accommodate the fracking industry.  The corporations direct state policy. It’s been easy to put it out of mind because after all, it seems so far away when we view the world from our television or smartphone.

In the midst of this, we find ourselves facing a larger set of forces.  As of November 18, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department inventoried their troops at 1,287 deputies, including police from 25 North Dakota counties, 20 North Dakota cities, and 9 states (Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming).  Over 550 people have been arrested, many of them strip searched and cavity searched for misdemeanor charges, and a number of them held overnight in dog kennels.  Now the state has fired on unarmed people who want to protect the water from contamination.

After all, that’s what this is about.  To serve the convenience of a deadline for Energy Transfer Partners’s corporate profits, the police have fired teargas canisters, water hoses, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, tasers, and bean bag rounds at unarmed people trying to protect their water supply. Most of them are Native, and the North Dakota media has continued to portray the water protectors as outlaws.

When 21 year old New York resident Sophia Wilansky’s arm was blown off by a concussion grenade, Morton County Sheriff Kirchenmeir suggested that the water protectors caused it.  KEEP READING: The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines – Indian Country News

Standing Rock Protectors | Free Leonard Peltier | Where is Media on #NoDAPL

Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels

While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the … (watch video)  Read More →

AMY GOODMAN interview: Is facial recognition technology being used (at the protectors camp)?

Standing Rock Tribal Chief DAVE ARCHAMBAULT II: That’s a crazy question, Amy, and I’m glad you ask it, because when you have a lot of people in an area, there’s all this paranoia that is present. And we don’t have to be paranoid anymore. We need to be proud of who we are. This is a big time in history. We need to hold our chins high and show our faces. We’re not doing anything wrong. And if facial recognition technology is out there, I would doubt that it’s here. All authorities have to do is go on Facebook, go on the Democracy Now! videos, and they’ll see people’s faces there. And that’s where authorities are getting information. The people who are videoing incidents determine—we create the evidence on ourselves with these—with our iPhones and social media. I would highly doubt that facial recognition is something—we have our own websites, we have our own Facebook pages. We give all the information that is out there to the authorities through social media. [(Blackwater?) Trucks have been seen taking photos of people since this comment.]

***The “No Dakota Access PipeLine” (#NoDAPL) camp in North Dakota has grown each and every day… YES YES…we are united… “It’s historic because the 200 or so tribes that are protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline have not united together for more than 150 years,” says Jennifer Cook is the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota.

North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued After Pipeline Coverage

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Fletcher Law360 Commentary: “The Right Side Of History: Obama’s Administration And DAPL”

Here:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, hundreds of Indian tribes that support its position, and the thousands of Indians that stand by its side in Cannonball lost an important ruling by a federal court on the Dakota Access Pipeline fight (DAPL), only to learn minutes later that the Obama administration, the defendant in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, would dramatically reverse its position and grant most of the relief requested by the tribe.

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Seattle lawyer explains why the North Dakota pipeline protests mark a historic moment

Cape Cod Times:  …And with hundreds of natural gas, oil, and petroleum pipeline accidents that have occurred in just the last 20 years, including when Shell Oil’s Texas pipeline burst in 2013, irreparably poisoning the Vince Bayou; and the 2011 Exxon Mobil pipeline break, which spilled 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, U.S. residents should be worried that the project could move forward.

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Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years Published September 12, 2016 WASHINGTON – To mark his 72nd birthday today, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released a new video urging President Obama to grant clemency to Anishinabe-Lakota Native American activist Leonard Peltier before leaving office. The video highlights Amnesty International’s human rights concerns about Peltier’s case…

via Amnesty International USA Releases Video Urging President Obama to Free Leonard Peltier — Native News Online

My earlier post on interviewing Peltier

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Standing Rock is HUGE news but somehow ABC, NBC, CBS (US MEDIA) aren’t covering it… hmmm. WHY? I tell my students, go look on Twitter… or read Indian Country Today News Media online and we can always count on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman!

(click links in tweets)

So there you have it… see you next week…L/T

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Winona LaDuke: Predator economics: We must fight

About Man Camps, Predator Economics and Winona LaDuke on WE ARE THE POWERSHIFT, WE MUST FIGHT

In reference to man camps in North Dakota oil country, Linda Thompson, director of First Nations Women’s Alliance of North Dakota, emphasized how the camps brought a huge amount of men into the communities. Sexual assaults, sex trafficking, and concealed weapons permits have gone up, she said.

For more information, the complete press release is available at Last Real Indians.

READ: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/georgianne-nienaber/man-camps-and-predator-ec_b_3700640.html