Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Friday, 18 November 2016

Shot in the Back at Standing Rock

From the Daily Beast - Elders kept in cages. Demonstrators shot with rubber bullets. What’s happening at Standing Rock isn’t just a protest, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox writes. It’s a character test—one America is failing.

"OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, Standing Rock Reservation—The moral soul of this continent is at Standing Rock, and at the moment that soul is being beaten, maced, pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed, and locked up by a militarized police force acting on behalf of foreign oil companies.

As North Dakota police lock up and abuse peaceful “water protectors,” members of a growing resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline slated to transport oil under the Missouri River, it becomes clear that the fight over the tribal land of Standing Rock is not only the primary battleground for indigenous sovereignty; it is the center of the fight for clean water, to fight climate change, and to ban hydraulic fracturing. At its base, this is a struggle between the people and a government corrupted by corporate power.

Wes “Mekasi” Horinek, an activist with the water rights group Bold Alliance was arrested during a camp raid by local police. He described the atrocities he’s witnessed: “peaceful protesters were hooded, put in stress positions, strip-searched. We were placed in dog kennels with numbers written on our arms for hours. Elders were kept in cages in the basement of the police station for days.”

They’re the type of images that evoke the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib. North Dakota police have been accused of destroying sacred objects—eagle feathers stripped off religious leaders, peace pipes broken, and during an Oct. 27 raid in one of the camps, tribe members were ripped out of sweat lodges and arrested. “Our teepee flaps were forced open with the muzzle end of an M-4 rifle,” remarked Floris White Bull, a prominent activist and the great-grandniece of the legendary Lakota Chief Sitting Bull."

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