Standing With Standing Rock

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on Jan 1, 2016

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I can't tell you how old I was.  I could walk and I could talk and I was with my father.  I was a boy and I was fascinated by where we were.  It was Indian Mounds Park in Saint Paul Minnesota and I had learned that the grassy mounds I was looking at were filled with human bones and that they were hundreds of years old.  That is a fascinating thing to a young boy.  There was no fence that I remember and nobody was around but my father forbade me from running to the top of the tallest mound like I wanted to do.  He said that would not be respecting the dead.   
 
Archeology fascinated me as a boy and I was taught that it was done with great reverence.  Now at the other end of life from being a boy I suspect I was not being given the whole story.  I was of a generation born after history had been rewritten.  Indians were noble the past had been sanitized and American Indians had been integrated into American life.  That is the myth I was taught.  The thought of a pipeline going through sacred lands was preposterous to me.  I was a boy raised in the time of an American Camelot and I was being raised in a big city.  I did not realize that the country was also filled by the descendants of Americans who had wiped out our first nations people in cold blooded murder and these these people were proud of their own sanitized family histories.  My fathers father had died as a missionary on an Indian Reservation as a minister for his church.  I never knew him, he had already passed on by the time I saw the Indian mounds.  My sanitized story was different from the decedents of Indian hating white savages but years would go by before I would understand how poorly the first people have been treated in America.
 
If you start to find out what is going on at Standing Rock you have to find out about the Indians and why they are there trying to protect the waters.  From their point of view they are not protesting anything.  They are trying to right a wrong and the truth is that is the truth.  Indian land was Indian land until white people stole it from them.  It started with the Sioux after the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1851 and the fact is that at the time the Sioux had the unfortunate destiny to encounter American westward expansion; First Nation Tribes were no longer considered to be Sovereign and Eastern tribes were being displaced and marched west in an 19th century Bataan Death March.  The buffalo were wiped out as a result of deliberate government policy intended to wipe out the Sioux by taking away their food supply.  
 
There was a string of genocidal massacres.  One notorious one in which peaceful Indians were extirpated was led by a man named John Chivington.
 
"An estimated 70–163 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho – about two-thirds of whom were women, children, and infants – were killed and mutilated by his troops. Chivington and his men took scalps and other body parts as battle trophies, including human fetuses and male and female genitalia."
 
The truth came out sort of and Silas Soule who disobeyed the order to participate in the massacre testified against Chivington in an investigation.  Silas was murdered and Chivington went on to have a town named after him.  Chivington CO.  Chivington's reputation was tarnished by what he and his men had done at Sand Creek but his life was far from ruined and he never had consequences.  Chivington is still there and that seems to be just fine with Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Civington road sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Evil has followed First Nations relations right to the present day.  Leonard Peltier rots in jail forgotten and I doubt Hopey-Change will pardon him before he leaves office.  The pipeline itself; I finally get to it; turns out to have been rushed through approvals using Bush Administration special legislation that leave no time for environmental impact statements.  The whole project was fast tracked from the beginning and the pipeline was deliberately moved away from Bismark so it would be an Indian and not a white mans problem.  It was moved so as not to threaten the Bismark ND water supply.  Instead it threatens Sioux waters if it goes forward across the river.
 
For the moment the pipeline is stopped and now I need to say why because respecting First Nation wishes has little to do with it.
 
I am going to describe a man I know who has been to Standing Rock and is on his way back to stand with the First Peoples again.  He and people like him have stopped, at least for the moment, pipeline progress.  He is a veteran and it is not going to look good for the Morton County goon squad to mix it up with a group of white veterans who are willing to stand with the Sioux when water hoses start spraying in subzero weather and take it as far as it goes.  That thought has embarrassed the Obama administration which was quite happily ignoring the dogs, pepper spray, rubber bullets and very heavy handed tactics that have been directed at the water protectors for months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Capt America in blizzard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My friend is in this picture next to the man with the Capt. America shield.  I understand the shield actually belongs to my friend.  This picture has been used in the National Review in an article which totally misrepresents the Standing Rock situation.  I am going to call my Friend Jake for the rest of this article.  It is not his real name but like I said, he has gone back to Standing Rock.  There is no need for me to explain more than that.
 
Jake was 17 when he joined the army and he went to Iraq in the initial invasion but he was happy to have returned before  IUDs changed the Iraq experience into a nightmare.  For Jake it was mostly a light show in the distance.  His memories of Afghanistan are more troublesome because his unit lost several men in Kandahar province there.  His unit had many purple hearts.
 
Last spring Jake began to follow events at Standing Rock and was appalled at the reports of violence being directed at the water protectors.  Jake knows how to deploy violence and how to be effective in doing so.  His ideas on violence are well developed and he feels that when it is used it needs to be used responsibly and for good reason.  His experience as a vet has refined his beliefs.  He told me that when an attack happens you do what you have to do and it is pretty simple.  Take care of your buddies and stay alive and do whatever you have to do to survive.  That kind of violence does not trouble him.  Violence that troubles Jake is the violence of humiliation and power.  He did not like the humiliation shown to locals when he was doing the military policing part of his job in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He witnessed abuse of authority and it galvanized his beliefs.   
 
Jake's experience in the military made him sensitive to abuse of power and his last straw was finding out about water hoses being sprayed on water protectors in freezing weather at the bridge into the camp.  He had just found out that many other fellow veterans were having a similar reaction to his about the violence being directed against the water protectors and that got him on his way to Standing Rock to stand up against the paid for brutality of Morton County with his fellow veterans and the First Nations peoples.
 
Jake found himself in the middle of an experience when he arrived.  A conglomeration of tribes is at Standing Rock and three different native security organizations administer the camp.  They don't always get along and Jake watched them argue over trivia while he was trying to help organize a community center.  Tribes which have historically been enemies have united at Standing Rock but memories of differences remain.  A ceremonial Tee-Pee was erected that has not been erected since the Little Big Horn.  It was kept by the tribe all these years.  Despite all attempts at destroying it the culture, language, and religion of the Sioux remain.  The original reservation has been reduced in size and the Federal Government has tried to pay the Sioux for some of their stolen land.  They refuse to cash the check and want their land back.  The local and state law enforcement personnel who control and have closed the bridge into the water protector camp are camped on federal land north of the water protector camp across the bridge they have closed which is also on federal land.  Apparently they must all be there with Quo-Bama approval.
 
With the conglomeration of tribes and volunteers other people besides vets with a conscience have come to the camp.  One known as Colonel Dave seems to be excessively helpful.  Concerned with women safety he tried to start a rumor that their had been 24 rapes in the camp in the previous three weeks and security was doing nothing about it.  Concerned that people might not be ready for the elements Dave warned as many as he could the day after pipeline work was ordered stopped that a huge blizzard was on the way and people should get out before it arrived.  He convinced a lot of people to leave.  Some with suspicions about Dave went through his things when he was away from his bunk.  They found unusual radio equipment.
 
The tribes are teaching everyone who arrives that Standing Rock is a nonviolent action.  Guests are there to protect the waters by passive nonviolent means.  Law enforcement has been the author of all violence at Standing Rock and that is what attracted the veterans and which will hopefully kill the pipeline project.  Sophia Wilansky was standing by herself not really doing anything when the concussion grenade was thrown at her which almost blew her arm off.  Even if it does not have to be amputated her arm will never be the same.  The injury was severe and the police account of the incident is bogus nonsense.   
 
In the water protector camp people speculate that the pipeline is being built so oil can be exported overseas.  I am sure that if the owners of the pipeline get it built and if they can make money shipping oil to China that is exactly what they will do.  The pipeline project was not started by men of conscience.  It was started by rich men who want to get richer and who really don't give a damn about anything else.  These men planned heavy handed tactics to defeat opposition from the very start.  Hopefully that will be their undoing.

5 Responses to Standing With Standing Rock

  • K Dog says:

    How thick does a pipeline have to be to drain the Bakken?

    Within the Bakken Formation were 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels, for an average of 3.65 billion barrels.  The drone footage of the DAPL I have watched shows a pipe that is far larger than needed to drain the Bakken.  Perhaps the DAPL may be an end around to the Keystone Pipeline to drain Canada for overseas export.  To test my theory does anybody know how thick the DAPL pipe is and how that diameter compares to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System?

    The Prudhoe deposit was 25 billion barrels.  The Bakken has less than 15% as much oil as Prudhoe did.  An appropriately sized pipe would need less than 40% the width the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has for an accurate comparison.

  • SomeoneInAsia says:

    It's good to know there are at least a few genuinely heroic white men (and women) around. I feel really sorry for Sophia.

    My suspicion is that a certain rabid White Supremacist blogger over at Clusterfuck Nation isn't going to like the above article.

    • K Dog says:

      You mean Janos who once went by Vlad, the resident Guv-Mint troll who is forever trying to engage Alt-Right types in his poisonous banter so he can add new names to the hater lists and make his daily quota.

      Or something like that.

      Peel the lid off of his brainpan to take a peek inside and you'd definitly toss your cookies.  Gods gift to anorexic women.  He is sure to make them puke.

  • william guerrettaz says:

    I am a very small part American Indian , a very nice article on some of the atrocities commited on the American Indian , I'm ashamed of what one race can do to another especially when that race has more firepower . Sorry, I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up … thank you

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