Saturday, December 17, 2016

Less Lethal Weapons

 Less Lethal Weapons (pain compliance)

I watched with some amusement, the video posted to You Tube by Morton Co. Operations, Sgt. Noah Lindelow of the Bismarck Police. He goes it into great detail about how safely the Task force of police from around the country has responded to the so-called riots and “dangerous protesters” He is referring to Sunday night Nov. 20, 2016 when the police militia I call the DAPL Gang attacked a group of water protectors on the bridge on Hwy 1806. There have been so many violent acts by them that it’s hard to keep track. During these attacks it should be noted that a much larger arsenal of weaponry has been used against people who have always come unarmed and have never posed any threat to police.

Copyright John L. Wathen
It’s been this way throughout history in this region. Any time the natives stand up for what is rightfully theirs they are met with aggressive behavior from police. In North Dakota there is still a law on the books that allows one to shoot Indians on horseback as long as you’re in a covered wagon. While I know that is ridicules it just shows that it wasn’t important enough to change to the predominately white legislators however which bathroom one should use was a priority. The level of racism in the towns against Natives is deplorable.

Let’s take a look at what the Sgt. has to say point by point.
  1. He like others was from Bismarck Police. There was also Burleigh County, Morton County. I have seen US Border Patrol and Game Wardens posted with semi automatic weapons along side a vast array of officers from other areas as far away as Michigan. How can this guy in the video possibly know what everyone else brought to the fight?
  2. His demonstration of the “sponge round” was cute but didn’t go into the other arms used against protectors.
    I have personally seen and photographed shotguns loaded with 12 gauge shells modified with hard rubber slugs that are normally used in prison uprisings sometimes pointed at me.
    They have been known to kill on many occasions when used improperly or hit areas other than extremities. The intended use is to fire at the ground so that the round bounces up and hits the target on the legs, causing pain but not injury.[WIKI12] Often they are fired directly at people from close range, which has resulted in people being killed and many more badly injured.
  3. The DAPL Gang also shoots “bean bags”.
    A beanbag round can severely injure or kill in a wide variety of ways. They have caused around one death a year since their introduction in the U.S.[2] A round can hit the chest, break the ribs and send the broken ribs into the heart. A shot to the head can break the nose, crush the larynx or even break the neck or skull of the subject. This is why many officers are taught to aim for the extremities when using a beanbag round. A strike in the abdominal area can cause internal bleeding or strike the solar plexus, which can disrupt breathing or heartbeat, but such a hit is generally safer than most other areas as well as presenting a larger target than an extremity. (WIKI)
  4. Besides these “Pain Compliance” weapons they bring semi-automatic weapons which are no doubt lethal.   
     On one afternoon I was surprised to see a Game Warden Patrol boat come up the Cannonball River with both sides manned with semi automatic rifles. What a tremendous waste of tax payer dollars America!

Regardless of the rounds fired, it takes a special kind of coward to shoot plainly marked medics in the back. An even worse set of cowards shoot people who were dragging wounded and hypothermic people from the line. Several were shot in the legs while taking people to safety. How can anyone be a threat if they are running away from you? How can someone wearing a red cross on their backs be there to hurt the well-armed and armored militia a hundred feet away and behind razor wire, all while shooting high pressure water hoses at you in 20-degree weather? The insanity of it baffles me that we are living in the year 2016 and acting s if it were still the Wild West and Indians are expendable!

Now look at the Sgt’s explanation of gasses used.
         He says it is not tear gas but “CS Gas”.
           The compound 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile) (chemical formula: C10H5ClN2), a cyanocarbon, is the defining component of a tear gas commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent. Exposure causes a burning sensation and tearing of the eyes to the extent that the subject cannot keep their eyes open, and a burning irritation of the nose, mouth and throat mucous membranes causing profuse coughing, mucous nasal discharge, disorientation, and difficulty breathing, partially incapacitating the subject.

CS gas is an aerosol of a volatile solvent (a substance that dissolves other active substances and that easily evaporates)2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, which is a solid compound at room temperature. CS gas is generally accepted as being non-lethal. Although described as a non-lethal weapon for crowd control, studies have raised doubts about this classification. As well as causing severe pulmonary damage, CS can also significantly damage the heart and liver.[14] At least one study has associated CS exposure with miscarriages.[14] This is consistent with its reported clastogenic effect (abnormal chromosome change) on mammalian cells. (WIKI)

CS was deployed in mass doses that night ant it wasn’t the first time. That night it was thrown and fired into the darkness. Some of the rounds went high creating arcs of fire through the air. When they landed, the explosions that “deployed” the gas started fires. Not the people being fired upon.

Last is the “Flash, Sound, Diversionary Device” or concussion grenade.
I have no hard evidence of what was used at the bridge on the 20th but I can say that what I saw and heard was much more powerful than the little noisemaker he demonstrates in the video. I saw a white light that was very bright and heard a loud explosion that was far more powerful. Another interesting thing is the way he deployed it in the video.
Photo Sophia Wilansky
He did not hold it in his arm to replicate the injury Sophia Wilansky sustained. He should have held it if it was so harmless. She was hit while taking water to others on the line of the exchange between protectors and the DAPL Gang.

Kyle Kirchmeier claimed the protectors made a bomb that went off. Nonsense. The one propane tank he showed wasn’t penetrated. It was brought to the line with a torch tip on it to light fires to keep people from freezing after being sprayed with fire hoses.  

He also claimed “water cannons were not used, as they do not have any but a fire hose on fire trucks were called down to deal with fires started. mist and used as a measure to keep everyone safe," said Kirchmeier. Excuse me sir but you are intentionally engaging in a campaign of misinformation.
You sprayed the hell out of those people! You used water on human beings in mass quantities and in powerful direct streams and at temperatures below 20 degrees F. It was one of the most inhumane things I have ever seen.
He added they were used to repel some of the protest activities.”

All of this is so unnecessary since there has never been a single incident of weapons brought to the line by protectors. I have seen drums, feathers, Eagle and Buffalo Staffs, and one day we built a tipi frame and wrapped it in prayer ties. If we have at any time have been the violent “rioters” they claim where’s the evidence? Thousands of photos and hours of live stream and video have shown the DAPL Gang to be out of control. They are acting as a militia to protect the DAPL and the governor’s political interests.

Let’s look at the word “Riot” It’s been reported that there’s only 2 things in the DAPL insurance contract that will pay them for loss of production time. 1. Natural disaster such as extreme flood, hurricane, Tornado or the like. 2. The other is “Riot”. Could that be why Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has been so adamant that the protectors have been riotous. He’s acting as if he’s helping DAPL with their insurance claim! Why is no one talking about this? We have not been riotous.

Wake up America this is not the 1800s and Kyle Kirchmeier is not General Custer. This is the age of civil rights accorded to all Americans not just the affluent. These treaty rights that have been broken supercede the constitution and all American Civil Rights. This is Sovereign Land that was stolen from the Northern Cheyenne and Sioux people.

We have to set this straight now! Call, write, email, and or go and see your elected officials and demand Obama stop the DAPL! Contact the banks that support it and demand they withhold funding past the end of the Jan. 01, 2017 contract.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing

It is official that that USACE (us army corps of engineers) denied the DAPL permit to drill under the Missouri River.While that sounds great on the surface there is a wolf in sheep's clothing hiding within.
All this does is open new legal doors to allow public comments and stricter adherence to cultural surveys.
One of the biggest complaints by the Standing Rock Sioux had been the desecration of ancestral burials.
This region is rich in history. Many tribes gathered here as well as migrant people of other nations. To say any part of this land is devoid of cultural significance without a full survey is not acceptable.

The lack of adherence to sovereign rights is bad enough but the total disrespect for both the living and the dead at Standing Rock has been deplorable. The graves of the ancestors are trampled with militarized vehicles and police  bearing weapons that ranged from deadly semi automatic rifles to shotguns, gas, pepper spray, and explosive devices.
The living who are standing up to defend those ancestors as well as those whose lives depends on the river are assaulted by the above mentioned weapons.

Someone needs to be held accountable for the lawlessness on behalf of the police militia I call the DAPL Gang!
Going forward I see the the environmental powerhouse organizations like Waterkeeper Alliance taking the permit and it's flaws to task in federal court.
The war against DAPL isn't over but we won this battle. There's so much left to do before we can actually say we've killed the "Black Snake ". This snake has many heads reaching all across America. In Louisiana, Georgia, South California, Arizona, Texas and others crisscrossing the nation.
It's time to truly evaluate priorities. Is big oil or renewable energy the better investment in our future as Full Blood Humans?!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's not over!

The Legal Reasons DAPL Is Not Dead

IMG_7978 (1) Daniel E. Estrin is General Counsel and Legal Director for Waterkeeper Alliance.
Like many concerned citizens, I initially felt great relief on December 4th when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, the sacred grounds and drinking water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. But history teaches that the devil is often in the details, and I immediately noted troubling language in the Corps’ public statement, i.e., that the Corps did not say it had “denied” the request for an easement, but rather that it “will not grant” the request. Reading between the lines, it seemed conceivable that the Corps might only be kicking the proverbial can down the road, and that what it really meant was that it will not grant the easement at this time. I immediately began searching for the Corps’ decision document (Corps’ Decision), which would provide a more detailed explanation of exactly what the Corps had decided, and what might come next.
Let’s pause for a bit of legal background: In an nutshell, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that, before federal agencies take certain actions such as issuing permits, they must first analyze the impacts of those actions on the human and natural environment. Under NEPA and its implementing regulations, the first step of compliance is to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA), wherein the agency superficially reviews the proposal and makes a threshold determination whether the project has potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. If the agency decides there will be no significant impacts, it may issue the EA, accompanied by a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). If it decides there may be significant impacts, preparation of a more thorough and time-consuming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required. Importantly, NEPA mandates that preparation of an EIS include, among other stringent requirements, meaningful and expanded opportunities for public engagement via formal notice and comment processes.
The Corps’ consideration of whether to grant Energy Transfer Partners permission for DAPL to cross Lake Oahe requires at least three distinct Army Corps authorizations: a Rivers and Harbors Act section 408 permission, an easement for the pipeline right-of-way to be located on federal lands, and a Clean Water Act section 404 “dredge and fill” permit. The Corps’ receipt of these applications and requests triggered NEPA, and an EA was prepared and finalized during the summer of 2016. Unfortunately, as a result of unwise and controversial Army Corps “nationwide permitting” policies, the DAPL EA considered only the impacts of the pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe, and did not consider any of the other massive, cumulative impacts of the entire 1,172-mile pipeline proposed to cross hundreds of waterbodies in four states, including indisputable and enormous climate change impacts. Along with its EA, the Corps ultimately issued a FONSI, effectively ending the NEPA process for the project.

Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Photo by John Wathen.
It is only with this legal background and factual context that the problems with the Corps Decision become clear; contrary to what seems to be popular belief, the December 4th Corps’ Decision did not correct or reverse the prior, erroneous, determination that the Dakota Access pipeline does not have potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. More specifically, it did not withdraw or retract the EA and FONSI issued by the Corps over the summer:
“I want to be clear that this decision does not alter the Army’s position that the Corps’ prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements.” – Corps’ Decision ¶ 15
Thus, while I do share the Tribe’s appreciation for the “pause” that the Corps’ Decision has provided, and I do believe that a good faith, thorough, technical review of alternative DAPL routes via a robust EIS process would be highly beneficial to all involved, I have concerns with the Corps’ new approach that make me extremely uneasy.
First, as noted above, NEPA requires federal agencies to initially decide whether a proposed project has potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. If not, issuance of an EA and FONSI is legal and appropriate. If so, an EIS must be prepared. I’m concerned that the Corps’ attempt to have it both ways here – i.e., to leave the FONSI in place, while at the same time purporting to require preparation of an EIS – leaves the status of the Corps’ Decision in “limbo” and vulnerable to legal challenge by Energy Transfer Partners. Indeed, on December 5, just one day after the Corps announced its decision, the company filed a motion in federal court seeking a ruling that it already has all of the authorizations it requires from the Corps for the pipeline to be constructed across Lake Oahe.
Second, the discretionary nature of the Corps’ Decision, which is expressed as a “judgment” call by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, may leave it open for reconsideration and potential reversal by the Corps under the new presidential administration that will take power on January 20. Such a reversal might require no more than another memorandum decision reaching a different conclusion upon further consideration. While such a reversal might ultimately be found by a court to be “arbitrary and capricious” (the legal standard under which the legality of most agency actions is measured), the discretionary nature of the Corps’ Decision, and the odd FONSI-EIS dichotomy discussed above, may ultimately render the decision unviable.
RFKjr-1610 (1)
Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at Oceti Sakowin Camp. Photo by Toni Cervantes.
Third, for several months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Waterkeeper Alliance, and many other indigenous people, environmental groups, and concerned citizens have been demanding that an EIS be prepared for the DAPL project. An EIS is typically a lengthy environmental review document that contains, at minimum, at least the following elements:
  • A purpose and need statement, i.e., an explanation of the reasons the agency is proposing the action and what the agency expects to achieve;
  • Review of alternatives, i.e., consideration of a reasonable range of alternatives that can accomplish the purpose and need of the proposed action, including a “no action alternative”;
  • Description of the affected environment, i.e., discussion regarding the environment of the area to be affected by the alternatives under consideration;
  • Analysis of environmental consequences, i.e., a discussion of the direct and indirect environmental effects and their significance; and
  • Meaningful and expanded opportunities for public engagement via formal notice and comment processes.
All of these components of a NEPA EIS are intended to accurately inform government decision-makers and the public about all of the true costs and benefits of a project under consideration. Unfortunately, the Corps’ Decision does not direct that the newly-required EIS for the Missouri River/Lake Oahe portion of the pipeline will contain any or all of the above EIS components. Rather, it simply requires that the Corps engage in the following “additional review and analysis”:
  • “A robust consideration and discussion of alternative locations for the pipeline crossing the Missouri River, including, but not limited to, more detailed information on the alternative crossing that was considered roughly ten miles north of Bismarck;
  • Detailed discussion of potential risk of an oil spill, and potential impacts to Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water intakes, and the Tribe’s water rights as well as treaty fishing and hunting rights; and
  • Additional information on the extent and location of the Tribe’s treaty rights in Lake Oahe.” – Corps’ Decision ¶ 14.
The concern here is that the Corps’ Decision essentially suggests that eventual approval of DAPL is still a strong probability and that the “EIS” the Corps’ Decision purports to require will be used only for the purpose of determining the optimal pipeline route in light of the Tribe’s rights. It’s also notable that nowhere in the Corps’ Decision does the Corps suggest that the optimal route will not be at Lake Oahe.
All of these concerns ultimately leave me with the belief that the DAPL project is still very much alive, and that we need to continue to pressure President Obama and the Army Corps to build on the December 4th Decision with important additional actions.
So how can you help? Formally changing the NEPA status of DAPL is the #1 thing we can do to win this fight! Write to President Obama and respectfully request:
  • That the Army Corps make a formal finding pursuant to NEPA that DAPL does have potential to result in significant environmental impacts.
  • That the Army Corps immediately issue a legally binding order withdrawing the EA, retracting the FONSI, and requiring the preparation of an EIS for the project.
This is the single most important thing the Army Corps can do to ensure that a valid NEPA EIS will be prepared, and that all of the potential impacts to human health and the environment will be carefully considered, before any final decision is made to approve or disapprove authorization for DAPL to cross the Missouri River.

  • Monday, December 5, 2016

    Thank you to all the vets!

    It's raining outside my tipi now. Sounds more like ice pellets than rain. By the time this posts. It will be too late to leave if I wanted to.
    Despite the threats to evict by governor DAPLwanker the camp has grown to a phenomenal number of people. It's hard to tell how many with the steady stream of cars I saw on the road tonight. One estimate was 12,000 again.
    I'm not sure if anyone thought it would come to this but all of the camps are near full and more coming every day.
     I had the privilege of going with a group of fellow veterans to the bridge where on Sunday November 20, Morton co sheriffs and a band of militia decided that a group of protesters who were all unarmed posed such a threat that it justified the use of weapons of war and water cannons on citizens executing their rights to demonstrate under the first amendment. In a recent interview a spokesman for the governor and the DAPL Gang said he would use the same tactic as before saying "it was effective"
    When asked the vets responses were pretty clear. "I'm in support of Standing Rock and Mni Wiconi."
    It wasn't an action designed to show force but the veterans on the front standing tall was inspiring to see. Some came just because the general who organized the mission asked them. Some because of the civil rights violations that all of us as gets swore defend are being trampled!

    Something has to be done to stop this continued breach of treaty. Something has to be done about the wanton discrimination against Native Americans!
    Write,call, email, or tweet your elected officials and demand that this administration as well as the one coming in put a stop stop this atrocity called #NODAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline)

    PIPELINE BLOCKED (for now)

    Sunday, Dec. 4th the Obama administration's Corp of Engineers decided to block the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline until a full study can be done. Two weeks exactly after the battle on the backwater bridge. It is not a permanent stop but it will allow the legal process to be opened up to organizations like Waterkeeper Alliance to step in and direct the permit process through the courts.

    I will write a longer article about the entire process later. For now I wanted to share with you what it was like to be with the veterans who have come to support our civil rights when the announcement was made.
    Without their commitment I truly believe the decision would have been different. It was my honor to be among them to see and hear the response...
    Enjoy the victory but don't think it's over yet. We still have a long fight ahead.

    Saturday, December 3, 2016

    Who Will Pay The Price

    Who will Pay The Price For Standing Rock?

    It’s hard describe what I have seen and been a part of since my first visit to Standing Rock. It has gone from being totally peaceful to total chaos at times. Most of the chaos has been on the part of the militarized police force that seems to be acting more as DAPL militia than protectors of citizen rights. Citizen rights mean civil rights guaranteed to all US citizens. The Native Americans are U.S. citizens accountable to the constitutional laws of the land until the US government wants to take something away from them. In the 1800s when the US government took Paha Sapa (The Black Hills) for the gold buried in the Sacred Mountains there, Custer paid for that breach of treaty. Who will wind up paying for the breach of treaty today at Standing Rock?

    The Lakota are only treated as a sovereign nation when the people on the reservations need help. Then the USA government says, “You should take care of your selves”. Just like in the old days though, if the people stand up for themselves the response is extreme and always to the detriment of the Natives. It has happened in the Carolinas, Alabama, New Mexico, Arizona, and even Alaska. Every treaty ever written has been broken with any Native Nation on Turtle Island. Not this time! The world of indigenous people are watching and participating in the defense of the water and indigenous rights to be treated in accordance with the international treaties.
    Building the DAPL through this region of the state was permitted because the people and their rights were considered expendable. The permit process was corrupted to allow a “fast tracked” issuance which allowed drilling under the Missouri River just above the reservations drinking water. Instead of doing a complete environmental impact study as required for a project of this magnitude it was approved under a “General Permit” with far less scrutiny of culturally significant burials and other Sacred sites. Once again the rights of the original traditional people and culture were tossed aside for the sheer profit of a chosen few political and industrial wasicus. (Fat takers)

    Since I have been here I have been to many of the actions and prayer ceremonies. I can personally attest to the fact that when I was there the people have gone with good intentions of going to sites where they should be welcomed and pray for their ancestors, the land and water needed to survive.
    Water is not only needed for the people of Standing Rock but is essential for all life. The smallest of creepy crawlers need it. In this respect we are all certainly related. Here at Standing Rock that hasn’t been the case. Police have been called in from around many locations to act more as a militia created to protect an industrial interest than American citizens rights.

    What’s going wrong here has gone wrong before. When will Americans really live up to the words  “One nation under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL?”

    The brutal assault on people who have the 1St. Amendment right to protest against injustice in their homeland is not only a crime against the constitution but an inhumane crime against the original owners of the very land that government and it’s political supporters want to exploit just as Custer did in Paha Sapa.

                                     Who will pay the ultimate price this time America?
    Morton Co. Sheriff Kyle
    Kirchmeier center

    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    We're not leaving!

    Oceti Sakowin Camp
    When the Governor of North Dakota Jack Dalrymple (DAPLwanker) issued an eviction notice to the residents at Standing Rock campgrounds he just didn’t know what he was doing. He wanted us to leave during a harsh winter weather event that would surely have caused serious damage and possibly loss of life.

    The roads were treacherous due to icing and blowing snow. Drifts several feet thick covered Hwy 1806, which runs past the campgrounds. The road has been closed by Morton County Sheriff for several weeks after a confrontation with water protectors who wanted to hold a prayer ceremony there for people that had been injured and or arrested in an earlier event.

    I found it quite telling about the sheriff's safety concerns to find the road leading to the confrontation site on the DAPL side of the bridge was manicured and well cleared of ice and snow for them. It was all together different on the other side where icy conditions made traveling dangerous. But travel they did.

    George Eaglehawk "I will be here till the end"
    People were angered by the lack of compassion shown by the governor and law enforcement so the came anyway. The camp has grown again in support of the newly energized water protectors who have vowed to never leave until the government does what’s right. Stop DAPL.

    After the wind died down I ventured out to capture the scenes of an ever dynamic family of people living in a postcard beautiful place.

    We will not leave regardless of how many eviction notices Governor DAPLwanker sends out. We will get supplies regardless of how many prejudice storeowners will not sell to us. There are many people from around the country who are bringing it to us.

    Enjoy these sights and sound while praying for our success.

    Sicangu Camp (Rosebud)

    Oceti Sakowin Camp

    Veterans Camp

    Security cleaning the road into camp

    Rosebud Camp

    Oceti Sakowin Camp

    Cannonball River above 1608

    George Eaglehawk on security patrol

    Curly taking it all in

    DAPL Gang camp

    Hunkpapa Camp

    Thousands of wasted American tax dollars here

    Road cleared for DAPL Gang

    Sicangu Camp

    DAPL Chopper

    Oceti Sakowin Camp