Over the past month, tribes have come together from all over the world to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. During the past week, I have been following Atsa E’sha Hoferer on Facebook Live. He is a water protector that has been able to provide LIVE footage of confrontations between police officers and other protectors.
On Thursday, law officials demanded that Standing Sioux Tribe protectors who were camped out in Teepees and tents vacate the premises, but they refused to do so.
Below you will find footage posted to Facebook Live by Atsa E’sha Hoferer before they were removed from what is being called private property. Visit his Facebook page for more footage.
To better understand what is going on, I reached out to Jennifer Lewis. She is from the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona. Here’s what she had to say:
- First Amendment rights are being violated. We, as citizens of the United States, have a right for peaceful assembly, but North Dakota law enforcement sees prayer, songs, and the burning of sage or sweet grass as inciting violence.
- North Dakota’s Governor, Jack Dalrymple, was directed by the President of the United States, President Barak Obama, to stop the construction of the pipeline so that all parties could be lawfully consulted, but the Governor has not done so. He is pro pipeline and corporate greed.
- North Dakota’s law enforcement is blatantly telling the media lies about what is occurring. They are disrupting/scrambling media feed, shooting down drones and arresting journalist and media personnel.
- The National guard and North Dakota counties’ law enforcement were all called in and were fully armed. They sprayed mace into the crowd, shot concussion bullets and used Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) systems to disorient protesters and desecrated one of the camps. They tore down Teepees and pulled elders and children out of the tents forcefully.
- The purpose of the protest and why American Indians Alaska Natives (AIAN) have come together as one (over 200 federally recognized tribes and many indigenous tribes all over the world) is because we are fed up with private corporations who purchase land or use eminent domain to build a structure that will carry oil to other parts of the US and not consult with the tribes. Even the purchase of certain land was in fact illegal. The concern is that the pipeline will leak, break or even blowup and create a spill that will impact the land and water source for millions of people not just AIAN’s. It’s an environmental issue, but many pipeline backers only concern is the money they’ll receive from the “Black Snake“.
Lewis recommends that everyone follow Myron Dewy on Facebook. She went to college with him. He is the owner of Digital Smoke Signals.
If you would like to help the water protectors, Lewis has provided the following information:
DISCLAIMER: NO COPYRIGHT INTENDED FOR VIDEO FOOTAGE AND FACEBOOK IMAGES USED IN THIS POST.