Published October 29, 2016
By Darren Thompson, Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe
CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — #NODAPL camps deal with the massive trauma displayed by law enforcement at Thursday’s incident near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation as more than 140 arrests and even more accounts of abuse by law enforcement towards the protestors,. Families and supporters struggled to locate many of those arrested and are being shared very little information on the locations of those detained.
As protestors are slowly being released from jail, the accounts shared of their experiences are similar to war criminals as people were given written numbers on various parts of their bodies for identification purposes, detained in dog kennels, and continue to be treated inhumanely for asserting treaty rights. The overall testament of those who witnessed Thursday’s violent events were of fear and disbelief.
Property including vehicles, tents, tipis and trailers belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe left at the location of the violence inflicted by law enforcement are either misplaced, impounded or lost in entirety which include sacred items that are being identified as criminal evidence and unavailable. Many of those detained have not appeared before a judge and are not allowed to post bail until early next week, which is a minimum of $1,500 for the majority of those arrested.
Friday’s events between protestors and law enforcement were not as tense and reports from all camps are that the people are safe. Negotiations took place between protestors and law enforcement throughout the day and protestors were ordered by threat of arrest to head to the main #OcetiSakowin camp, which is a half a mile to the south of the last barricade on State Highway 1806.
After the removal of protestors from the last barricade, the Dakota Access Pipeline resumed construction of the pipeline East of State Highway 1806—the location identified by Standing Rock Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of having a minimum of 86 cultural and burial sites sacred to the Tribe.
With more than 600 members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe en route to the protest location, leadership and protesters continue to pray and fight for another day.
Darren Thompson (Ojibwe/Tohono O’odham) is a Native American flute player and writer from the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Wisconsin. He contributes to Native Peoples Magazine, Native News Online and Powwows.com. For more information please visit www.darrenthompson.net
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