October 1, 2016

Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Arrests


Yesterday, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier sent a letter to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting federal monitors in North Dakota and pleading for her to speak out against the aggressive actions at Standing Rock taken by what seems to be corporately hired enforcement. Enforcers have used attack dogs and pepper spray, leaving six people bitten and 12 maced.

Should this pipeline go forward, it could contaminate the drinking water of multiple reservations and would be desecrating sacred land in what is clearly a major human rights violation. Where are you, United Nations?

Here’s what he said:


“We are a peaceful people who have fought and died for the right to pray and be present in the protection of our lands. Yesterday, people who were gathered in peaceful prayer near the construction site near St. Anthony to protect Unci Maka – our Grandmother earth – were subject to arrest by the Morton County Sheriff’s office. Officers called to the prayer circle arrived in armored vehicles, armed with guns and terrorized elders, women, and children as they attempted to comply with law enforcement. In 1890, the United States gunned down hundreds of unarmed Lakota people in what is remembered as the Battle of Wounded Knee. I am fearful that if North Dakota law enforcement does not deescalate their tactics that we will be forced to witness a repetition of that massacre. We strongly urge the state of North Dakota to reconsider any efforts to use violence to discourage native protectors of water from actively exercising their First Amendment rights.”

As most of you reading this already know, the Dakota Access pipeline threatens the water supply of all who depend on the Missouri River. The pipeline represents a unmistakable violation of human rights and a major environmental threat which is being largely ignored by the mainstream media.

And their fears are not unfounded. Pipeline spills happen frequently, with the latest occurring just a few days ago, yet the desire to build a pipeline beneath the river persists.

So many people clearly oppose this plan, yet those who wish it to move forward are doing everything they can to justify their actions to the masses. But there is no justification for such blatant disregard for cultural freedom and environmental well-being. The majority of people clearly don’t want this pipeline to go forward, so why are their voices not being heard?

We need to think, take a step back, and rediscover our humanity.

What is truly inspiring is the great gathering that has occurred around the pipeline. The voices are strong, and we know there are many who oppose actions like these. I truly believe that if there are enough people who are doing all they can, and opposing this kind of criminal activity, help will be provided in unseen ways, alongside the action these people are already taking to protect themselves and their land.

If you wish to help or to make your opinion heard, you can reach out to the following people:

Joseph White Eyes 605-230-0812

Michelle Cook 914-334-0888

Carolyn Raffensperger 515-450-2320

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