CANNON BALL, N.D. - At approximately 11am, over 300 police officers in riot gear, on 8 ATVs, 5 armored vehicles, 2 helicopters, and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp just east of Highway 1806. The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up directly in the path of the pipeline, on land recently purchased by Dakota Access. Yesterday this camp, a reclamation of unceded Lakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, was violently cleared. Both blockades established to enable that occupation were also cleared.
When governments resort to brutality, you know that they are scared witless. They know that their position in law is not secure. If anyone with an ounce of historical legal knowledge were to research the circumstances relating to the lands being demonstrated on, they would find that the native peoples have much clearer ownership rights than either the State or the corporation claiming ownership!
There is a misimpression among many that "Law enforcement is supposed to serve and protect the people, not the corporations." That myth is belied by the entire history of the United States from the first police forces formed as slave patrols to the recent police repression at the University of California-Davis on November 18, 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4) to the storming of Occupy Wall Street camps across the country to militarized police repression at the Ferguson and Baltimore protests. There are two important points to make about "law enforcement". First, the purpose of the police is to protect private property (the property of the rich and the corporations), not to protect people (unless they are rich). Second, the "law" that the police enforce is carefully crafted by and for the benefit of the rich for the protection of their property. To get the full story read "Our Enemies in Blue" by Kristian Williams.
The National Lawyers Guild has a tent at the main camp. They recently filed FOIA requests from local and federal governments, as well as, I think, the Energy Transfer Corporation, to find out what kind and how often surveillance by single engine planes, helicopters, and other means of surveillance have been carried out. When I was at Standing Rock, small planes flew in large circles at night often descending to 150 feet, "buzzing" us. Around 5 times the first night, so the second and third night I put in my nyc "ear plugs" They continued during early morning too. Our cell phones were jammed, and there were/are some troubles with FB.
This level of violence is a nightmare. It is a travesty of "declaring a National Emergency. It is only an emergency for this illegal pipeline, built by a scofflaw Energy Transfer Co., since they are still missing their last permit, to drill under the Missouri River. There were trainings in civil disobedience, and prayer at every meeting I went to. Mark Ruffalo commented on this in his interview on The Last Word, with Lawrence O'Donnell. Sign the petitions. Phone the White House. Save the Water. Water is Life. Wini Miconi.