Stories From the Frontline Jan. 23, 2017

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

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1-22-17~ Eryn Wise… Yesterday’s Women’s March on Washington was overwhelming. Upon our arrival Thomas and I were faced with the short tempers, inconsiderate nature and intensity of women we were supposed to be standing in solidarity with.

The indigenous folx present were able to carve out a space in front of the National Museum of the American Indian large enough to form a circle where we spoke, sang, and danced in honor of our foremothers. It was the only space in the march that, for me, felt inclusive and welcoming. After our rally as we tried to enter the march I watched many women be pushed, shoved, yelled at, and cut short by other women. An indigenous woman grabbed my hand, trying to lead me further into the march so that we could catch up with our group and at every turn there was another woman planting her feet before us and saying, “You can’t go by me here. You’ll have to go around.” When this happened friends looked on, nodding their approval and leading some others to even say that “these Indian girls lost their drums. That’s why they’re trying to get through us.”

I realized that I was in a space that had been created with good intention, under the guise of unification but in reality was for white feminists and their vaginas. I thought about my sweet trans, queer, non-identifying, intersectional, and non-white sisters that seemed absent in the crowd. For every ten pink pussy signs waving in my face, I saw one, maybe two, signs that represented women of color. It was weird and uncomfortable. Once the bubble of indigeneity was gone from around me I was desperate to leave.

I became frustrated with the crowd screaming, “This is what democracy looks like!”

SO many sisters and womyn were absent that I began to cry. Women who had only minutes earlier been shoving me out of their way began stopping to ask me what was wrong. “This is fake,” I found myself repeating. “I hate this.” Some tried to blame it on the size of the crowd. Others tried in very gentle ways to ask me if I was on or approaching my moon. Unintentional sexism dripped from the tongues of these women as they tried to calm me.

“Whose land? OUR LAND!” they chanted. “Whose bodies? OUR BODIES!” they cried. “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!”

Not in my eyes, but I’m just one woman. Outside of my own experience, I have seen hundreds of my sisters uplifted by the Women’s Marches held around the globe. Many of them had never attended a rally, felt like they belonged so fully, or mattered as much. For these reasons, I am grateful that the marches took place. I just wish a more inclusive space had been created for the non-white feminists who truly need a voice, especially in the onset of Trump’s administration.

I am lucky enough to say that I was raised by many inspiring, and impactful women. My chosen family is full of brave, radical, two-spirit, and beautiful women; many of whom are with me in D.C. right now. I was able to attend the rally/march to speak and sing alongside women I deeply love and respect — for these gifts, I am grateful.

I write this to call upon the women out there reading along. Please do not forget your fellow women of color. Trans sisters. Undocumented sisters. Sisters of different faiths. Sisters without vaginas. Sisters with vaginas of different shapes, sizes, and colors — we do not all have perfect pink pussies – please do not encourage the narrative that there is only one way for a body to be. Please remember that the wounds of women first start with the great, intentional, and continual wounding of our Mother Earth. May we continue to rise together, with all our sisters, in honor of each other and Unci Maka.

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1-22-17 ~ Lee Sprague… Standing Rock Tribal Council votes for Indian Removal Act. It’s Trail of Tears version includes allied Water Protectors. Making Indian People move in the dead of winter, because someone wants the land for farming, ranching, or industrial activities, sounds familiar to me. Now the Standing Rock Tribal Council wants to Trail of Tears us out of camp? It raises historical trauma, similar to our relatives who were force marched at the hands of the US Government, from their lands.

*Concerned about the loss of revenue to the Standing Rock Tribal Programs, Council votes to dip into the 6.5 million in legal funds that were contributions to Water Protectors.” Now they want to close down each Camp?
If the concern is public safety, as stated, sheltering in place during the harsh North Dakota Winter is the safest way forward, except for DAPL cowboying it up. The main camp is not on ‘Standing Rock’ lands, it should be though. The Army Corp of Engineers claims the land we are camped on.

In this picture is Alex. I stayed in his TIPI most of this winter until it became unlivable. Thanks Alex. Lots of good times in the Tipi. We kept our batteries and controllers in there for our solar wind power system. Ben moved it. Now folks know how to set up a solar/wind now thanks to Brad Kallio.
We all could use the legal funds.

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1-22-17 Jacky Smith‎… As a white European woman, I’ve been watching this feed & commenting – I think this is the first time I’ve posted here. But I read something yesterday that hit home hard and I think it’s something people like me should notice. Someone who lives near Standing Rock said that they were scared about what might happen when the visiting water protectors go home, because they remembered the terrible things that happened at Pine Ridge after AIM went home in the 70’s. Well in the 70’s I was an activist and I noticed what was going on – but I couldnt figure out a way to find out more, or to do anything about it. And then I got involved in anti-apartheid, and didnt have time for any other campaigns. I apologise for that, from the bottom of my heart. This time, we have social media and a shedload of people all round the world are watching. We need to carry on watching, and noticing, and talking about it – and we need you guys living at Standing Rock to keep posting, keep telling us what’s going on, keep talking to us. This time I won’t get distracted, you’re top of my list. There are a lot of issues that the new president will be fighting on, we have to make sure that yours is one of the big ones. The UN are coming to investigate, the ACLU are out there, the guys that monitor the ethics of the government can be dragged kicking & screaming into the fight, climate change is getting to the point where only a combover dumbo who never goes outside can ignore it, the Chinese are making renewables so cheap that coal prices cant be propped up, gas prices are still so low that fracking makes a loss, the demand for oil is tanking. All these things are on your side, exactly as your ancestors predicted. Now is the time to keep praying, chanting, singing, dancing, talking and above all hoping. We are with you, and we’re not going to let go. Mni wicone!

1-21-17 ~ Steven Jeffrey Chrisjohn… Leaders of Standing Rock ask all camps to clean up and leave is the messages from Facebook Updater Steven Jeffrey Chrisjohn “We get frozen Rubber Bullets that can penetrate wood and skin. That’s the gift that we get. That’s the special the Indians get out here. We don’t 30 feet of distance before we get shot. We are lucky if we get 7 feet. I apologize if I put anything at risk for you at Standing Rock I only meant good will.” Steven Jeffrey Chrisjohn Read More http://tinyurl.com/z9dz8un

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1-21-17 ~ Lyla June…I am a Diné (Navajo) woman but I wrote this last verse in Spanish because our native brothers and sisters in Central and South America experience a deeper suppression of thier culture and identity than we do up here in the “the states”. The Eagle and the Condor are coming together. This is why we are mislabeled “hispanic” or “latino”. Don’t let the imaginary border fool us. We are one tribe of Turtle Island! I also want to acknowledge that some of the first Indigenous Peopeles that were forced into hiding were the medicine women of Old Europe. They estimate that 6-9 million women were raped, beaten, tortured, burned alive or drowned alive for being “witches.” Let us reclaim our Earth Selves no matter what “race” you are and do it soon! The earth may depend on it.

Yo soy una mujer Diné, pero escribí el segundo parte en español por que reconozco que la mayoria de nuesrtas hermanas y hermanos indígenas del central y sudamérica experimentan una mayor supresión de su cultura e identidad. Es por esto que estamos mal etiquetadas “hispano” o “latino”. No deje que la frontera imaginaria nos engañe! Somos una tribu de la isla de la tortuga! El Aguila reconozca el Condór! 😀 También quiero reconocer que algunos de los primeros pueblos indígenas que se vieron obligados a esconderse eran las curanderas de Europa Vieja. Se estima que 6-9 millones de mujeres fueron violadas, golpeadas, torturadas, quemadas vivas o ahogadas vivas por ser “brujas”. Recupere su mismo como Genta de la Tierra, no importa la “raza” que usted es, y lo hace pronto! La tierra puede depender de esta subida de conocimiento ancestral.

Come join us at the Black Hills Unity Concert this weekend! September 9-11, 2016. www.TheUnityConcert.com. Many are headed to http://sacredstonecamp.org/ in Cannonball, ND after the concert to protect the water from DAPL. If the judge rules in our favor some might come to the concert to celebrate. #NoDAPL #ProtectMaunaKea #DoodaFracking#Run4Salmon

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1-21-17 ~ Kaelly Salazar… Sorry for the poor photo quality, but I had to share this.
They are targetting those of us trying to document the situation. He was aiming right at me with his weapon. Jon Ziegler was targetted last night for live streaming and nearly lost his pinky. They were aiming for his phone. (Anyone have an update on him?)
Pray for these officers… Pray for us.

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1-21-17 ~ Confluence Documentary with Dallas Goldtooth … WATER IS LIFE
The Lakota have long prophesied that one day a great black snake would slither through the land, pollute the water, and bring great destruction to the people and the Earth…. In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners announced plans to build a pipeline that would transport fracked crude from the Bakken formation to refineries in the Gulf Coast. Obama had recently lifted the ban on exporting petroleum via the international market; big oil needed to find a way to capitalize on this. Using the smokescreen of “energy independence from the Middle East,” as propaganda, the public in North Dakota believed that this was about decreasing our dependency on foreign oil. In all actuality, it was just about profits for oil companies and would create very few jobs here in the US. The Dakota Access Pipeline originally proposed route crossed the Missouri River near Bismarck, but was re-routed through native land in violation of several treaties signed with the government and threatened their drinking water supply (as well as for near 30 other million people downstream). When construction began and sacred burial sites were being destroyed, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe realized that this was the manifestation of the prophecy of the black snake. It needed to be stopped.

In April of 2016, after runs across the country to raise awareness, members of the Youth Council set up camp along the Missouri River to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. After putting out a call for support, the camps have swelled to as many as 10,000 Water Protectors from around 500 tribes as well as non-native allies who showed solidarity to the cause. An unprecedented peaceful demonstration, water protectors began praying and chaining themselves the DAPL construction equipment. Many were arrested by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, who essentially was working as a private security force for Energy Transfer Partners.

In the beginning, there was a complete media blackout and independent journalists who were arriving to tell the story were being specifically targeted. Water protectors and free press were brutalized, shot with rubber bullets, attacked by viscous police dogs, shot with tear gas canisters, concussion grenades and pepper sprayed for protesting peacefully. Communications have been jammed using sting rays and dirt boxes; Indigenous leaders have been spied on in this advanced Orwellian surveillance state. To date, Energy Transfer Partners has spent near 200 million dollars in private security on top of 22 million in tax payer money for law enforcement to finance the paramilitary spectacle. Arrestees have been strip searched for misdemeanor trespassing offenses and held in cages that resemble dog kennels, often times in their underwear for 12 hours or more. The scene goes in direct contrast with what the United States of America supposedly stands for; although Native Americas would beg to differ that America is a just nation founded on principles of so-called democracy and human rights. The pipeline is a direct extension of the legacy of colonization and genocide that their people have endured for hundreds of years.

As the election distracted most of the public, politicians turned a blind eye to Standing Rock as it would disrupt the Democratic energy platform for the next 40 years… Most of Hillary Clinton’s top campaign contributors were financing the pipeline and Donald Trump had personally invested millions. Standing Rock chairman David Archambault II testified in front of the UN to ask for help pleading that water is a human right. As the fight against the DAPL began to pick up steam, the powers that be could no longer turn a blind eye to the human rights abuse and disregard for the law. Much spin has attempted to quell the support of the movement, but… it kept growing. An influx of media and celebrities brought even more attention to the camp. Actress Shailene Woodley, Amy Goodman, and even Presidential candidate Jill Stein were charged/arrested during front line actions. Water protectors like Red Fawn were illegally detained and held without bail. They have endured all of this to protect life’s most basic need…water.

On December 4, 2016, The Army Corps of Engineers gave the water protectors of Standing Rock a major victory when they refused to grant permits for DAPL to drill under the Missouri River. This decision shows that the power of the people cannot be ignored. Although significant, the victory is only temporary as the pipeline company is appealing the decision in federal court. Thousands of Water Protectors have remained diligent through blizzards and sub zero temperatures and remain to this day.

…the fight continues. Please stand with Standing Rock and support the indigenous led resistance against not just the DAPL, but all the other pipeline black snake construction projects around the country that threaten our water….

Water is Life. Mni Wiconi
Music by: Will Evans
Footage credits: Tim Yakitis, Eddie Mnoian (Viral Viral Appetite Productions), Myron Dewey (Digital Digital Smoke Signals), Kandi Mosset (Indigenous Indigenous Environmental Network), Shiyé Bidzííl (Dr0ne2bWild), Jonathan Klett, Renegade Media, Unicorn Riot, Dallas Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network), Richard Bluecloud Castaneda, Spencer Keeton Cunningham, The Young Turks, Daniel Speers, Indian Law Resource Center, Democracy Now

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1-21-17 ~ Ricardo Jasper… Hi my name is Ricardo Jasper I’m a native American from the Diné nation aka Navajo Nation, im Originally from Tuba City Arizona, I’m a bitter water clan and Manygoat clan..

The reason why I’m here is because I wanted to share what I have experience in standing rock and to bring awareness to the movement, it all started with the Colorado River being contaminated when the mining company, Gold King Mine, in Silverton Colorado a team of workers with environmental protection agency accidentally released 3million gallons of toxic waste into the river, which the Animus River in Colorado had turned orange as a toxic spill continued to flow downstream and through other states, this is when I realized what was going on with fracking, and how all these oil companies were digging into our mother earth to look for oil. That’s when i started looking into more about fracking, then I heard about Standing Rock battling with oil corporations and the State of North Dakota, these companies have come so close together that the people are at a moment where they don’t feel like their voices are being heard, and so the last thing that was left for us is to assemble, is to gather together and to protest or protect, and I had the urge to go out there and help my relatives protect the water , our future generation, our kids future.

When I drove up to the camp site (Oceti Sakowin Camp) it was breathtaking my heart started to cry, the feeling was unbearably beautiful, you could feel the positive energy, you could feel the spirit around you and the love and peacefulness, the people were so kind and generous, very helpful, everybody loved each other, everybody helped each other, and if you needed help they would have volunteers there waiting to help you right away, you would wish the whole world would be like Oceti Sakowin Camp, I stayed there for like 2½ months I helped with the construction part of the camp we built Tarpees. The reason why we called them Tarpees was because they look like Tepees but they were made out of tarp, the other buildings were teepees, yurts, and hogan’s.

We started to winterize the camp and I helped out with the actions too. Actions were being on the front lines of stopping the construction of the pipeline, people sacrifice their lives, tying themselves to the equipment’s and peacefully praying for the company to stop from hurting our mother earth, to stopped them from desecrating our ancestral burial grounds, I was always at the front lines getting shot with rubber bullets being pepper sprayed for no reason, all we did was pray and try to talk to the officers and pray with them some of them would stand there and cry some were in shocked at what their fellow comrades were doing to the people, some of them would stare at you and smile then point the gun at you some would have a blast shooting people and laugh about Tear gassing us, shoot percussion grenades at the people, spraying us with cold water with water cannons in 15 degree weather, and it would go on for hours, everybody there was dedicated to protect the water, to protect what’s right for all of us, it wasn’t just an Indigenous thing it was about everybody. I told people “if I bleed red and you bleed red it’s your problem too” “It’s not about being a hero, we have no egos, and it wasn’t about being important, it was about being part of the team we stand in solidarity with standing rock we wanted to tell people that we should realize that if they should being upset about ISIS destroying those artifacts in Syria Iraq they should be twice as upset as they are desecrating them graves, destroying those ancient sites, if they’re going to be angry at the injustice around the other world then they need to start talking about the injustice here in America as well, there still Colonization going on and you can see it in the ground that she is bleeding right now, and when you look up around the other world, you see there is a river in Russia that is now red blood red because of the dirty chemicals from a metal plant that’s there now and we gonna have the same thing here, this is the company that’s done this before and this isn’t anything that we can get rid of, and you know I remind people that we can’t eat green paper, we can’t drink that Gucci purse sweetheart All we have is this water, all we have is this Land, and we have to protect it, we belong to the earth, the earth doesn’t belong to us, we just protect her, she doesn’t ask for money, all she asks is to take care of her as she will take care of us.

My experience in Standing Rock is something that I will never forget, it was beautiful it was emotional but we all stood together, we all looked after each other, some of us may have PTSD but we are all here for each other, now I have all these beautiful, beautiful people, my new extended family from all over the world, different nations, different tribes, different nationalities, if we keep standing together fight for what’s right for our people for our mother earth, for our future generations, we can the change the world.. We are the people we don’t need one person to run our country, we have the power to be ONE LIFE, ONE LOVE, ONE NATION.. AHÒ I could talk for hours and hours about Standing Rock… I will never forget it !!

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1-21-17 ~ Johnny Dangers… Pro DAPL North Dakota Republican Congressman Cramer said earlier today Trump will rescind the EIS and approve Missouri River crossing possibly as soon as Monday. We will soon see how #Trump actually acts on the pipeline and if he respects the process.
Share! #NoDAPL #WaterisLife #J20

“By next week the EIS will be rescinded,” Cramer told me referring to the lengthy environmental study President Obama initiated in his final days in office. The Congressman said the Trump administration has the authority to rescind it because, in legal filings responding to the pipeline company’s request that the study be enjoined, the Obama administration itself argued that this was the case.

Cramer also said a decision granting permission for the pipeline to cross the Lake Oahe reservoir is imminent. “The easement will be issued maybe as early as Monday,” he said.

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1-21-17 ~ ‎Jim Petoskey‎… Do not sit around waiting for the next great leader to come along. That’s how we got into this mess to begin with. Sitting around waiting for the next, Kennedy, the next Crazy Horse, the next Sitting Bull, the next Pontiac or Tecumseh. Martin Luther King or Ghandi . When they do come, they kill them off. Instead of giving a damn about the khardashians, the Super Bowls, worry about how to respect all life and what that really means. Become a participant in life. Give a sincere damn about our neighbors, the sick, the aged, the future of generations to come. We sat back and watched others do what everyone should be doing. We let people exploit the resources, pollute the land water and food and wonder why we are sick. We all have a brain, use it, but make sure your heart is connected. Nurture your spirits, not man made religions. DO NOT be afraid to be curious, question things, That’s exactly what they want. They have successfully dumbed down education and in turn dumbed down us. Now do yourself and the world a favor THINK. Even question what I just told you.

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1-21-17 ~ Elizabeth Hoover… Was sitting on the plane editing photos that I took at Standing Rock over the past several days, and noticed the ladies next to me peering at my screen. They asked if I was a war photographer- where were these photos taken? Right here in the US of A, ladies. Yes those are unarmed civilians those National Guard and police officers are shooting at. Indian reservations have again become military training grounds

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1-20-17 ~ Jon Ziegler… Here’s an update from the journalist who almost got his pink blown off a couple nights ago… Jon. Please send prayers for his healing. .

“Surgery went well. Took longer than expected as part of the bone was smashed “like a chicken bone hit with a hammer”-DR

Your well wishes and support will get me through this and out on the front lines asap. It has been my honor and a privilege to stream the truth for you these last 5 years. From Chicago to Ferguson; Baltimore to Oakland; NY and elsewhere, I have never stopped learning and being inspired by all the passionate ppl I have come to know, some of whom I now consider family. And that goes for many of you online as well!

I will be in a hotel resting and elevating my hand (picture make more sense now? ) for the next few days.

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1-20-17 ~ Lee Sprague… This is the Larceny and Theft report I filed. I’m alleging the Sheriff Department stole and destroyed four of my canoes, paddles, rescue first aid kits, Also stolen, part of my canoe trailer.
Report Filed

Not accurate is officer 4973’s written comment that I confessed to bringing goods to to Turtle Hill.
“We carry warm clothes and blankets, gloves, mittens in water proof bags. We carry watersheds to the prayer lines. We carry people hurt by the Morton County Sheriff, Because they don’t respond to water protectors in harm’s way. Harm visited on the Water Protectors by the Morton County Sheriff Department.“