The closer the news source to North Dakota, the more the news leans to supporting the corporation. The indigenous are portrayed as delaying progress and jobs. Whenever I view the videos, I practice a technique we call “close reading”. Do not listen to the narrative, view closely what you actually see. There are no videos of any water protectors with weapons, there are no reports of any officers being hurt, the only thing you see is overwhelming force being used against peaceful men, women, and children. Yes, children and elders are there. I found it comical that this report implies the indigenous are “squatting” on federal land and the reporter asks “can’t they just kick them off”.
From an interview:https://itsgoingdown.org/conversation-on-sacred-stone-camp/
NF: When and how was the Sacred Stone Camp established?
AP: The camp is at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers. This is important location for the Mandan origin story as the place where they came into the world after the great flood. Where the two waters meet, created Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí, spherical Sacred Stones (thus the colonizers’ term ‘Cannon Ball River’), but after the Army Corp of Engineers dredged and flooded the rivers in the 1950s, the flow has changed and Sacred Stones are no longer produced. The camp is surrounded by historic burial grounds, village grounds and Sundance sites that would be directly impacted by this pipeline. The water of the Missouri River is essential to life on the Standing Rock Reservation as well as all of the nations downstream. On April 1st, 2016, a group of over 200 supporters, led by forty riders on horse, under the Lakota name, “Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po”, which translates as “People, Stand with a Strong Heart!” left Fort Yates for a thirty mile trek to the camp located just north of Cannonball, North Dakota. They setup up tipis and a sacred fire. This camp has swelled in the past two months and has had multiple satellite camps across the river on private as well as unceded land on both sides of the river.
NF: How has the camp’s location on private land affected its character? I would imagine the fact that it’s on private land gives it some protection against police but also means that if folks at the camp did engage in any illegal activities the land owner would be in a vulnerable position with regards to legal repression. Is that a concern? Does the person who owns the land have more say than others about tactics or daily matters at the camp? What does the decision making process look like?
AP: The question of “private land” is especially difficult to address when we factor in Reservations (or what the U.S. Empire originally called and created them for, Prison of War Camps). The reservations are actually Federal Land. This means that local county and state police cannot enter it. A huge reason why Dakota Access (the company) is not building the pipeline thru the rez but literally a couple hundred meters north of it. When the reservations were created, imperial logic of “borderization” was imposed; meaning, the communal and nomadic lands used for Life were divided by borders: fencing for animal domestication, invisible lines drawn on maps to denote “property” i.e. who owns what, etc. This fundamentally changed people’s relation to land. And this set up the infrastructure/hierarchies for surveillance and policing. The camp exists in a way that resists this imperial imposition. We share food and water without hesitation. We have no leader. We all have knowledge to share and learn from each other. We recognize that the borders we build between ourselves are not “natural” anymore than the flooding in the 1950s by the Army Corps of Engineers is. They do not spread our Wildfire, so we continue to keep the eternal flame lit. Instead of framing things in colonial terms of “legal/ illegal”, it makes more sense at the camp to think in terms of effectiveness; effectiveness of stopping this genocidal project so the people can reclaim their Way of Life.