Redoubtable Sioux resistance continues heroically against construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), endangering their sacred ancestral land, water and wildlife habitat, along with communities, farmland and other sensitive areas.
“(U)nder serious consideration” for various Trump administration posts, according to a senior level transition team member, Native American Samoan Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D. Hawaii) addressed Obama in a mid-September statement along with 18 other House Democrats, saying in part:
“The federal government has a moral and legal trust responsibility to ensure that federally permitted projects do not threaten historically or culturally significant tribal places, the trust lands of tribal nations, or the waters that run through them.”
“Pursuant to Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000, and reinforced by the Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation of November 5, 2009, the executive departments and agencies of the federal government are to engage in ‘regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials.’
“In the instance of the DAPL, despite its location within a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the USACE failed in its responsibility to engage in meaningful consultation and collaboration with potentially impacted tribal nations.”
According to Veterans Stand For Standing Rock, over 1,000 of “our fellow veterans (intend) assembl(ing) as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Dec 4 – 7 and defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security.”
“Come to Standing Rock Indian Reservation and hold the line with Wes Clark Jr., (General Wesley Clark’s son) Michael Wood Jr., Tulsi Gabbard, and hundreds of other veterans in support of the Sioux nation against the DAPL pipeline.”
Separately, Wood said “(t)his country is repressing our people. If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”
Clark said “(b)ring body armor, gas masks, earplugs (we may be facing a sound cannon) but no drugs, alcohol or weapons…If we don’t stop it, who will?”
“Veterans Stand For Standing Rock” against environmentally destructive DAPL construction. Resist desecration of sacred Sioux tribal land, waters and habitat.
Their heroic struggle for justice resembles the 1973 Wounded Knee siege and tragedy. In an earlier article, I wrote the following (slightly edited and updated):
Beginning February 27, 1973, it lasted 71 days, a confrontation between American Indian Movement (AIM) activists v. FBI thugs and complicit Native American vigilantes – so-called “GOONS, (Guardians of Our Oglala Nation),” battling on the wrong side against their own.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Tribal Council corruption, as well as out-of-control tension, got Lakota Nation elders to ask AIM for help. On February 27, armed Oglala Sioux reclaimed Wounded Knee, wanting their 1868 treaty rights honored, stating:
“The government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it.” It re-affirmed all Indian rights granted under the 1851 Treaty, abrogated and denied like all other US obligations to its Native People.
Before the 1770s, the Great Sioux Nation held territories from Minnesota to the Rocky Mountains and from the Yellowstone to Platte Rivers. Its famed leaders included Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Black Elk, among others.
Until the Treaty of 1868, they were the richest northwestern plains Native American nation. Treaties made and broken changed their lives. Settlers, railroads, and mining interests stole their lands and resources. Now they wanted them back.
When AIM took over Wounded Knee, over 75 Indian Nations were represented, and more supporters arrived daily from around the country. Against them were GOONS, FBI thugs, federal marshals, and National Guard troops, surrounding and cutting them off, yet supporters still got through.
When it ended, an FBI/BIA “reign of terror” began. Lasting three years, roving death squads killed at least 342 AIM members and supporters.
Hundreds more were harassed and beaten, over 560 arrested, 15 convicted and imprisoned for protecting sacred land from predatory theft and desecration, Leonard Peltier among them – framed and incarcerated as a political prisoner to this day.
How Standing Rock Sioux resistance ends remains to be seen, up against police state viciousness.