tv Democracy Now PBS November 24, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
♪ amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these people -- see that woman over there, she was hit right in the face. >> the dog has blood on its nose and its mouth. [screaming] amy: today we bring you highlights of our coverage of the standoff at standing rock in north dakota the struggle against the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline that has galvanized the largest movement of native americans in decades.
the increasing state repression of the movement recalls the bitter legacy of genocide and land theft against native americans. as many across the united states celebrate thanksgiving, many native americans observe the holiday as a national day of mourning. we will air our shocking labor day report showing unlicensed pipeline guards unleashing attack dogs and pepper spray on native americans, and we'll speak to standing rock sioux historian ladonna brave bull allard, who recounts the us military's attack on her family more than 150 years ago. >> the soldiers came on this top of the ravine and started shooting the women and children in the ravine. one of our soldiers came out in front and broke the open so people can continue running. so, as night is falling my grandma was running and she said all of a sudden she had a sharp
pain in her hit and she fell down-- amy: we'll also hear from anishabee activist winona laduke, ojibwe organizer tara houska and dallas goldtooth of the dakota and dine nations. >> what we saw today is just another part of 500 years of colonization and repression by a system predicated on our oppression. amy: all that and more, coming up. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. many across the united states are celebrating this thanksgiving holiday. but many for native americans observe it as a national day of mourning, marking the genocide against their communities and the theft of their land. we'll spend today looking at the standoff at standing rock in north dakota the struggle against the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline that has galvanized the largest
resistance movement of native americans in decades. in cannonball, north dakota, members of the standing rock sioux tribe and representatives of more than 200 indigenous nations from across the americas have been encamped for months to block the construction of the pipeline. the pipeline is slated to carry half a million barrels of crude a day from the bakken oilfields of north dakota, through south dakota, iowa and into illinois, where it will link up with an existing pipeline to carry the oil down to refineries in the gulf. these thousands of water protectors, as they call themselves, have also been joined by many non-natives allies. all are concerned that a leak could contaminate the missouri river, which provides water for the tribe and millions of people downstream. the tribe also says the pipeline's construction across unceded sioux treaty land will lead to the desecration of sacred sites, including tribal burial grounds. in recent after using their bodies to block construction of
the pipeline and to protect sacred sites. the movement has also spread across the country and the world, as protesters have held demonstrations at banks funding the dakota access pipeline. the movement has largely been ignored on this year's presidential campaign trail and by the national corporate media. but democracy now! has been covering the standoff closely, and we'll spend the hour bringing you highlights on the ground in north dakota. we begin with our report from north dakota labor day weekend. it was saturday september 3rd, when unlicensed dakota access security guards attacked water protectors trying to defend a sacred tribal burial site from destruction. >> criminals! you guys are criminals! go get your money somewhere else! >> yeah, you! yeah, you! amy: were standing at the destruction site of the dakota access pipeline.
it looks like there are at least three bulldozers that are, to peoples surprise, at this moment, actually bulldozing the land. theres a helicopter above. theres security here. and hundreds of people have been marching up, when they heard that the construction site is actually active right now. >> my name is jacob, jacob johnson. im from spokane, washington. im hopi and akimel oodham. amy: and can you describe what you see, what theyre doing? jacob johns: they aretheyre bulldozing. theyre bulldozing and preparing to put ininstall a pipeline to go into thedeep in the river. amy goodman: and above, we see a helicopter. jacob johns: the helicopter itself has been following us and taking pictures. and were filming them in return.
>> come on, guys! weve got to stop this! amy: people have gone through the fencemen, women and children. the bulldozers are still going. and theyre yelling at the men in hard hats. one man in a hard hat threw one of the protesters down. and theyre marching over the dirt mounds. some of the security have dogs. the six bulldozers are pulling back right now. people are marching forward in their tracks. there are men, women and children. more security trucks are pulling up. there are some protesters on horseback. hundreds of people are coming from the main camp. theyre climbing up the tracks left by the bulldozers, six at least, ive counted, that are now receding. protesters advance as far as a
small wooden bridge. security unleashes one of the dogs, which attacks two of the native americans horses. security has some kind of gas. people are being pepper-sprayed. protesters: we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! we are not leaving! amy: sir, reporter from new york. what are you spraying people with? security man: i didnt spray anything, maam. amy goodman: but what is that? protester 7: this guy just maced me in the face right now. amy goodman, this guy maced me in the face. laura gottesdiener: why dontcan you show us the label? protester 7: look, its all over my sunglasses. just maced me in the face. dog bit him right now. victor puertas: throwed the dog on me. this [bleep] throwed the dog on me. look at this. look at this. you throwed the dog on me. noyou did it on purpose, man.
amy goodman: let me see. let me see. victor puertas: over there, with that dog. i was like walking. throwed the dog on me and straight, even without any warning. you know? look at this. look at this. amy goodman: that dog bit you? victor puertas: yeah, the dog did it, you know? look at this. its there. its all bleeding. amy goodman: maam, your dog just bit this protester. your dog just bit that protester. are you telling the dogs to bite the protesters? protester 8: she keeps sicking them after people. amy goodman: the dog has blood in its nose and its mouth. protester 8: and shes still standing here threatening us. protester 9: you cant put the blame on your dog. youre an evil woman. protester 8: thats mistreatment against your own animal. protester 9: you cant put your blame on the [bleep] dog. youre evil. protester 8: thats mistreatment against your own animal. protester 9: you will live with that. protester 10: get the [bleep] out of here! protester 8: these people are just threatening all of us with these dogs. and she, that woman over there, she was charging, and it bit somebody right in the face. and then it charged at me and tried to bite me. and shes stilltheyre still threatening those dogs against us. and were not doing anything.
amy goodman: why are you letting theirher dog go after the protesters? its covered in blood! protester 11: stop! amy goodman: one of the pipelines security men unleashes a dog into the crowd. protester 12: what the [bleep] are you trying to do? protester 13: get your [bleep] dogs [bleep] out of here! get your [bleep] dogs out of here! amy goodman: protesters respond using a flagpole and sticks to fend off the dog attacks. protester 12: get the [bleep] out! get out! get the [bleep] out! protester 14: we aint scared of you! we aint scared of you! mother [bleep]! protester 15: whats the [bleep] your dog gonna do? protester 12: get the [bleep] out! get the [bleep] out! protester 16: let them leave! amy goodman: after the protesters said that the dog was bloody from biting them, they then pulled the dogs away, and now pickup truck by pickup truck is pulling away. well see what happens.
the protesters are moving in to ensure that the security leaves. lets go check on this woman. what happened? reyna crow: just a lot of mace, and the sweat was dripping it -- the sweat was making it run down into my eyes. i had my glasses on, and that spared me the brunt of it, but then the sweat started putting it in. amy goodman: how are you doing? reyna crow: im great! amy goodman: whats your name? reyna crow: reyna crow. amy goodman: and what do you think youve accomplished today? reyna crow: i hope weve accomplished letting enbridge know that the people of this nation and the people of this world, tribal or otherwise, have withdrawn their social license to pollute water, and that they need to find an honest, nonviolent way to make a living. amy goodman: where are you from? reyna crow: duluth, minnesota. idle no more duluth. protester 17: i got maced twice. i got bit by a dog. i was the front line. amy goodman: where did you get bit? protester 17: i got bit on the ankle, where my boot is. so, i told them they needed to leave, but the guy didnt believe me. so he didnt want to listen.
he stuck his hand out, and he maced me, this other guy, and i think he maced a lady, too. then they tried getting the dogs on us. i was just standing there, wasnt really doing nothing. that dog ran up on me, and it bit myaround my ankle. amy goodman: you pushed them back, though? protester 17: yes. amy goodman: why is this such an important fight to you? protester 17: because water is life. like i said, without water, wed we would not be here. these plants wouldnt be here. thered be no oxygen. wed all die without it. i wish theyd open their eyes and have a heart, to realize, you know, if this happens, were not going to be the only ones that are going to suffer. theyre going to suffer, too. amy goodman: what tribe are you with? protester 17: im oglala sioux, full blood. amy goodman: from? protester 17: pine ridge reservation. amy goodman: whats your name, and where are you from? linda lee bruner: linda lee bruner. im from belcourt, north dakota. ive traveled from wichita, kansas. i stand for my grandchildren, my
next grandchildren. i already got great-grandchildren that are in the future. i know the 18-year-old and 19-year-olds that are getting ready to come here, theyllight to the end. were going to stay here, just like in 1836. were going to go down and wait and wait. this oil aint gonna go through. otester 18: we should all walk out together. thats a good idea, whoever said that. elvia ramirez: i am elvia ramirez. i come from arizona, salt river. im in pima-maricopa tribe. amy goodman: how old are you? elvia ramirez: i am 13 years old. amy goodman: and why are you out here today? elvia ramirez: i am with my family, because i believei hear what theyre doing is wrong. this is very wrong. they should protect the water. everybody needs water to live. water is in us. nawa. amy goodman: what about the oil? elvia ramirez: the oil should stay in the ground. they should just leave it, because theyre hurting mother nature. mother nature is important, because without mother nature, we wouldnt be here. protester 19: no one owns this land. this land belongs to the earth.
we are only caretakers. were caretakers of the earth. amy goodman: do you feel like you won today? protester 19: we win every day when we stand in unity. we stand, and we fight. kandi mossett: my name is kandi mossett with the indigenous environmental network. amy goodman: is this where the dapl is being built? kandi mossett: yes, this is the pipe that is leading up to the river. what we are waiting for, what dakota access is waiting for is the easement to go underneath and bore under the water. my understanding was that with the tro, they were supposed to completely quit construction. but i guess, in the oil and gas industry, thats not the way it works. amy goman: the temporary restraining order. kandi mossett: right. well, there was a restraining order, and they were supposed to, i thought, we all thought, stop construction completely. but theyve been coming from the west, over here, this whole time, these past three weeks, ever since you saw the first demonstrations. and obviously, now, this is how close they are, right across the road from where weve been barricading. so theyre continuing to lay pipe
up to the point of where theyre waiting for the easement to go underneath where theyre going to bore. so people are like, "why are we going to wait for that? were not. were going to go out, and were going to stop the pipeline. were going to stop it where it is." and thats what effectively has been happening the past few days in nonviolent direct action. amy goodman: how do you feel? protester 20: feel great. amy goodman: what did you accomplish today? protester 20: were protecting our water. thats what were here to do, and thats what we did. amy goodman: where are your horses from? protester 20: crow creek, south dakota. amy goodman: and you came from there? protester 20: yes, maam. amy goodman: and so, describe the scene to us. protester 20: we protected our water, and we did a good job at doing it. thank you. amy goodman: thank you. thank you. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. that was labor day weekend, when unlicensed dakota access security guards attacked native americans with dogs and pepper spray.
well, only hours before that attack, we interviewed winona laduke of the white earth reservation, who was standing near her tipi at the resistance camp. >> and the governor, you know, what i feel like telling the governor is that, you know, you are not george wallace, and this is not alabama. you know? this is 2016, and you dont get to treat indians like you have for those last hundred years. were done. you know? itll be interesting times. amy: that's indigenous leader winona laduke. that day, we also sat down with standing rock sioux tribal historian ladonna brave bull allard to speak about another attack against her tribe -- this one on the same day 153 years before. on september 3rd, 1863, the u.s. army massacred more than 300 members of the standing rock sioux tribe in what became known as the whitestone massacre. ladonna brave bull allard is not
only the tribal historian, shes also one of the founders of the sacred stone camp, launched on her land april 1st, 2016, to resist the dakota access pipeline. >> 153 years ago, the whitestone massacre happened, which the people in this community, the cannonball community are the survivors of that massacre. sayof the things we always is this massacre happened, america forgot they killed us spending this time trying to figure out how to survive. we wear the wrong indians that they killed at that time. the dakota wars were happening in 1863 and the government put band put arces
military action together. on the morning of september 3, our people were gathered as we do because it is harvest time. the fruit and vegetables are ready and it's a time when we are doing the buffalo calling. for people buffalo to come hunt and prepare to meet for winter. this is what was happening at that time. we had a large gathering of 4000 people and i think that is unique -- almost 4000 people here. communitiesf these coming in together to go into this trade and as people are pairing buffalo hides and getting dry meat ready and having marriages, all of these things are happening and they
say the soldiers are coming. have never had an argument with the white people. peace. only been at we do not have a treaty with them. said we heard if you take a white flag, they will honor that and talk with us. they took a white flour sack and put it on a stick and our leaders went out to the soldiers to say they wanted to talk. amy: your grandfather was one of them? >> yes. my grandfather was the medicine man. rave buffalo. to thent out to talk soldiers. the soldiers surrounded them and took them as prisoner of war. the people were watching and just like we are taught, automatically if there's an enemy coming together, people
are starting to tear down their lodges and move. the first thing the women did is they tied the babies to the dog, tied the children to the horses and shoot them out of the camp. then they gathered what they could and started running. at the camp, they came down and there is a ravine and the people started making their way down to the ravine and it is as are to us that these soldiers came in just as the sun was going down. they were going to the ravine and the soldiers amen on this top of the ravine and started shooting the women and children in the ravine. one of our shoulder -- what our soldiers went out in front and broke the open so our soldiers could continue running. as night is falling, my grandmother was running and she said all of a sudden she had a
sharp pain in her hip and fell down. she was nine years old and she laid on the ground and spent the with nolling to her mom answer. everywhere, she could hear the crying and screams of people dying. came over and she could see everything that was happening, two of the soldiers grabbed her and threw her in the back of a buckboard. why that happened because they went around and killed the other wounded. why they did not kill my grandmother, i do not know. buckboard ande watched the soldiers come and kill the dog and the babies, killing the horses, killing the wounded. they gathered up all of our property, the tents, the meat and everything we owned.
we had one section of soldiers poking holes in the bottom of our pots. they gathered all of that and started a great big fire, burning all of our food, our homes and everything. there was so much buffalo meat that they burned that callow ran down like rivers into the creeks. the people ran, for three or four days, they ran as the soldiers continued to chase and kill them. part of our people came across here. this used to be a narrow crossing and they crossed over on this side of the river. things we always say they forgotacre is they killed us and we weren't even the right indians. amy: that river crossing that you have described, the people fleeing from the soldiers, that is where the dakota access pipeline would be built? >> yes.
itht where our people made across the river, that's our major river crossing there. i will say where this pipeline is going underneath the missouri river is a burial site. they would be going underneath the burial site and we are very concerned because any type of motion can bring up our remains. standing rock sioux tribal historian ladonna brave bull allard. we'll be back in a minute. ♪
amy: this is democracy now, democracynow.org the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today we're looking at the ongoing standoff at standing rock in north dakota, where thousands of native american water defenders are resisting the construction of the dakota access pipeline, over concerns a pipeline leak could contaminate the missouri river, which provides water for millions of people. their resistance has been met by increasing repression by hundreds of police officers from north dakota and surrounding states, as well as by unlicenseds pipeline security guards, who unleashed dogs and pepper spray against native american protectors on september 3rd. well, democracy now!'s exclusive video report of that attack went viral, was viewed over 14 million times on facebook, and was broadcast by major outlets, including msnbc, nbc, cbs, npr, cnn, the huffington post and others.
five days after democracy now! released this on-the-ground report, morton county issued an arrest warrant for me. the original charge against me was criminal trespass. yet, on friday october 14, after democracy now! returned to north dakota to challenge the charges and to continue covering the resistance to the dakota access pipeline, we learned that the states attorney, ladd erickson, had dropped the criminal trespass charge for lack of evidence, but had filed a new charge against me: riot. this is part of democracy now!'s live broadcast from outside the morton county courthouse on the morning of october 17th as i waited to see whether judge john grinsteiner would approve the new riot charge. >> we are broadcasting live from outside the courthouse and jail in mandan, north dakota. water and land protectors, as they call themselves, report facing increasing repression amidst the ongoing resistance to the $3.8 billion dakota access
pipeline. police have begun deploying milita-grade equipment, including armored personnel carriers, surveillance helicopters, planes and drones. north dakota governor jack dalrymple activated the national guard in late september. roughly 140 people have been arrested. some report being strip-searched in custody at the morton county jail, even when theyre facing minor misdemeanor charges. this is dr. sara jumping eagle, a pediatrician on the standing rock sioux reservation, a member of the standing rock sioux tribe. dr. sara jumping eagle: when i was taken to the jail, first i was taken by a corrections officer, transported from the protest site to the morton county jail. and then, when they took me in there, you know, they had to take some basic information. and then, one of the things that they do is have you go into a small room, and there was a
female officer there, and we had toi had to take my clothes off, and then, i dont know, basically -- amy goodman: cavity search? dr. sara jumping eagle: no, not a cavity search, but i had to squat and cough. thats what she said. i had to squat and cough and then put the orange suit on. amy goodman: so you were put in an orange jumpsuit? dr. sara jumping eagle: yeah, i was put in an orange jumpsuit. and then i was held there for several hours. and initially, you know, my family didnt know where i was or didntyou know, they heard about it pretty quickly and were able to come and bond me out or bail me out. i dont know what you call it. but i was in there for several hours. amy goodman: how did it make you feel? dr. sara jumping eagle: it made me feelyou know, it made me think about my ancestors and what had they gone through. and this was in no way a comparison to what weve survived before, so just made me feel more determined about what im doing and why im here. amy goodman: thats dr. sara
jumping eagle, a pediatrician, member of the standing rock sioux tribe. she was charged with disorderly conduct. ladonna brave bull allard, who founded the first resistance camp, the sacred stone camp, on her own land april 1st, says her daughter was recently arrested, taken into custody at the morton county jail, strip-searched in front of multiple male officers, then left for hours in her cell, naked and freezing, before the guards finally gave her clothes to wear. ladonna allard says her daughter was repeatedly asked by guards, "who is your mother? " which allard sees as an indication that her daughter was targeted because of who she is. cody hall from cheyenne river reservation in south dakota says he was also strip-searched after he was arrested friday, september 9th, held for three days without bail or bond, and then charged with two misdemeanors. cody hall: as i exited out of the vehicles and entered morton county, i came up an elevator, and as the elevator opened up, i was met with state police.
and then, you know, of course, morton county people were there to book people, butand then, from there, started the process of the booking, and then, again, you know, went into a private room, where they ask you to, you know, get naked. you know, they had my arms. they, you know, kind of like extend your arms out. and youre fully naked. and they have you, you know, lift up your genitals and bend over, you know, cough. and so, its really one of those tactics that they try to break down your mentalness of everyday life, because not every day do you wake up and say, "hey, im going to get, you know, naked and have somebody search me today," you know? thats a privateyou know, thats a private feeling for you, when you get naked, so... amy goodman: and four days later, when you were finally released, they had not allowed you to go out on bail or bond for those four daysyou came before a judge in the orange jumpsuit? cody hall: yes, yes, i sat in the court office in my orange
jumpsuit, locked, you know, still handcuffed, exited out of the courtroom. and as i left the courtroom, there were 20 or so state police all in their bullet-proof vests, everything just looking, you you know, like theyre going into action of some sort. and then they literally had a line from the courtroom to the door that connects you to the county jail. and my mother walked out with me. and as we got to the door, they were opening the door up. and as i looked behind me, my mother and i, all of the cops then proceeded to kind of swarm, you know, like make, you know, that big wall as i entered in, which was, again, an overkill, you know, but that, too, though, to show a dominant force. amy goodman: that was cody hall, who was arrested on two miemeanors, held for four
days, strip-searched here at the morton county jail just behind us. well, for more on the resistance to the dakota access pipeline and the police crackdown, were joined by two guests. winona laduke, native american activist, executive director of the group honor the earth, she lives and works on the white earth reservation in northern minnesota. and were joined by tara houska, national campaigns director for honor the earth. she is ojibwe from the couchiching first nation. we welcome you both to democracy now! winona, lets start with you. we have spoken to you intermittently through this resistance. where does it stand now? winona laduke: well, as far as we are ini mean, im just looking at the big picture. right now there is about 900,000 barrels per day of oil coming out of this state, and they project that into 2019. and so, what im trying to understand is, is that if thats all they have and its already going out, why do they need another pipeline of 570,000 barrels of oil per day? in other words, theyre already
meeting all their demand. for the next two years, thats all the oil thats in there. and this is reallywhat we call this is the dakota excess pipeline. amy goodman: the dakota excess. winona laduke: dakota excess pipeline. this is really about spites. its really about spite. amy goodman: what do you mean? winona laduke: its just really about hating. you know, its just really about trying to put something in across these tribes. its exactly what the chairman and you said before: if they wanted this pipeline so damn bad, they should have put it north of bismarck, you know, and they should havethey should not have violated the law. the whole pipeline was approved through something called the nationwide permit number 12, which means they could it into a lot of little pieces and never do an eis, and pretend likeyou know, thats intended for like if you have like a pipeline from a school to the water service center or something like that. its not intended for a 1,600-mile pipeline. total misuse of the law, you know, and the president really needs to intervene and uphold the law. amy goodman: tara houska, you have been following these protests and the level of
militarization in response to the protests. you were there on saturday. we spoke to you at one of these peaceful marches of hundreds of native americans. tara houska: yeah, i mean, weve seen this incredibly militarized response from north dakota that has been so over the top in reaction to native americans peacefully protesting, praying for the land, praying for the water. these are women and children that are out there. i mean, we saw the mostthe most recent one on indigenous peoples day. they had native americans out there praying for the land. they put a tipi up in front of the actual pipeline route, and they called that a riot. theres nobody there rioting. theyre doing that as theyrenorth dakota is doing that as its increasing the amount of militarized response, militarized force. theyre calling in other sheriffs from other states. theyre upping this incredible amount of police force for no reason. amy goodman: well, all for this pipeline. winona, who profits from this pipeline?
who owns this pipeline? winona laduke: well, enbridgeyou know, we just spent four years fighting enbridge. and enbridge and marathon oil just bought a third of this pipeline. amy goodman: you fought them in northern minnesota. winona laduke: we fought them in northern minnesota. and in august, they announced that they had canceled the sandpiper, which was the 640,000-barrel-per-day oil pipeline, taryou know, pipeline fromthe fracked oil pipeline they wanted to put across our territory. we defeated that pipeline, and they came out here and moved out here. but, you know, i think that the whole context that youre talking about is really important. this is pretty much the deep north. thats what it is. nobodys been paying attention to whats happening in north dakota. theyve been flying over it and say, "hope it works out for yall." and in the meantime, the governor is acting like this is mississippi -- and now people
are finally noticing. but its been going on for a long time up here. and this is, you know, finally a flashpoint where people are saying, "thats enough. were not going to let you take our water. were not going to let you destroy that which is ours." amy goodman: you know, after ferguson, the whole country saw the level of militarization of local police departments. you were there, tara, where there was an mrap, theres a armored personnel carrier at this peaceful protest, where you offered the police water, clean water, right? tara houska: we did. you know, indigenous women went up there, and we offered the police water, sage and sweet grass, and, you know, trying to show that we are peaceful, that we are doing this for not only our children, but their children, too. this is a people issue. water is a people issue. amy goodman: what inspires you most, tara? tara houska: i think, you know, its incredibly inspiring to go out there and to see, you know, a line of police like that and an mrapand, you know, weve seen sound cannons, theres helicopters flying overheadand theres this little group of native american people and their allies that are out there, standing there defiant and, you know, trying to defend their people and their land.
amy: i want to talk about this issue of strip searching. it is astounding to hear that even people, like the pediatrician for standing rock, dr. sara jumping eagle, was strip-searched for disorderly conduct. is this typical? winona laduke: i would say that, generally, north dakota is not good to native people and is really behind the times in terms of constitutional and civil rights. you know, i mean, for many, many years, our people have had an une burden of the legal system against them, and nobody has really paid attention. i mean, the aclu, for instance, american civil liberties union, had one person that covered both north and south dakotaa little understaffed, id say. you know, and thats how things developed like this. but it is wrong. its wrong. amy goodman: do they have a right to strip-search people for disorderly conduct? tara houska: i think that this state is reading the law as
broadly as it can when it comes to violating the constitutional rights to free speech of these people. i think that theyjust like winona said, they have a very long history of treating folks in this manner. and its now just kind of coming to light, right? i mean, were seeing yourself beingyou know, as a journalist, being arrested when youre out there on the front lines. youre seeing shailene woodley, a famous actress, thats out there being arrested as shes filming it, live-streaming it back to her, you know, rv. i mean, this has been happening to native people in this state for a very, very long time, and its just now reaching the massyou know, people are looking at this, seeing heres a native american ceremony, and theres hundreds of police officers with a militarized response behind them. its madness. amy goodman: why do you continue to resist with this level of force against you, arrayed against you? tara houska: because this iswhat these folks are standing here for, what im standing here for, is the protection of water and the protection of the future generations. that matters more than any, you know, criminal trespass or these, you know, attempts to
suppress and keep our voices down. you know, were seeing the police represent and protect a company interest more than human beings and people. these are u.s. citizens that are all here standing together. and seeing their rights violated, seeing young children afraid of the police, that ouldnt happen, but it is. amy goodman: thats what people were saying to the police on saturday, when they lined up all in riot gear with the mrap, the armored personnel carrier. they were saying, "who are you protecting? why arent you protecting us?" tara houska: theyre clearly protecting dakota access. you know, theyre protecting this profit interest over people and saying that were the danger. winona laduke: the system has gone totally rogue, is whats happened. i mean, you know, the fact is, is that you should not be protectinghow far are you going to go with this pipeline? how far are you going to push these people? how far are you going to push all of us for these pipelines? you know, its way too militarized. its called a mine-resistant armored personnel carrier.
thats what it is, an mrap, a mine-resistant. at what point did you need a mine-resistant armored personnel carrier in north dakota? tara houska: and seeing, i mean, local schos doing, you know, lockdowns when these protests are happening. we saw that emergency alert, which is typically reserved for an amber alert for a child thats been taken, for protesters, warning in the areafrightening people, like were somehow scary. amy goodman: this has just started happening. on saturday, we kept getting, on all of our phones, "emergency alert." and then it would say something like "protesters in the area." winona laduke: yeah, they are totally trying to demonize us, is what theyre trying to do. and the fact is, is that the people that are out here, you know, are trying to protect the water. they arent making any new water in north dakota, and this is the only water weve got, same water as when dinosaurs were here. and this is what were going to need to drink and our descendants are going to need to drink. and all our animals, our courses, our animals need that water, too. and this is a chance to protect that water. north dakota has already done enough to kind of mess up the water out here with all that
fracking waste and starting to pretend that thats working out ok for us. its not. its time to stop. its time to stop and protect the water. amy goodman: there are a lot of people concerned that this is escalating to a very bad situation. are you concerned about this? winona laduke: yes, i am concerned that they escalating it. the police are whos escalating it. our people have consistently been praying. our people have been consistently engaged in nonviolent direct action. and, you know, we had a forum in bismarck this last week, and it was very well attended, because i think people in bismarck want to know why all these cops are out there, what is going on, you know, why these people are coming in here. so, you know, im saying to people of bismarck, people in north dakota, were here because it matters. im from northern minnesota, and bad things happen in north dakota and head my way, whether theyre pipelines or emissions from your coal plants. you know, it affects all of us. so, you know, it is time to say our civil rights, our constitutional rights are all being violated. amy goodman: winona, youre leaving here in just a few hours to go back to minnesota winona laduke: thats right. amy goodman: to fight another
pipeline? winona laduke: that is right. i also have to say hello to my grandchildren and myhildren. theyve been asking me to return. but, you know, what i would say is thatso, were facing this other line, line three, its called, enbridge line, 760,000 barrels per day, a tar san pipeline proposal, same route. you know, we defeated the sandpiper which was proposed, a brand-new pristine route, as opposed to the six-pipeline-wide aging pipeline infrastructure is aroundacross highway 2. enbridge now wants 760,000-barrel-per-day pipeline called line 3, and its their single largest project. so, im going home. hearings are starting on that. so, i have to face that. and, you know, thats the one thats going into wisconsin. thats why dane county was also out here, is because theyre facing the biggest pipelinestar sands pipeline ever. its a twin of that, you know. and with a bad governor and, you know, who doesnt want to protect the people of wisconsin, thats why he sent those people out here, too. but they are projecting theyre going to have a big battle on that line 66 going through
wisconsin, as well as in, you know, northern minnesota. and i told enbridgei had a meeting with themi said, "we know how to camp, too. we know how to camp, too, you know, and we arent going to let you get that pipeline." you know, they didnt get the last one; they didnt get the sandpiper. and they are not going to get line 3. and so they should move on. enbridge itself, you know, big investor in this, they have a $4 billion wind portfolio. im like, "put some wind up. wed like you. do something real. dont call this 'energy security,' 'national energy security for the future,' 'energy self-sufficiency.' thats a pipeline thats not helping anybody, except for those oil companies. wind, solar, efficiencythese houses out here are just freezing in the winter. people freeze to death because they dont have adequate infrastructure in their houses. theyve got a 50-year-old health clinic. do something for people if youre going to invest out here. amy goodman: tara houska, what is it like to be on the front lines of these protests? tara houska: when youre out there, you are in a very rural place. i mean, north dakota is a very rural state.
and theres very limited cell service. theres very limited connection and connectivity to the outside world. and when youre out there and youre facing a, you know, line of police that are armed with assault rifles, theres an mrap, theres whatever militarytheres helicopters overhead, it is very scary. you think about what happens if someone just accidentally, you know, gets too excited and thinks that somehow, you know, maybe were praying too hard or whatever it is, and they shoot. you know, thats how it feels when youre there. and the police are a scary presence. its not a comfortable feeling to know that you are actually afraid for your life from the police because theyre protecting a pipeline and theyre protecting the interests of dakota access. thats a very scary feeling, and its one that i think, you know, more people need to be aware of. and they need to understand that weve reached a point now where weve got, you know, a state actively and openly protecting the interests of big oil, and weve got a congress thats directly controlled.
you know, theres so many campaign donations that come from big oil. and we see a congress that deregulates the oil industry again and again and again. amy: that was tara houska, national campaigns director for honor the earth. she is ojibwe from the couchiching first nation. and before that was anishnabe activist winona laduke, co-founder of honor the earth. well, only hours after that broadcast, i learned that judge john grinsteiner had refused to sign off on the charges against me a major victory for press freedoms. but since that victory, protectors and journalists have continued to get arrested in north dakota. when we come back, we'll be speaking about the increasing repression against the resistance to the dakota access pipeline. stay with us. ♪
amy: this is democracy now, democracynow.org the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today we're looking at the ongoing standoff at standing rock in north dakota, where thousands of native american water defenders are resisting the construction of the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline. well, in recent months, the repression against the water protectors and journalists covering the movement has continued to intensify. the state of north dakota has
approved $10 million to police the ongoing protest, and morton county sheriff kyle kirchmeier has called in hundreds of deputies from neighboring states. north dakota governor jack dalrymple has also activated the national guard. riot police with military-grade equipment have attacked the native american protectors with pepper spray, tear gas, bean bag rounds, rubber bullets and sound cannons called lrads that's a long range acoustic device. water protectors also report near constant surveillance from police planes and helicopters. over 400 people have been arrested during the ongoing protests and many report being subjected to strip searches while in the morton county jail in north dakota. well, on october 31st, we spoke with dakota and dine activist dallas goldtooth of the indigenous environmental network about a violent police raid on a frontline camp established at the site of the same sacred
tribal burial ground where unlicensed dakota access security guards attacked native americans with dogs and pepper spray on september 3rd. he began by telling us about shocking video footage that emerged from the day of the raid of a man who appears to be a dakota access pipeline guard, with a bandana covering his face, carrying a rifle, apparently attempting to infiltrate the group of water protectors. >> thanks for having me on, amy. that moment, i was there when thatwhen this gunman, you know, was cornered into the middle of this pond nearby. and it was a very terrifying moment for a lot of us watching, i mean, to see this man pulling an assault rifle at our water protectors. and i think thatmany blessings and gratitude to some of the military veterans within our security from within our oceti sakowin camp, who stepped up to
negotiate and to de-escalate this man, to really talk to him to make sure that he did not hurt anybody, until the bureau of indian affairs police officers could show up. you know, your description is accurate. individuals, our security teams on the ground noticed this man driving erratically, driving at high speeds through a crowded streetthrough the crowded highway. and they did their very best to incapacitate the vehicle and did their very best to de-escalate the situation, which they were successful in doing. amy: explain who you understand he is. >> i think it's pretty straightforward. i mean, we found threetwo documents that listed him as a dakota access worker. and he, himself, as ive understood, to even our security, stated that he worked for dakota access. and so, it was pretty straightforward. and i think that hes a security contractor that has been hired by dakota access to guard its equipment, from what i believe,
or at least to protect, you know, the workers or whatever it may be. i think that its pretty terrifying to know that data access has infiltrators within our camp, is paying for individuals like this, armed individuals, to create situations of escalation, potentially creating very, very dangerous situations byyou know, we dont know what his intention could have been. he could have, you know, fired upon police, creating a situation where the police think its coming from our protectors when its not. i mean, it goes hand in hand with this series of mysterious situations that really paints -- creates a situation where we have to feel suspicious about what dakota accesss intentions are. and it just clearly paints that dakota access has no regard for common decency or any kind of corporate responsibility. and its really surprising that people are still invested in this company. amy goodman: has dakota access pipeline responded to this
video? dallas goldtooth: from what i understand, the initial response from dakota access is that they state that this individual does not work for dakota access, even though he had clear identification as a dakota access worker. amy goodman: i mean, it saidyou see the id. it says kyle thompson. is that right? dallas goldtooth: yes, yes. his name is on it. the insurance found in the truck isbelongs to dakota access. you know, he has an id card with dapl written on it. i mean, how much more evidence do you need? amy goodman: right. and did he say what his intentions were, as people surrounded him, as the police, the bureau of indian affairs police, arrested him? dallas goldtooth: theres a variety of accounts, but it -- what i understood, that was told to me, that he was tasked with also identifying and being within the crowd, watching internally with the crowd, and that there was some suggestion that he mighthe might have been tasked with instigating some sort of violence from within the crowd and to garner a reaction from law enforcement. i mean, thats just what ive
heard from different folks that were talking with him in that moment to de-escalate the situation. amy goodman: now, if you could talk about the fire that was set, where did it happen and what you understand was its origin? dallas goldtooth: no, this happened last night. -- or two nights ago. it was just to the immediate west of the oceti sakowin camp across highway 1806. there was some mysterious incident of a vehicle that came out of nowhere, that was almost acting as a distraction, was making aspinning doughnuts in the middle of the road, and then it sped off to the south. and immediately after that, flames were seen on top of the hill to the west. there was a lot oftheres documented footage that what appears to be a drip line, which is afrom what i understand, is a technique ed in firefighting. i mean, it was very, very clear that that brush fire that
happened was an act of arson by unknown individuals. but given the recent events with the dakota access worker, give the escalation of law enforcement, that, you know, a lot of fingers are pointing towards dakota access thatas being a culprit behind this late fire. and thank god that the wind was pushing away from the camp. the fire spread pretty large. and the thing thats most disturbing to me is this, amy, is that when on october 27th, when the police attacked our peaceful protectors at the frontline treaty camp, the excuse they used to move upon that camp was so that they could clear a barricade that we set up, a temporary barricade that we set up, so that emergency services could be delivered to the oceti sakowin camp, our main camp. now, their reason for moving on,
using rubber bullets and pepper spray and concussion grenades upon our water protectors was so that they could deliverhave access to deliver emergency services, ambulances and fire equipment, if needed, to the main camp. so, why is it that a number of days later, when a fire actually does happen, they refusethe morton county sheriff ignores the calls and pleas for help and does not send any ambulances or fire trucks to the place that they stated that they need to get to? why is it that there was no delivery of any kind of services until six hours later by the national guard, who brought in a helicopter to drop water on a fire that had at that point already been put out? why is it that bureau of indian affairs officers, who were on site with medical emergency service, with firefighting equipment, who were not allowed to combat that fire without explicit permission from morton county, they never received that permission? they asked.
morton county never gave them the permission to fight that fire. they just let it burn. i mean, theresits obvious collusion between morton county and the dakota access pipeline. and that collusion is causing a very, very dangerous situation for our water protectors and for the main camp, that houses women, children, elders and just people that care and love for the land and are there for one sole purpose: to protect the water. amy goodman: dallas, we got word that a horse had to be put down after being shot with rubber bullets by police. is this true? dallas goldtooth: this is true. when the police moved ahead to clear out the frontline camp to the far east, a number of our warriors, our horseback ridersactually, it was a really beautiful moment, iswe had a wall of police, backed by armored personnel carriers, and there was humvees up on the hill
with snipers on top of them aimed at our water protectors. and we were being pushed back, and batons are being swung, cracking over the heads and arms of our water protectors. and then we looked to the east, and over the hills to the east comes a herd of a couple hundred buffalo, bison, roaming, like stampeding towards the police line. and it was like a beautiful moment, because people saw this herd of buffalo, and this like cheer came up from the crowd, because it was like thislike that our fight was being recognized by the four-legged nation of the bison. and immediately behind them came some horseback riders, some young riders, men and women, who were actually guiding these buffalo towards the police line in an act of resistance and defiance. the police immediately responded by using, flying a helicopter extremely low. they were like flying like 30 feet off the ground to scare the
buffalo off. and then they deployed atvs to attack the horseback riders. they were shot with rubber bullets. there were concussion grenades that were fired at the horseback riders. one of the horseback riders was pulled off their horse. and sadly, one horse was injured so badly by the police that it had to be put down. and so, those horseback riders have since been honored and have been given war deeds and recognized as warriors and have been given honors as warriors because of the deeds that they did that day. amy goodman: dallas, before you go, can you give us the overall context of whywhat happened on -- why what happened on thursday and friday, why the escalated police presence, the roadblocks, the mrap, the lrad, you know, the sound cannons, the armored vehicles? what is taking place now? where is the building of the pipeline happening?
and has, as the standing rock sioux tribal chair, dave archambault, said on democracy now! fridayhas theasked, called for the justice department to intervene to stop the pipeline from moving forward? dallas goldtooth: we havent heard any response from the department of justice to intervene to protect our civil rights on the ground as water protectors. theres been silence on that end. and right now, were in a dire situation, amy. like, the pipeline is literally within miles of the missouri river. i mean, they cantat this point, cannot cross the missouri river. but we need to do everything in our power to keep it from getting to that place. so, with that at heart, we had established a frontline camp, a treaty camp, right on the dakota access easement, on dakota access, what they call their own land, but really is our land as oceti sakowin people.
we enacted a form of eminent domain, claiming the land back for ourselves as oceti sakowin folks. and we set up a beautiful encampment on that piece of property, which severely threatened dakota access, and, obviously, morton county sheriff, for their intents to build this pipeline. and so they came in with a large force. and you described, you know, a lot of the equipment that was there. and it was terrifying. i mean, we had elders, women and children who were put at severe risk because of the actions of law enforcement. a lot of folks know the ponca leader casey camp. she stood in defiance, in peaceful prayer, in front of an armored personnel carrier, because she loved the land and wanted to protect the missouri river, not just for the standing rock sioux nation, but for all nations and all people and the millions of people who depend on the missouri river for drinking water. so this movement is not founded out of hate for the police officers or for the workers themselves, but out of love for the land and for all of us as
human beings. thats why were there. our enemy is not the worker. our enemy is not the police. its the corporations that are hell-bent on poisoning mother earth and disconnecting ourselves even further from the sacred integrity of the land and the water. amy: that is dallas gold tooth. he works with the indigenous environmental network. of our coverage of the dakota access pipeline resistance and the standoff at standing rock, go to democracynow.org. thanks to john hamilton, dennis moynahan.
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