Mark Zuckerberg, what the Hell is wrong with you?
The Protectors (because they are so much more than damn protesters!) at Standing Rock have been calling and texting me that they’re Facebook livestreams have been cut off.
Whaaaaattttt? was my response.
Yep, they continued . . . and the police are over there arresting people left and right.
Including Quese IMC, the young native warrior who has been tweeting and speaking out on what this fight is all about.
But . . . but . . .
Okay, I know I’ve been sick in bed for a few days. But I distinctly remember reading on Friday that President Obama okayed an injunction the Standing Rock Tribe filed to stop the construction until the Native Americans had time to submit reports about the ancestral monuments and the burial grounds which would be destroyed if construction of the Dakota Access pipeline happened.
Yeah, Yonasda Lonewolf told me today. “Well, they just arrested Quese.”
“Well, when he questioned why they were arresting him they said they really weren’t . . . they were just detaining him until they could find a reason to arrest him.”
Then someone else told me that people in a car going to join the Protectors were arrested and charged with conspiracy.
Now, that, I said . . . has got to be pure rumor and bullshit.
But with a little investigation I found:
Holy crap! They actually pulled a car over based on the fact that it had people in it, and then charged the people with conspiracy.
You just can’t make this stuff up!
For those of you who don’t know what the Hell is going on (and I understand since this really hasn’t been covered by the national media!) Dakota Access LLC was given permission to build a 1,172-mile pipeline which would go through Native American land ― destroying ancient burial sites and sacred monuments, according to article written by the National Lawyers Guild.
And the proposal was given by the Corps of Army Engineers, in violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty ratified in 1869 promising no government infringement on the land without consultation with the Native American residents on that territory.
Thousands of Native Americans, different tribes from all over the country, traveled to North Dakota in protest of the violation, and to protect the sacred land and water threatened. Pepper spray and dogs were unleashed on them, and still they say. Protectors, determined to preserve the sanctity of their heritage, and the land and water.
Then last Friday, the court denied the Standing Rock tribe’s request for an injunction.
But then, just hours later, President Obama stepped in, and a joint statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of The Army, and the Department of the Interior was issued saying permission to construct the pipeline would not be given until the studies and reports from both sides were fully considered.
And it went on to say:
“ . . . we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely. We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence. Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities. The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.”
And that’s the last I knew before my multiple sclerosis said, “Karen, take your butt to bed for a few days.”
And I, reluctantly, had to say: Okay.
So then I get up today and hear. . . all this?
People being arrested over there in Standing Rock? Protectors? Peaceful folks?
No. I love you, Yonasda, but you must be wrong.
Except when I read an AP report saying 30 folks had been arrested by the Morton Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Three of them were arrested for chaining themselves to bulldozers. And I understand that those were guys were charged with felony reckless endangerment.
Can’t see who they were endangering . . . and to the extent that they’re being charged with felonies?
Could it be . . . no . . . but what if . . . nah!
They couldn’t be handing out stiff charges like this to scare those Protectors still remaining off?
But you know . . . wait a minute. I do remember that an arrest warrant was put out for Amy Goodman ― a broadcast journalist with Democracy Now who had been filming what was going on ― for a trespassing charge.
And when I contacted Unicorn Riot ― who has been covering the situation since April 1st ― told me it’s not clear if law enforcement is targeting livestreamers because of their political views or for their ethnic background.
Either the way, they said, “We will not be deterred by recent attacks on our ability to provide educational services to the public through our all-volunteer media platform.
Hmm . . . there could be something to this attempt at a chilling effect after all.
And even though the Obama administration asked Energy Transfers Partner ― the company actually doing the construction ― to halt, they won’t confirm that they’ve done so, according to the Associated Press.
“The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it has halted construction in that section or is backing down on its plans to build the pipeline, but has said construction continues elsewhere.”
That’s because, when I re-read the joint statement, I realized that Obama and them were requesting, not demanding, that the company “voluntarily” halt the construction.
Uh huh . . .
Sorry, Yonasda. Back to you.
“I can’t see how they could be arresting and charging anybody, with trespassing. It’s not their land,” continued Yonasda Lonewolf, who is Oglala and Black. “If anything we should be going to the U.N. and charging the United States with trespassing on our land for the past 500 years.”
Ah, but you see, Yonasda . . . the police and the government can do any damn thing they want as long as no one is watching . . .
. . . and while there are only a few itty bitty reports in the national media, nothing that gives the full scope of what’s going on.
Even a rally held in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, where U. S. Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke got some press, but not much.
Which is why it was so important for the people there at Standing Rock to get word out to the world.
But now there seems to be a stop to that.
Quese IMC ― who was featured in a popular public service announcement for the Native American Relief Fund last year and has a large social media following ― had been livestreaming to FaceBook, even livestreaming his arrest. But that’s now been removed from his FaceBook page.
Mark Zuckerberg, look, hon . . .
One of the reasons people so many social activists were in love with FaceBook and Instagram was because it allowed people whom the mainstream press were ignoring to let the world know what was really going on . . . with no filter.
I mean, I was disappointed with the whole shutting down of Korryn Gaines’ livestream when she was barricaded in her house, and ultimately shot and killed by police.
Come on, man . . . you can’t let the same thing happen again, can you, dude?
Please, open the door and let some transparency in.
And if what’s going on, as far as livestreams being pulled down from Facebook, is not your fault . . . then I apologize. But maybe you should look into it.
But in the meantime ― I hope folks who read this will help spread the word and pressure CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, etc., to do their job and do some responsible reporting.
And more importantly, call the Morton County Sheriff’s Department at 701-667-3330, and tell them you care, and ― mainstream media be damned ― you’re watching.