UPDATES FROM N. DAKOTA: Shasta County Water Protectors

Welcome to Shasta County Water Protectors Info Page!

DAPL is Halted by Army Corps Easement Denial:
5 December 2016 – In a surprise move on 4 December 2016, the USA  Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement needed for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, effectively blocking the construction of the pipeline from moving forward at this time.  While this fight is not over yet, this announcement is a major setback for the pipeline and a testament to the power of grassroots activism.

This is a tremendous victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe,  who have led the fierce and principled grassroots resistance to the pipeline, AND for all people and Mother Nature. Thanks and congratulations to all the heroic water protectors who led this fight by putting their bodies on the line to secure this amazing people powered victory!  We’ve proven yet again that grassroots resistance and direct action provide a viable roadmap for stopping pipelines and keeping fossil fuels in the ground, where they belong.

The oil industry will not give up easily – especially when a multi-billion dollar pipeline project is at stake.  In its memo announcing the easement denial, the Army Corps of Engineers said it would look for alternative locations for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and conduct an environmental study of alternate routes.  Meanwhile, the companies behind the pipeline released a statement overnight claiming they “fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting.”

We don’t yet know exactly what the attempts to bring the Dakota Access pipeline back to life will look like, but we do know this: we will continue fighting with every tool at our disposal to make sure the Dakota Access pipeline is never completed!  Today we celebrate, tomorrow we continue the fight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winona LaDuke Article: http://www.indiancountrynews.com/index.php/columnists/winona-laduke/14339-the-beginning-is-near-the-deep-north-evictions-and-pipeline-deadlines

Please Call The White House and your CONGRESS MEMBERS!
 Call the White House to request that the President (Commander in Chief) order the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.  If you don’t get through, please keep calling- you will get through eventually.  Every call helps!
White House: (202) 456-1111 &  (202) 456-1414

Might as well CALL THESE GUYS TOO!
Energy Transfer Partners: (214) 981-0700
U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers:
(202) 761-0010; (202) 761-0014

*Are you considering going to Standing Rock?
Please consider the situation carefully, and check this page:
HOW TO SUPPORT <
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For Video Updates, Click on these links:

sr-nyt-link-picWatch in HD: This is a fantastic drone view of the end of the 11/24/16 prayer action:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN35tiXsgck
blck-friday-razorwire srthanksgiving-linkrt-linksr-time-to-stand

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scroll Down for Older Updates From Standing Rock
FROM STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION:
(Scroll down for older updates and posts)

Thursday 24 November 2016:

Thanksgiving Morning Action: We Built a Bridge!! Over 100 fascist Oil Police looming above were powerless against the THOUSANDS!  More and more activists crossed the make-shift floating bridge (made of 2×6, 2×4, plywood, and styrofoam panels). Eventually, with what looked like over 1,000 people having crossed over to the “forbidden side”, directly under the threat of the cops’ water hoses and ominous weaponry, we received word that the Chief wanted us to de-escalate and bring the Water Protectors back to the other side of the river branch, thus avoiding more injuries and chaos.  It was such a powerful show of force, and we did not back down until the cop with the bullhorn shut up, and the Native leaders decided it was time.
img_7801 img_7783 img_7816

Wednesday 23 November 2016
:
Such an Honor to be here with the Standing Rock Sioux… I am super humbled and grateful to have been invited here and to be supporting this tribe and this movement- it is really “history in the making”.  We have been witnessing an incredible surge in the population of Water Protectors here at the Oceti Sakowin activist camp for the past two days.

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, a steady flow of cars has been brining in more and more people and supples from all over the USA and Canada.  It’s really hopeful and amazing to see this huge influx, as the camp population and size and spread of tipis, tents, and structures of all kinds becomes more dense and broad- a vast city of activists of all colors, shapes, and sizes.  This is an incredible show of support and passion for this blossoming anti-pipeline movement.
img_7668Today we heard a womon tell her story of being one of the first five Native youth activists who started the Standing Rock Water Protectors camp, back in April.  They have been here for half a year now, and from the beginning they were praying for and hoping for more support.  As the calls have been put out for such support, initially more and more Native Youth came, and then eventually thousands of supporters of all ages and non-Native people joined forces in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, who are the guardians of this part of the Missouri River.  It was an incredible story that brought up plenty of tears.

There have been some surges in the population here, and some large exoduses (like when the weather got really cold, right before and as we arrived), but it seems like steady growth over time (and the Thanksgiving “long weekend” that starts tomorrow)has led to this current explosion of arrivals.  It’s really busy here now!
oceti-sakowin
And with the arriving people comes tons of donations and progress on the construction of the stronger (and warmer) wood-frame buildings.  Today and tonight, a bunch of builders showed up to construct a new larger medical center, to add to the already impressive medical infrastructure that has been building and growing.  Now, the medical area is like a mall of healing tents, tipis, and yurts, for body work, acupuncture, chiropractic, EMT, herbal remedies, and healers of all kinds.  They have tons of free immune-building herbs and drinks and teas, etc. to keep the Water Protectors healthy too.  The tribal ambulances are called in when transport is needed (Standing Rock EMS).

This village is so wonderful in so many ways, it’s hard to describe, and it’s going to be really hard to leave!  Those who can are planning to stay through the winter, which is hardcore dedication, given the oncoming cold wind and snow.  But the development is ongoing and there will be many more warm indoor spaces ready for use very soon.

The Dakota Skipper is a rare, beautiful, and endangered butterfly, whose habitat is being destroyed by the construction of the DAPL.  Let’s put nature first for a change!!
img_7672

The presence of representatives from hundreds of First Nations peoples is such a beautiful and unique thing to behold.  We have been treated to constant sharing of songs, dances, stories, and traditions of so many different tribes- an amazing gift that never ends.  Drummers, elders, youth, singers, dancers, spiritual leaders, activist leaders, etc. have been sharing their voices and skills openly for all to learn from and feel and enjoy.  This is apparently the largest gathering of diverse tribes in recent history.  It is such a huge honor to have been invited here and to have been able to show up to support and learn and act in solidarity with so many passionate and diverse people.
ocet-two
I am in awe of the cultures and the people and the positive energy, despite the severe seriousness and scary parts of the grave situation.  There is a palpable lack of the mistrust and us/them energy that often goes with the unhealed trauma of the lingering genocide and colonial nightmare.  We are all a team and we all show deep respect for each other and the crucial common mission at hand: to kill the “Black Snake” called DAPL (the Dakota Access Pipeline).  It is a remarkable and exciting multicultural unity that i have never felt before.  We are a family, in many ways.
img_7642
Today, a group of wimmin performers arrived for a concert at the Sacred Fire circle (including the groups “Climbing Poetree” and “Rising Appalacia.” Much gratitude to these artists, who are also activists that understand how to respect Native culture and how to be graceful and humble, being guests on this Sioux land.  The concert was a beautiful blend of their great social and environmental justice themed art, combined with Native artists and story tellers, etc.  Such generous gifts!   The whole camp is filled with Indigenous singers and their songs, day and night.  It’s so amazing and wonderful to fall asleep to the drums and songs and to awaken in the early morning to more and more. And everyone is singing their magic to stop the DAPL.
sha-with-snow
Each morning, there is a prayer circle at dawn by the river, usually followed by a direct action (which often involves a large caravan of vehicles transporting the trained activists to the location of the action).  The details are kept quiet until the departure time, to prevent leaks to the authorities about the day’s intentions.  In the early morning, there are usually some young warriors riding around with a bullhorn reminding us why we are here and motivating the protectors to prepare for action.
Even with several hundred activists heading out for the daily actions (like when we went to Bismarck on Monday), there are still thousands more in camp, praying, building, cooking, healing, organizing, and being trained to do non-violent direct action safely and effectively.  It’s all very organic and open but participatory and functionally effective.  This is like graduate school for environmental and human rights activists, sociologists, spiritual seekers, artists, singers, dancers, and cultural learners.  I’m a life-long learner, and i like to be in all of those categories.  We are getting pretty good at listening and honoring, always keeping our purpose FIRST: We will STOP the Black Snake, DAPL!!.

What makes this all even more special and incredible, is the fact that this Oceti Sakowin camp is just one (albeit the largest) of three huge camps, here along the rivers, at the Northern edge of the Standing Rock Nation reservation.  I wish i knew how many Water Protectors are here now.  It seems almost impossible to even estimate, but it must be many thousands, with more arriving by the minute.  It’s after dark now, and i can still see a long line of vehicles in line to enter the North Gate, where the beautiful banner we delivered and hung is prominently and proudly welcoming activists to camp, just a few hundred meters from the “front line”.  There are new actions each day, organized by the Standing Rock Action Committee, and supported and activated by thousands of both seasoned and first-time activists.  The organizers are so professional and experienced, and there is a large Legal Team, and at least two Direct Action Training sessions held every day.

This is what Democracy looks like!  This is what community looks like.  This is what Unity looks like. This feeling and this movement is spreading globally, and we are making history here every day.  Count me in!

Wednesday 23 November 2016:
We have heard an update about the tragic horrible injury that one of our devoted fellow Water Protectors sustained on Sunday night from overly-aggressive and violent militarized police.  This madness is so sad and criminal!  We are all praying for her recovery, but she is apparently at risk of losing the use of her arm. Here is a report from the San Francisco-based International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), which is one of my favorite non-profit organizations – PLEASE SUPPORT THEM, if you can (here:  http://www.iitc.org/support-our-work/ )…

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) condemns the use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement against Standing Rock Water Protectors, calls for additional UN action…
Ms. Sophia Wilansky was injured as a result of deadly force used by Morton County North Dakota Sherriff’s Department against water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin Standing Rock Camp on the night of November 20th, 2016. IITC, first and foremost, offers our thoughts for her and her family, and our prayers for her recovery.
police-with-rubber-bullet-gun
(*Notice the cop left of center, with a truly creepy psychopathic smile, as he watches unarmed non-violent people get shot with rubber bullets and tear gas- Disgraceful.

Ms. Wilansky’s arm was severely injured when she was reportedly struck by a concussion grenade fired at several hundred unarmed water defenders opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  The multi-billion dollar oil pipeline threatens the water, Treaty rights and sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Due to the severity of her injuries, Ms. Wilansky, who is 21, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis where she has undergone several hours of surgery.

In addition to concussion grenades, North Dakota law enforcement also used high pressure water cannons, mace, tear gas and rubber bullets against the water defenders who were attempting to cross a bridge near the DAPL construction site. Many suffered from hypothermia as a result of cold water directed at them at high velocity in sub-freezing temperatures with potentially life-threatening effects.

The IITC considers these actions as constituting use of deadly force. New reports indicate that over 300 water protectors were injured in this incident, and 27 were taken to hospitals including some with broken bones and head injuries. Photos, videos and eyewitness accounts were widely circulated on social and other media. The IITC strongly condemns this escalating violence used against peaceful human, Treaty and environmental rights defenders opposing the DAPL.
img_7453
The IITC has reported this latest incident and the escalation of police violence it represents to the United Nations (UN) human rights system including the UN Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, members of the UN Working Group on Human Rights and Multinational Corporations, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. IITC has requested that UN human rights bodies immediately contact the United States government to call for an immediate halt to the increasing human rights violations including the use of deadly force against these unarmed defenders.

Tuesday 22 November 2016:
Today was much warmer (and sunny), so a great relief from bitter cold and winds.  The Oceti Sakowin camp appears to be growing daily, with a large rush of new Water Protectors streaming in day and night.  We have been able to explore more of this vast village and it is an immense and impressive display of community-building and ever-growing infrastructure.
img_7595
Seeing the hundreds of different tribes and activist groups and geographical regions represented here is really exciting and beautiful and promising.  Living in community with such a diverse population of Native people from all over is empowering and inspiring.  And, the absence of alcohol and other drugs (except caffeine and tobacco, of course) creates a wonderfully supportive, clear, and easier energy, that is so precious and rare in large gatherings.  Wow.
img_7590
We are building more and more wood-framed buildings here, in addition to the hundreds of tipis, Mongolian yurts, and tents and structures of all kinds.
img_7587
About Donations:  I can not speak for the camp organizers, but from my perspective, we are being overwhelmed with material donations and they are piling up without enough space to store them, as winter approaches.  My suggestion is: FOCUS ON CONTACTING THE ARMY CORPS of ENGINEERS and your CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, rather than collecting or sending more food, clothing, or medical supplies.
img_7393There is a huge amount of donated warm clothing here, if you come and need extra layers!

And, take a peek at just ONE OF MANY supply tents jam-packed with amazing amounts of food and other supplies:
img_7604
As you can see, this large tent has an approximately 7′ tall by 10′ wide and 6′ deep mountain of bags of donated bulk beans, flours, and grains… If a snow storm came, it would be seriously at-risk… We need more permanent-type sheds for storage of supplies and for activists to stay warm.
img_7602

There is also a great need for firewood for winter.  We decided to change our plan and refrain from transporting firewood from California, because of biological concerns over accidentally spreading pests and pathogens into other forests.  We have seen the devastation of various beetle and diseases, so we felt the risk of transporting harmful vectors was not worth it.  Sending money for camp organizers to purchase firewood locally seems to be a safer and more efficient way to do it.  Here is a picture of the main firewood pile, mostly reserved for the central Sacred Fire:
img_7599
One of the main activities here now is preparing for winter.  That involves constructing actual wood frame small buildings, as camping in tents and tipis becomes increasingly difficult, especially for elders.  If you can send lumber and fasteners and tools and other building materials (along with a few dozen carpenters), that seems to be the most valuable supplies here now, whereas clothing, food, and medicine are less in need.

Monday 21 November 2016:

FROM STANDING ROCK
Today was another intense day, starting at dawn with a call to action on the front line again.  More conflict at the bridge front line…  We think over 300 Water Protectors were injured last night.  Later in the morning, we had a long caravan of vehicles to go to Bismarck city and we managed to march around and blast our voices at various banks and the USA Federal Building  (we inadvertently shut down the main Post Office by doing that).
img_7556
We blocked a major downtown intersection with a huge linked circle, while Native Youth leaders led a prayer in the center of the intersection.  After one arrest, we decided to let traffic through… That was all quite intense, and i have a new fear of being arrested because of all the abusive, angry, and unprofessional cops here.  They don’t play fairly with activists doing civil disobedience here, like the police in SF did when i was arrested twice during war protests… The cops here are very intimidating, and the DAPL workers and other supporters are scary too.
img_7579

 Sunday 20 November 2016
Quick Report From Standing Rock
:

We made it safely, and the journey has been incredible!  Just returning to camp from a city action in Bismarck, so i am at a coffee shop for a minute… The bitter cold and wind here is super harsh (especially while camping!), but not nearly as intolerable as tear gas and rubber bullets.  The cops and angry DAPL supporters here are way more scary and dangerous than frostbite.   We are really a minority here and the California plates attract plenty of middle fingers.
The banner on the main entrance security building was donated by family and we delivered it and placed it here, as a proud and profound welcome for the main activist camp:
our-banner

Sunday 20 November 2016:
FROM STANDING ROCK
I don’t really know how to describe what is going on here and what happened tonight, as it is not like anything i have ever experienced before and i am still in shock from what i have seen, felt, heard, and cried about today.

As i write this in my cozy tent, there are planes and helicopters flying over constantly (it’s 11:00 PM here in the Central time zone).  The conflict here seems to be escalating, with both sides refusing to back down. We arrived last night, exhausted, in the dark, after driving over 1600 miles non-stop (with very little sleep for the past few days ) from Big Bend Madesi Territory of the Pit River Nation to this beautiful Standing Rock Sioux territory.  We are camped at the confluence of the Cannon Ball river and the Missouri River, along with thousands of fellow water protectors from many tribes and many states and provinces, who have put down what they are doing to travel here to put their bodies, minds, and spirits on the line to help stop this madness.  This place is very far from just about everywhere, so almost all the activists here made a long trip to get here.
img_7383
Above:  Oceti Sakowin activist camp’s “Flag Road”, showing some of the hundreds of tribes represented here.  Population seems to range between 2,000 and 10,000 from week to week.

Last night is was 21º F, and the winds were strong.  Winter camping can  be very difficult.  We have to watch for signs of frost nip, frost bite, and hypothermia.  We have to conserve energy and have plenty of layers and warmest hats etc.  It seems a bit crazy to be doing this at this time of year in this bizarre place.  Goddess knows i would rather be at home (in paradise) working on my many goals and projects, which i love.
img_7373

My hands are getting too cold to type much more (even though most of me is warm inside two sleeping bags.  The low overhead harassing air traffic is really annoying and makes sleep difficult.

After a beautiful and fascinating day of settling in, setting up camp, and attending a jam packed direct action training with super impressive activist presenters, we were beginning to prepare for tomorrow morning’s planned action by registering with the legal team and getting some supplies and special gear together, such as eye-protection goggles for pepper spray, extra outside layers to shed when sprayed, ear plugs to protect from the LRAP assaults (Long Range Auditory Projectile), etc.  We thought it was almost time for early to bed, since it was dark and getting colder by the minute.  That’s when the mayhem began, unexpectedly, and quickly escalating into a strange fascist kind of battle situation.  Tonight was a crazy night.
polie-riot
National Guard and Police troops attack non-violent unarmed protesters with huge water cannon in sub-freezing temperatures- Insanity!

After tonight, i will never forget the foul and utterly disgusting taste of Tear Gas!  After two hours, brushing my teeth twice, and eating pungent food and drinks, i can still taste the last lingering nastiness from inhaling what seemed to be a very small amount of this nasty chemical warfare agent… I am feeling much better now, but my guts are aching from the ten minutes of uncontrolled retching, like nothing i have ever experienced in all my years of being a good puker!  I never knew my body could heave like that, or for that long!  It was a very strange reaction, because i did not even feel nauseous, but my body was freaking out and trying to get rid of whatever entered my system.

The militarized police and National Guard here are psychopaths (insane weaponry on front line used against peaceful unarmed people exercising freedom).  So sad! 
front-line
What i witnessed was peaceful water protectors standing before the daunting razor wire barricade, not advancing , when the cops just started firing a huge water cannon at the peaceful activists (it was after dark and about 24º F with a light wind).  I was so amazed at the bravery and strength of the folks who remained at the front line, standing strong and defiant, despite being soaked with freezing cold water in the freezing cold night.  Then the tear gas and rubber bullets started flying.  It was a serious battle zone, but only the cops were attacking.  We were staying behind the cops line and not doing anything that needed to be stopped (except representing truth and justice, of course).  It was super scary and sad.
img_7440
I was asked to be an on-the-spot “Medic Assist” and was ferrying wool blankets and eye-wash bottles to the front line, trying to stay safe and avoid rubber bullets and water cannon and tear gas, which seemed manageable at first… But then the cops bumped it up a notch and i watched a tear gas canister sail right over my head as i was retreating.  I thought i avoided the visible tear gas clouds, but suddenly i realized that i was breathing it in, and within seconds i was coughing uncontrollably and then my stomach seemed to explode.   It was an indescribably disgusting feeling and i puked for ten minutes uncontrollably.  Thank Goddess i had a scarf over my face and goggles on and it did not get in my eyes.
cops-attack

People around this amazing camp still do not really know exactly how tonight’s police riot even started, because it was apparently not planned or organized, but a spontaneous conflict that erupted unexpectedly and exploded exponentially before our shocked eyes.  Apparently, some activists went out to the “front line” to collect some burned vehicle carcasses that were blocking the road.  The front line is the northern edge of the SR Sioux Nation reservation, where the rivers meet and just south of the planned DAPL path, where they plan to bore a pipe route under the river, which is the final stage in this multi-billion dollar project to bring the dirtiest fracked oil to global markets.  Addiction to greed and petroleum…  Tooo cold- Do this later.

img_7376WE ARE STAYING SAFE!

More updates when we can!
Big Love,  Munko
and the Water Protectors here in ND.
www.protectwater.love
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“The side with the best map wins.”
-Geographer, Zoltan Grossman
dapl-map-black-snakeInfo about this map:
https://northlandia.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/a-nodapl-map/

                Thanks for your participation and support!