(ANTIMEDIA) As protesters continue to stand against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, facing off against heavily militarized police and their water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and tasers, they have gained broad support. Celebrities and millions of social media users have raised awareness about the situation in North Dakota, and now, the “water protectors” have earned support from another group: veterans.
According to an article published by Business Insider that first appeared in Task and Purpose, a military-oriented news and culture site, two veterans are leading the charge in a show of dissent against the increasingly aggressive police. In the last several months, tensions have escalated as Natives and their allies have blocked the pipeline’s construction, citing fears surrounding water will be endangered and sacred burial sites will be destroyed (not to mention the fact their lands were forcibly stolen by the U.S. government over a century ago).
“This country is repressing our people,” says Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to work toward reforming law enforcement. “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,” he asserted about his plans to go to Standing Rock.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently signed an executive order forbidding Maryland public schools from beginning classes before Labor Day. Governor Hogan’s executive order benefits businesses in Maryland’s coastal areas that lose school-aged summer employees and business from Maryland families when schools start in August. However, as Governor Hogan’s critics have pointed out, some Maryland school districts, as well as Maryland schoolchildren, benefit from an earlier start to the school year.
Governor Hogan’s executive order is the latest example of how centralized government control of education leaves many students behind. A centrally planned education system can no more meet the unique needs of every child than a centrally planned economic system can meet the unique needs of every worker and consumer.
Centralizing education at the state or, worse, federal level inevitably leads to political conflicts over issues ranging from whether students should be allowed to pray on school grounds, to what should be the curriculum, to what food should be served in the cafeteria, to who should be allowed to use which bathroom.
The centralization and politicization of education is rooted in the idea that education is a right that must be provided by the government, instead of a good that individuals should obtain in the market. Separating school from state would empower parents to find an education system that meets the needs of their children instead of using the political process to force their idea of a good education on all children.
While many politicians praise local and parental control of education, the fact is both major parties embrace federal control of education. The two sides only differ on the details. Liberals who oppose the testing mandates of No Child Left Behind enthusiastically backed President Clinton’s national testing proposals. They also back the Obama administration’s expansion of federal interference in the classroom via Common Core.
Wild Buffaloes in North Dakota have been corralled without access to food or water to “protect” the construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Though the recent protests in the US would have you think that the biggest crisis facing the United States is Donald Trump’s surprise win, Native Americans have gathered in historic numbers to defend native territory from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, if completed, will span 1,170 miles at a cost of approximately $3.7 billion. The company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has pushed on with the project, despite covering up its dangers and circumventing the law.
Now, as the pipeline enters its final phase of construction in North Dakota, where most of the resistance to the pipeline is located, Energy Transfer Partners and its hired contractors have escalated tensions with protestors to protect the project as it enters its final phase. The State of North Dakota has also taken to protecting the pipeline. State police have been using rubber bullets, attack dogs, and tear gas on the protestors while North Dakota’s state attorneys have been working to intimidate journalists for covering and filming the protests. In one notable example, a filmmaker now faces up to 45 years in prison for only filming the protestors.
Now, it appears that the native wildlife are also targets. Yesterday, Indigenous Rising Media released a video showing a large group of wild buffaloes being herded into an enclosure surrounded by 8 foot deep trenches and razor wire.
One of the greatest takeaways of election 2016 is that mainstream, corporate news no longer cares about maintaining the appearance of objectivity, and that the internet has made it possible to counter the top-down state driven narrative with genuine, alternative journalism. This of course challenges the king-making abilities of the corporate media who were shocked when their preferred candidate lost.
“Hillary Clinton was the choice of nearly every American newspaper editorial board. It didn’t matter.” ~The Los Angeles Times
The sub-text here is that the public can not be trusted, and therefore information in the public domain must be controlled and regulated. But by whom, exactly?
Already several lists of websites are being widely circulated around the internet and heralded as go-to places to instantly determine the credibility of an internet publisher. There are a number of alarming problems with this, especially for a nation that supposedly values freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Several of these lists taxonomize websites under multiple categories, which are only tangentially related, yet grouped under the all encompassing banner of ‘fake’ news.
The most important concern, though, is who decides what fake news is?
Elders kept in cages. Demonstrators shot with rubber bullets. What’s happening at Standing Rock isn’t just a protest, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox writes. It’s a character test—one America is failing.
by: Josh Fox
OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, Standing Rock Reservation—The moral soul of this continent is at Standing Rock, and at the moment that soul is being beaten, maced, pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed, and locked up by a militarized police force acting on behalf of foreign oil companies.
As North Dakota police lock up and abuse peaceful “water protectors,” members of a growing resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline slated to transport oil under the Missouri River, it becomes clear that the fight over the tribal land of Standing Rock is not only the primary battleground for indigenous sovereignty; it is the center of the fight for clean water, to fight climate change, and to ban hydraulic fracturing. At its base, this is a struggle between the people and a government corrupted by corporate power.
Wes “Mekasi” Horinek, an activist with the water rights group Bold Alliance was arrested during a camp raid by local police. He described the atrocities he’s witnessed: “peaceful protesters were hooded, put in stress positions, strip-searched. We were placed in dog kennels with numbers written on our arms for hours. Elders were kept in cages in the basement of the police station for days.”
The Portland CAC, a coalition of local social and environmental justice groups, is working to retrofit an old school bus into a makeshift refuge and medical care unit to be driven to to the oil pipeline protest at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Complete with beds, heat, and medical supplies, the bus will provide a warm space and limited medical services to protestors allied with Native American tribes trying to block the pipeline.
The Bunk Bus project began when CAC members Mike Horner and Harlan Shober made a trip to Standing Rock to drop off supplies in the end of September. Hauling a load of wood stoves, tents, food, and other supplies, Horner and Shober were floored by the 30-mile-per-hour winds and severe weather conditions they encountered.
“The wind was howling,” says Horner. “Tents were falling down. Just by looking we could see that it was going to be unbelievably cold in the winter.”
Four stars from the movie, The Avengers, have now joined forces to demand President Barack Obama pay attention to abuses and excessive force being used against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other water protectors fighting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Evans have teamed up to use their celebrity status on behalf of Native Americans concerned the pipeline’s route under the Missouri River could poison drinking water for both the reservation and at least 18 million people downstream.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux are also particularly concerned further construction by Energy Transfer Partners endangers sites sacred to the tribe, some of which tribal historians had been unable to assess until recently due to previously longstanding lack of permission from now-private property owners.
All four Avengers have taken to social media in the past month to encourage others to share their support of opposition to the pipeline. As Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk in the film, said in a recent video:
“Take a stand for our brothers and sisters in #StandingRock! Join me in telling @barackobama to just say #NoDAPL. Period. Sign the petition and #StandWithStandingRock at the link in my bio.”
Thor actor Hemsworth shared a photo in full costume holding a sign which read, “We stand with Standing Rock #WaterisLife #NoDAPL #MniWiconi.”
Nantinki Young has fed almost 3000 people a day to support the protest against the Dakota pipeline that would destroy many Native American lands.
A member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, Young drove 2,100 miles to join the protests and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
Nantinki Young, 27, Santee, South Dakota: “I support the camp by providing energy and strength through the meals we prepare each day. I make sure everyone that comes here has something to eat even if it’s just a snack in between meals. … It’s not our tribe, I’m not from here, but we’re all Native Americans and we stand together.”
Since March, thousands of Native Americans, environmental activists and their allies — including some UC Berkeley students — have gathered at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to oppose the ongoing construction of the pipeline, which is intended to carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois each day.
Policein Thailand who were ordered to control protesters instead put down their barricades and helmets as a sign of support and solidarity for the protesters. This also happened in Germany in May, when German Police Removed Helmets and Escorted Occupy Frankfurt Protesters.
Are we looking at an awakening?
Humansarefree reports: Earlier this week in Thailand, a shocking turn of events took place. Ordered to harass and block protesters , policemen instead yielded to the peaceful riot by laying down their barricades and helmets as a sign of solidarity.
Editor’s note: There is no way this bullshit would be tolerated if these were white men with cowboy hats. Just sayin’…
By Claire Bernish
Cannon Ball, N.D. — On Thursday, police from no less than five states sporting full riot gear and armed with heavy lethal and nonlethal weaponry, pepper spray, mace, a number of ATVs, five tanks, two helicopters, and military-equipped humvees showed up to tear down an encampment of Standing Rock Sioux water protectors and supporters armed with … nothing.
Under orders from the now-notorious Morton County Sheriff’s Office, this ridiculously heavy-handed standing army came better prepared to do battle than some actual military units fighting overseas.
But the target of their operation — a group of slightly more than 200 Native American water protectors and supporters opposing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline — never intended to do battle with the armed, taxpayer-funded, corporate-backed, state-sponsored aggressors.
Reports vary, but no less than 141 people were arrested Thursday, and — according to witnesses — police marked numbers on arrestees’ arms and housed them in cement-floored dog kennels, without any padding, before they were transported as far away as Fargo.
“It goes back to concentration camp days,” asserted Oceti-Sakowin coordinator Mekasi Camp-Horinek, who, along with his mother, was marked and detained in a mesh kennel, reports the Los Angeles Times.