Today in Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) territory, women led a march onto the 1806 bridge. They confronted militarized police, private security, and the National Guard. These tough guy cowboys were cowering behind a military barricade that makes the 58th Parallel look like a picket fence. What were they so afraid of? A peaceful group of indigenous women chanting slogans like “water is life?” The women's march led to prayer and a sit-in. They asserted Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) rights to their treaty territory. The actions were in defiance of an “eviction notice” earlier issued by US Army Corps of Engineers Col. Henderson. A previous attempt by water protectors to remove the militarized barricade was met with vicious #Police Brutality. Sadly, it is nothing new. Indigenous peoples have confronted this type of colonial violence since the day the invaders arrived.
This week, while Americans busily engage in the excesses of gluttony in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday myth and brutalize one another in competition for commodities on Black Friday, another story unfolds. On the morning of November 29th, 1864 Col. John M. Chivington led his militia, the Third Colorado Volunteers, to a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho village and opened fire. Estimates are as high as three hundred murdered. The atrocities continued. Fetuses were cut from women's wombs, women's breasts were cut off, male genitals were cut off and female genitals cut out. The sadisitic soldiers bragged that they would make various trophies out of them. This was the Sand Creek Massacre. Then, as now, both the state and mainstream media colluded in the violence against indigenous peoples.
Governor John Evans who was also the Editor of the Rocky Mountain News, used his newspaper to incite anti-Indian violence which led to public support for the massacre. In the aftermath the papers claimed that the soldiers had successfully defeated “500 Cheyenne Dog Soldiers.” Today, North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple has created a police state. His militarized police force, private security, and the National Guard have colluded with the local mainstream media, as well as the national media, to falsely portray the water protectors as violent, and therefore deserving of violence. Then, as now, not all of the white settlers, nor the soldiers, agreed with this atrocity. Capt. Silas Soule and Lt. Joe Cramer put themselves in the line of fire attempting to defend them in defiance of direct orders by the racist lunatic Col. Chivington.
Soule testified in Congress against the murderers. He was later murdered, allegedly by one of Chivington's men, at the present day intersection of 15th and Arapahoe in Denver, Colorado. The Cheyenne and Arapaho nations were fortunate enough to win congressional recognition of the massacre site as a US National Historic Site. Each year they run the Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing run from the massacre site to the state capitol building. When they arrive in the city the last leg of the run begins from the site of Capt. Silas Soule's grave at Riverside Cemetery, with another stop at the site of his murder at 15th and Arapahoe. The Cheyenne and Arapaho nations are traditional allies of the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation). Many stand with Standing Rock against present day police violence.
Obama, do what is right
The fascist police force nearly perpetrated another massacre on November 20th, and 21st. Shooting people will rubber bullets, concussion grenades, mace, and spraying them with a water canon in subzero temperatures. The attack nearly resulted in one death, people suffered seizures from the tear gas and mace, a woman's retina was detached, another women's arm was nearly blown off. The water protectors who peacefully confronted this violence are one of the only things standing between humanity and catastrophic #Climate Change. Whatever is left of #Obama's legacy stands on his standing with Standing Rock. Obama, stop this pipeline now.