Repression of water protectors intensifies at a statewide level as North Dakota GOP lawmakers introduce bills which would restrict the use of face masks, allow the federal government to be sued to cover law enforcement costs, and protect drivers from liability if they injure or kill a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a public road or highway.
Police also deployed an AN/TWQ-1 Avenger missile launcher to overlook the Standing Rock encampments. This military grade vehicle is built for “surface-to-air defense scenarios” and received widespread public exposure when it was placed around the Pentagon during the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks of 2001.
Ladonna Allard of Sacred Stone Camp says, “In Standing Rock, we came together to honor Martin Luther King, a man who stood up for injustice, and we were attacked. We came to stand in prayer, and we were attacked. Please pray for the water protectors.”
Tara Houska of Honor the Earth says, “As America honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man synonymous with fighting all manner of injustice, the atrocities in North Dakota continue. Unarmed citizens exercising their right to free speech are hit with tear gas and rubber bullets for opposing a fossil fuel pipeline. The people’s revolution continues – this is our planet and our children’s futures at stake.”
Eryn Wise of the International Indigenous Youth Council says “In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence…and that’s all this whole thing is about. We aren’t engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that…we are determined to be people. We are saying that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live.’ As protectors we have risen against all odds, to protect the water and the future of our children. Though we may be wounded and weary, we stand because we cannot look at the future of America, in the light our nation’s impending administration, and see anyone else that will stand for indigenous peoples and our rights.”
From: Sacred Stone Camp