One of the drivers was there last month, but the other two hadn't been able to go previously. Ms Ché helped fund the trip by purchasing a wonderful sculpture from one of the artists heading toward the unknown in North Dakota. It's about an 18 hour drive from Santa Fe, so we expected them to reach Standing Rock sometime yesterday afternoon. But we haven't heard. They were planning to spend the week.
Then this happened last night.
Drone footage showing water cannons being used on water protectors— Carlton Banksy (@rtyson82) November 21, 2016
At the end of the clip, they try to shoot drone w/ water cannon#NoDAPL pic.twitter.com/N0S1Sic2TQ
The sheriff of Morton County, responsible for the use of water cannon against the Water Protectors, of course lied and said there was no water cannon use against people last night, they were only used to put out fires started by the "rioters". He lies because it is who he is and what he does.
The temperature was in the twenties; many Water Protectors suffered from hypothermia. There were reports of an elder and possibly others suffering cardiac arrest.
Not only were water cannons used, so were rubber bullets, tear gas, flash bangs and pepper spray. More than 160 were reported injured and 7 have been hospitalized with severe headwounds caused by whatever it was police and sheriffs were firing at the unarmed crowd. [Update: Injured were later reported to number over 200, 2 elders went into cardiac arrest, revived with CPR, 17 were hospitalized, several with serious head and body wounds from police munitions. Hypothermia was common.]
The Water Protectors were trying to remove military vehicles barricading a bridge so that emergency vehicles could pass. That's when Authorities attacked. The attack continued for hours. That's how so many were injured. I checked Unicorn Riot this morning and was shocked at what happened overnight.
The authorities in North Dakota have been out of control for a long time as they protect the pipeline, not the people or the water, but this is a significant escalation. Things are getting nastier as more and more force is utilized against the unarmed Water Protectors.
We're worried about the safety of our friends, but we also know they are very strong and resolute members of Indian Nations who will not succumb to fear of what might happen to them during their time at Standing Rock.
They are on a supply run, yes, but also on a spiritual mission. Not just for themselves but for the tribes they represent and for other Americans who listen and learn.
This is as deep running a struggle as we have jointly faced in many years, and I give all due credit to the people of Standing Rock and their millions of allies around the world who have brought the issue of Water Protection and all its ramifications into sharp focus.
More news at Unicorn Riot
And the Guardian is at least covering it.
Strength and solidarity.
Testimony from one of Ms Ché's friends who is up there:
To our friends and family, we'd like to let you know we're ok. We survived the horror of last night and still managed to accomplish our goals today. The supplies were distributed and the rental truck was returned. Despite having chemical burns and congestion from the gas, we've managed to keep our spirits up by laughing with each other and taking time to pray. Yakoke (thank you) to all those who have reached out in concern. Keep fighting the good fight! ❤️💪🏽 #nodapl #standingrock #honortheearth #honorthetreaties #gratitude #ocetisakowin
And still more:
Note the ordnance fired at the Water Protectors, the same sort of ordnance the Sheriff said wasn't used. The same sort of ordnance that caused one Water Protector to lose her arm.
These officers of the :law: are nothing but freaks.