Thursday, February 2, 2017

Battle Lines and Rituals

I have a number of unfinished posts in queue, but things are moving so fast, I may never finish them. The battle lines are being drawn and ritual actions are being taken. We are in for a very bumpy ride indeed.

Yesterday, there was (another) Incident at Standing Rock that encapsulates and clarifies the situation. It wasn't being reported on in domestic media, and I only found out this morning -- first clued to it by someone living in Australia who'd seen the report on BBC.

A camp at Standing Rock was raided by North Dakota police in armored vehicles. 76 people were taken captive (let's call it what it was), their tipis were burned, their things bulldozed and destroyed. A near perfect historical raid on an Indian camp from back in the day -- except there was no massacre.

At first, it appeared that the camp in question was the Oceti Sakowin (Oyate) camp that I was led to believe was being evacuated (slowly) due to the request (order?) of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II and the Tribal Council. But it was not so. In fact, it appears, some of the evacuees had established a satellite camp on high  ground overlooking Oceti, and according to reports, several hundred Water Protectors had assembled there.

Shortly, police assembled en masse and ordered the camp demolished and the Water Protectors to remove themselves or face arrest. It appears that most of the Water Protectors did in fact leave, but a number refused and the police began their assault. The 76 who refused to leave were arrested and the camp was destroyed. The apparent excuse was that the Water Protectors were "trespassing" on private property that just happened to belong to Energy Transfer Partners or one of the other Dakota Access Pipeline companies.

The police were "just doing their jobs" by removing trespassers. You see.

Cowards of the County and the Corporate Republic of North Dakota, LLC.

Well, yes. It is their job, their most important job, to protect "private property" from "trespassers," and in North Dakota, throughout the Water Protector actions since last spring, the North Dakota authorities, along with supplementary "law enforcement" forces from other states and the federal government have been doing just that -- with as much violence and destructiveness as they deem necessary. Hundreds have been injured, some very seriously, and over 700 have been arrested, many facing felony charges.

When it comes to protest actions in this country, the Water Protectors' actions are as serious as they get, at least in recent times. Models include the Occupy actions and Black Lives Matter actions. But there is a long history of resistance actions in Native American society, and those actions, including the AIM occupations of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee in the '70s, are helping to inform the Water Protectors at Standing Rock -- and now around the country.

Defiance of the cowards who rule us is a fundamental aspect of the battle under way. In addition, there must be some vision of the future, but so much of the vision thing is tied up with maintaining systems of rule as they are -- or as they were a few weeks ago.

Trouble is, the systems are under immense strain and are coming apart. I suspect they cannot withstand the strain of the Trump "administration" and the crazy-making he's incapable of controlling.

I give it a month, maybe two, before it all spins into the abyss.

Then what?

We shall see. The battle lines are drawn. The rituals are being performed. And none of us can say nobody warned us.


UPDATE: It appears that the satellite camp that was raided was formed and inaugurated by Chad Iron Eyes, one of the prominent Standing Rock Sioux at odds with the Tribal Council and Chairman Dave Archambault II over how to proceed with the opposition to the pipeline. Chad was arrested along with numerous others in the raid. I understand Chad was charged with inciting a riot and other felonies, though there was no riot, so the charge is bogus, as are most of the charges levied against the Water Protectors.

Ms Ché asked some of the students at IAIA who had been to Standing Rock and who have kept in contact with those on the ground what they knew about the raid. Apparently the tipis were ceremonial and they were not burned. The camp was a symbolic statement by dissidents in the Oceti Oyate (Sakowin) camp who were being forced (requested) to leave before the floods came.

All of which I suspected when the news in the US was all but silent about what was going on.

One of the students Ms Ché talked to said, "Be careful about what you hear and read about the situation at Standing Rock. Some of the people on the ground and in the media are putting out fake news to advance their own agendas."

Well, yes. That's kind of how it goes these days, isn't it?


  1. I suspect that Standing Rock may be the first of Trump's test cases (unless he decides to go full military in Chicago before then). This'll be his Janet Reno/Branch Davidian moment.

    1. I think you're right. The Water Protectors aren't perfect, but they've got this down. Trump isn't wise, so he'll try to go toe to toe with them. Bad move.