. . .

☆ November 28, 2016

Quick story from last night. I had just gotten back to the front lines after the medics treated me for getting tear gassed…the first time. As I’m framing up a shot of the riot police lineup through my viewfinder, I hear a loud pop in the distance. The woman standing beside me, probably half my size, goes down hard. I thought she slipped on the ice (the pavement had frozen by that point due to hours of being sprayed by law enforcement’s water cannon in 20 degree weather). She wasn’t responding. It wasn’t until I found this next to her body that I knew she didn’t slip – she was shot. Moments later, she woke and became hysterical – rightfully so. Turns out, the 40mm sponge round got her right in the head. THE HEAD. As the volunteer medics pulled her away through the chaos, I looked in the direction where the shot came from. There I saw him, a cop with full face head gear, holding the riot gun that took the woman out. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I know he saw mine. He raised his hand, and started shaking his finger at me. It was in that moment that I realized he actually missed his shot, because that round was meant for me. Another photographer asked if I was alright. I told him what happened, and he wasn’t surprised. He revealed that press working alongside the ‘Water Protectors’ have been targeted by law enforcement since day one of the movement. They’ll arrest you, “lose your memory card” in jail processing, and your story’s gone. Or the quick version, try taking me out with a 40mm sponge round from a riot gun. A cop who’d rather see me be knocked unconscious than to publish a story – I’ll be honest, it shook me to my core. The only problem for him, it just validated how important this story really is. And because of that, I’ll continue telling it to the best of my ability. A word of advice to the next guy who tries to take my ass out. Save your ammo, because my shot will always be more powerful than yours.

A photo posted by Kit Karzen (@kitkarzen) on

The positive take-away from last nights horrific violence was that the media finally seems to be taking the issue seriously. The police chief told a story of activists “rioting” when in fact it was the police that moved in and attacked non-violent people. He also told media outlets that activists had lit fires that they had to put out with water cannons. In truth, activists did light two fires to stay warm in sub freezing weather but it was the concussion grenades that police threw at activists that started multiple, uncontained fires. In 25 degree weather, water cannons were turned on activists, provoking mass hypothermia. Rubber bullets were fired at people’s faces and hands. The lies are hollow and easily dispelled by multiple sources of video footage. This photo shows the string of flood lights that runs along the pipeline. The lights point at the camps where approximately 7-8,000 water protectors sleep. It never gets truly dark and this light pollution is compounded by the constant buzz of a plane that flies for most of the night. During the day it is replaced by a helicopter. All of these things truly make this beautiful country feel like a war zone. @natgeocreative @iiyc_nodapl @rezpectourwater @sacredstonecamp @ocetisakowincamp @honortheearth @aureta @indigenousrising @uptouscaravan @earthguardians @waterkeeperalliance #nodapl #standingrock #dapl #dakotapipeline #waterislife #water #rights #solidarity #oil #corporategreed #mniwiconi #sioux #lakota #dakota #sioux #standwithstandingrock #ocetisakowin #ocetisakowincamp #sacredstone #sacredstonecamp #AHO #waterprotectors #waterrights #activism #resist #military #humanrightsabuse

A photo posted by Josh Humbert (@joshhumbert) on

Thoughts this morning as I look over this incredible nation at Standing Rock: I believe this MOVEMENT needs to be so big and public opinion needs to be so vocally against what is happening here that it can not continue. That is what is going to stop this. But mainstream media will not cover this resistance, that’s become clear. So I’ve been thinking, what are all the angles of what is happening here and how can we move as many people into action? The environmentalists care, the indigenous rights people care, what about people who don’t fall into those realms? One of the very alarming realities I’m seeing first hand here is the militarization of local state police. In this situation, civilians are gathering, unarmed and peaceful, but yes standing in opposition to what the state is allowing to happen. America was founded by people who were standing up to circumstances they felt were oppressive and wrong. We have the constitutional right to peacefully assemble and disagree with actions being taken. We are seeing that right being exercised here, and we are seeing very disturbing violent and heavily armed actions being used by state funded police against these unarmed civilians. They are doing almost anything to try and quiet the resistance. Recently the Bundy militia exercised their right to oppose the actions of the government. They were heavily armed and it was very televised. My point here is if you are an American, what we are seeing here at the resistance at Standing Rock should be VERY alarming. The normalization of the militarization of our state funded police and the way in which they are freely using lethal weapons against unarmed civilians who are peacefully assembling is very scary for EVERY American. Even if you don’t think the issues being opposed here matter in your life, one day there may come a time when you need to stand up to our government to protect your family and community and you do not want to stand face to face with these police with these weapons. They are in theory civil servants, but today they are standing with corporate interests, not for civilian safety. 📷 @idahoney

A photo posted by Cate Havstad (@havstadhatco) on

A video posted by Awake The Tribe (@awakethetribe) on

This morning the Standing Rock Sioux woke to find their ancestral burial ground surrounded by razor wire and their boats smashed.

A photo posted by Wayne Belger (@boyofblue) on

I sat next to this river for a good 30 minutes taking in everything that was going on around me. On top of the hill in the background sat the local authorities watching the peaceful people below. In the distance you could hear the tribal drums and singing of the proud people of this land; the woman on the left in this picture was dancing along. When the music stopped she broke down and began to cry. I sat silently and listened to her cries and pleas with her creator. She was saying to the other woman, “They’ve taken everything from us…and now they want to take this”. • What resonated with me the most though was when she very quietly under her sobbing said, “I’m so tired of the suffering”. Hearing her say that brought me to tears and I got up from the side of that river and slowly walked back to camp with a heavy heart. • As a veteran and once proud American, I’ve never been more ashamed of being from this country. What’s happening in North Dakota is down right criminal — no other way of putting it. #nodapl #istandwithstandingrock #mniwiconi #waterislife

A photo posted by Jake Faivre (@thewanderingfarmer) on

On Tuesday evening peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock experienced, what I believe to be, deep human rights violations. Concussion grenades, mace, water cannons, rubber bullets and tea gas injured elders, women, men and children. I cannot be on the front lines, but I can still be linked in action and prayer. And so can you. I’ve taken just half an hour out of my day the past two days to make phone calls to express my heartfelt care and concern. I’m a bit of a phone-shy person, so making calls like this can feel intimidating to me (maybe you too?), but I promise once you get over that first initial call it feels so very empowering and good. Here’s an example of what I say, “ Hello, my name is Asia Suler (if calling a representative I mention where I’m calling and that I’m a constituent). And I’m calling to express my deep concern over, what I perceive to be, the human rights violations happening at Standing Rock. I am shocked by the way in which these peaceful protestors have been treated and I’m calling to ask that (representative, senator, or simply “you”) look into ending the militarized actions that are happening.” If I’m calling a Police station or armed forced number I like to also mention that I believe deeply in sacred ethics of the police to “protect people” in our country and ask that such force be used to truly protect all of life, and not just the interest of a vested corporation. Here are the number’s I’ve been calling… Senator John Hoeven // 701-250-4618 + 202-224-2551 Senator Heidi Heitkamp // 701-258-4648 +202-224-2043 Rep. Kevin Cramer // 701-224-0355 + 202-225-2611 Morton County Sheriff’s Department // (701) 328-8118 + (701) 667-3330 North Dakota National Guard// (701) 333-2000 Department of Justice // (202) 514 – 2000 And know that your direct donations, your willingness to divest from the big banks that are funding this, and your PRAYERS are turning, turning, turning the tide. If you feel moved by this, let something inside of you move into alignment with what is being healed. Your motion is part of the wave that will change everything #nodapl #waterislife #mniwiconi

A photo posted by Asia Suler (@onewillow_apothecaries) on

November 16, via WSJ, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren stated, ‘ “I really wish for the Standing Rock Sioux that they had engaged in discussions way before they did.” “We could have changed the route,” Mr. Warren added. “It could have been done, but it’s too late.” ’

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has released the audio recording from their council meeting with DAPL and the ND Public Service Commission on Sept. 30, 2014. If you don’t want to listen to the whole meeting, start at 55:00.

Direct links if the embeds above don’t work for you: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Edited to add ~ I do not understand the “there are two sides to the story” argument. What’s happening at Standing Rock is really no different from a corporation, backed by the US military, going to Mexico and saying, “we want the Yucatan peninsula, so we’re taking it.” And then expecting/demanding that Mexico say, “OK, Uncle Sam, whatever you want.” The land occupied by Oceti Sakowin camp and the land occupied by DAPL/militia is all sovereign treaty land. It is theirs, it is sovereign land, and our government has no claim to it. Treaty doesn’t mean, “you can have this till we want it.” It means “THIS IS YOURS FOREVER.”


26 Responses to “. . .”

  1. K Boone
    November 28th, 2016 @ 7:40 am

    Thank you so very much for posting all of this.

  2. Diane
    November 28th, 2016 @ 7:40 am

    Shocking and sad.
    Here in Europe it looks as if the USA has not changed at all, nor learnt anything over the few centuries of its existence. The powerful and wealthy “invaders” are still trying to take over lands from indigenous peoples in order to make a fast buck. So sad.

  3. Vee
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:21 am

    My heart aches reading and seeing this.

  4. Deborah
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:26 am

    It’s bad enough that the election turned out so unbelievably awful, now there’s this, and the media isn’t paying enough attention. This needs to stop! The mantra of this country, that business>people, needs to change. Thank you for covering this. The country needs to see more of it.

  5. Denise Kress
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:34 am

    You go Shreve!!! (Every time that I try to “type” your name, it changes it to Shreveport!!! :))

    Thanks for being a voice for what’s happening at Standing Rock. This affects us all!

    We need to band together with prayers of peace as the date(12/5) approaches when they shut down camp Oceti.

    How can I share your blog on social media?


  6. shreve
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:46 am

    D ~ that damn autocorrect! it does it to me, too :)

    To share (thank you): you can link directly, or you can use the buttons at the bottom of the post (right above the comment number) – I’ve just made them colorful so they are more obvious! If you’re logged into social media and click the button, it will give you the option to share.

  7. Marg
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:52 am

    I come from a Canadian prov. that produces oil and is in the midst of a recession because the price has dropped so low and they are having trouble getting the oil to tidewater. Pipelines are the only way and they are determined to push them through. I was hopeful in the beginning that this would happen but now when I see the utter disregard for the people living on the land that they are using and their total lack of care for the environment………I hope that they fail. I fear for the future as I know that the mentality of those with money and power are not there for the good of all but only for their own pockets. I will share your blog with all I can. Good luck, stay strong and above all be SAFE !!!! Isn’t what is happening here akin to what we are fighting to prevent in middle eastern countries?

  8. Elaine
    November 28th, 2016 @ 9:08 am

    I am in utter disbelief that you risked your life to go up there, that is just the most insane thing I can think of. You have so many responsibilities to the farmily that you would even consider leaving them and putting yourself in jeopardy is beyond me?!?

    I’ve tried to keep quiet about my view points regarding this issue – but people going when they have families, jobs and lots of animals to attend to don’t need to go subject themselves to be killed or injured for what spiritually amounts to a blip in the total realm of this Universe. I don’t fight or get involved in other peoples battles.

  9. Jacque S
    November 28th, 2016 @ 9:08 am

    There is another side to this story, google it. The protesters as often happens have gotten out of hand. There are reports of cattle being shot and butchered that belong to private land owners that adjoin. Ranchers who can’t get to their livestock to feed, etc. I am not saying that all these posts are wrong, I am just saying that there are always two sides to a story. Please do your research. As far as the election going “bad” not everyone feels that way.

  10. shreve
    November 28th, 2016 @ 9:25 am

    E ~ Credit where credit is due: all photos and text are from others – they are very clearly labeled and linked to their individual IG accounts.

  11. Tina
    November 28th, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    Shreve – sending warm thoughts and prayers of support your way from British Columbia. Your strength and commitment is an inspiration.

    Elaine my darling – do you hear yourself – if many courageous people had shared your opinion in the 40’s, we might all be living under a Nazi regime. Just sayin’. Being willing to stand and/or fight for each other is what raises us up from the primordial. We are all human, we all share the earth and her fate.

  12. Elaine
    November 28th, 2016 @ 10:44 am

    Shreve – my bad, I just see the post and the stories and don’t really notice that. I’ll blame the head cold on that one today.

    Tina ~ I just tired of seeing this negativity in the news on blogs, FB and the like. We need to be putting prayers of hope and love out into the world. The more negativity that goes out into the “pool” that is what comes right back at us. Yes, at certain times in history action had to be taken to ensure this country’s freedom. We are ALL Spiritual beings here having a human experience and my goal is sending loving prayers of hope and healing out into the world. “We need to be the change we want to see in this world” and I don’t want any part of violence to be in mine. The only thing that I stand up for and put money towards is helping the animals – the ones without a voice – as they are a part of us, the planet and our future too. Peace and love to All ~

  13. Siobhan McCormick
    November 28th, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    Thank you for telling this story. Stay safe Shreve.

  14. bonnie
    November 28th, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

    oil and water don’t mix. every time i hear someone say that they need to “get the oil to tidewater” i fear for what will happen when it gets there. and what all will happen along the way. we all need to do all we can to support the development of cleaner sources of energy. and to use less of it. thanks for helping to expose the consequences of supporting the status quo.

  15. Jane
    November 28th, 2016 @ 4:18 pm

    Thank you for posting!

  16. Lindsay in Oregon
    November 28th, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing this collection of photos and stories. I have shared your post. This is so shocking!

  17. shreve
    November 28th, 2016 @ 6:23 pm

    J (and others) ~ I do not understand the “there are two sides to the story” argument. What’s happening at Standing Rock is really no different from a corporation, backed by the US military, going to Mexico and saying, “we want the Yucatan peninsula, so we’re taking it.” And then expecting/demanding that Mexico say, “OK, Uncle Sam, whatever you want.” The land occupied by Oceti Sakowin camp and the land occupied by DAPL/militia is all sovereign treaty land. It is theirs, it is sovereign land, and our government has no claim to it. Treaty doesn’t mean, “you can have this till we want it.” It means “THIS IS YOURS FOREVER.”

  18. Maggie
    November 28th, 2016 @ 8:01 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I’m having water bottles etched with Water is Life and I’ll donate ALL profit from my shop to Standing Rock water protectors. Should have the bottle before the holidays.

  19. torre
    November 28th, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

    your 6:23 reply explains it so well. a friend has been dealing with treaties and consultations at work. people forget we have to consult with these sovereign nations and can’t just take over.

    thank you for your continued posts/tweets on this.

  20. mlaiuppa
    November 28th, 2016 @ 11:20 pm

    These police in particular seem to be oblivious to modern technology.

    There are cameras that will upload photos and video directly to the cloud. Sure, take the sim card. Good luck with that.

    They may try to stifle the media or spin the story but it’s getting out any way. It’s called social media for a reason.

    When the main stream media discovers they can make more money by making the protesters heroes and the police villains, the tide will turn quick and wide.

    I can read between the lines. The Sheriff in charge of this is a racist. I’m sure he is a bigot from way back. That’s what this is for him. Putting people in their place.

    What will not be lost is that the president-elect has money in Energy Transfer Partners, the builders of this pipeline so it is in his financial interest to side with them. Conflict of Interest much?

    The only downside to the certain impeachment of Donald Trump will be that he will be replaced with Mike Pence.

    As for living under a Nazi regime, looks like we’ve only delayed that by about 75 years and we’ve grown our own rather than importing them. The sad thing is a minority voted them in and none of the safeguards put in place to protect us are going to help.

    It was a good 240 year run.

  21. Elaine
    November 29th, 2016 @ 12:33 pm

    Does anyone have a $$ amount as to how much Federal Funding Standing Rock receives each year from our tax payers? I can find a figure on total allotted for 2015 for all American Indians but I would like a $ just for Standing Rock.

  22. Kelley Rico
    November 29th, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

    OH dear. Elaine, honey? THIS LAND ALL and I do mean ALL… BELONGED and BELONGS to “American Indians”. It was taken from them via genocide, greed, slavery, betrayal and dishonesty….how much money from taxpayers goes to Indigenous People? Not enough. And although I, to quote a friend, walk a healer’s path? I am not OK with people going, oh well, not going to put anything more negative out there. Standing up for what is RIGHT is not putting something negative out there. Ignoring the actual truth of something serves nobody. It seems to be all too easy to forget that whatever is done to the least of these? ultimately gets done to everyone. I realize this is a button pushing item for me- as it is for most native people. So I apologize if this seems massively cranky. But we don’t have time left to keep our eyes and ears covered. Peace be with us all!

  23. yvonne
    November 29th, 2016 @ 8:34 pm

    frightening and sad!

  24. Kathleen
    December 1st, 2016 @ 8:29 am

    An article in the mainstream press published today: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tom-udall-barack-obama-standing-rock_us_584013dbe4b09e21702ccc1a

    The reaction is way too soft, but perhaps a beginning. Thank you, Shreve, for helping to make people aware of what’s happening out there.

  25. Tib
    December 4th, 2016 @ 5:35 pm

    Thank you for using your platform for this issue. SO IMPORTANT to keep this in the forefront. The fight is not over.

  26. Patricia Turner
    January 25th, 2017 @ 4:17 pm

    And now Trump with one Executive Order has signed away their rights. Even though it is a conflict of interest since he owns stock in the company!!

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