Sunday, November 27, 2016

'Free Speech Zone', My Foot

Sen. Cory Booker Urges U.S. Justice Dept. to Intervene at Standing Rock

North Dakota police use brutal tactics on Sunday evening against water protectors. Native News Online photo by Lee Sprague.

Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey)

WASHINGTON – On Friday, November 25, 2016, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging the Justice Department to intervene and send federal monitors to Standing Rock “to ensure protesters can peacefully assemble and exercise the First Amendment rights.”

Booker cited the reports of inappropriate police tactics waged against water protectors. Last Sunday night and early Monday morning North Dakota law enforcement shot rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons in frigid temperatures at some 400 water protectors on the Backwater Bridge, the site of a barricade on Highway 1806.

“I am deeply troubled by this tense situation, and particularly by reports indicating that law enforcement may be responding to peaceful protesters near Standing Rock with overly aggressive tactics,” Booker writes.

“We now stand at a critical moment in our Nation on police and community relations,” Booker continues.

Booker is seeking prompt attention on the situation.

See full version of Senator Booker’s letter below: (click to enlarge)

I have watched with mounting dismay, the treatment of the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, and the lack of response from our leaders.

Water Protectors have been threatened, injured and humiliated.  There have been deaths of the people and their horses.  Women, children, the elderly and many others have been brutalized - mentally, physically and spiritually.  

Now they are told to disperse - to go to a so-called "Free Speech Zone."  What is that about?  I thought the whole country of America was supposed to be a "Free Speech Zone."  So much for the first amendment.  So much for justice, freedom, and human rights. 

Where is our county's leader?  Why does President Obama not act to put an end to this Un-American and unconstitutional tyranny of "Big Oil" and it's cruel and violent money-grubbing?

Last night I read a little book called "Red Cloud's War."  It was about the Fetterman Fight.  

I am not in favor of war.  I dislike violence.  But it felt good to see the white man's soldiers driven from the land of the Sioux and the Cheyenne. 

1901 Pan American Exposition, from left to right: Chief Lone Elk, Sioux, Chief Red Cloud, the fierce war chief of the Sioux and Chief Hard Heart, another noted Sioux warrior.  Source: By C. D. Arnold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today I went to Amazon and ordered "Custer's Last Battle" and "Death of the Iron Horse."  It is sad that I have to go to storybooks to see the good guys win.  (It is sad that the most recognizable sympathetic images of Native Americans are the productions of a white man.  I believe that Paul Goble is sincere in his respect for Native American culture, and diligent in his efforts to make books that give true representations of the plains tribes.)  

from: Custer's Last Battle  written and illustrated by Paul Goble 
But how much better if the stories were being written and shared by Native American writers, illustrators and publishers.  But this would require respect for the People.  And respect is rarely given to them - only disrespect, double dealing and violence is given. 

And the story of Standing Rock is more proof of this.

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