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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/28/16

Shootings on Backwater Bridge

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Standing Rock:

Late afternoon yesterday (December 27) "Lunatic Outpost" released a video showing a group of about "20 to 50" water protectors who while returning from a prayer walk along the Cannonball River were chased down by armed security from DAPL and Morton County Sheriff's Department.

A helicopter and tracked vehicles were involved in the pursuit. Behind the images of the large number of police and security dotting the snow-covered terrain played, background radios from the Standing Rock medics could be heard. "We need a medic team. We need a team ready to roll now." Then the narrator says "Four women were taken away in a red paddy wagon of some sort."

By nightfall, more than a hundred water protectors rallied at the still heavily barricaded Backwater Bridge to sing prayer songs and to let the police know they are "facing the wrong direction." On the other side of the concertina wire and the heavy concrete dividers, spread over the entire bridge, more now than ever before, were the police with their mounted sound cannon, a variety of tracked, militarized vehicles, generators and bright lights. In a 30 minute video narrated by Michael Marcus, the world can see how the police, unprovoked by the water protectors, fired four or five shots at the crowd. Here is a sampling of what can be seen and heard on the tape just prior to the shooting:

Background: A woman is singing a beautiful Lakota prayer song. There is friendly chatter in the background. In the distance another woman can be heard singing also.

Narrator: "We're just making them (the police) run around, spending their millions of dollars"all this 'defense' for an oil pipeline.

A Water Protector: "We're not agitating anybody. We are praying for future generations."

A Water Protector shouting to the police: "We love you" don't you know that?!"

Narrator: "So how is that agitating? Praying or their families. Praying for you."

A Water Protector: Why don't you guys join us in prayer?

Another Water Protector: "Hey we met before, come over and talk with us. How are you protecting the people?"

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Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) is a professor at Fielding Graduate University. Former Director of Education at Oglala Lakota College, he is a made-relative of the Oglala and a Sun Dancer. Selected by AERO for their text Turning Points as one of 27 (more...)
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