As the pressure to start construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline increases, so does the violence used against peaceful protesters. Many have noticed that the arms against these indigenous people is a little overkill, and even paralleled the armed soldiers with those fighting wars over oil abroad in Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.
Human rights abuses have increased as well, and one such woman that experienced this is a young woman that was not even protesting when she was pulled over and mistreated by law enforcement. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, the woman’s mother, told her daughter’s story in an interview with TYT:
“When [the police] got her up [to the station], she had said to me, ‘Mom, they took me in a room and three male officers and one female officer stripped me naked.’ Then they took her naked and they put in her the jail cell and left her there all night. Then in the morning they came and gave her an orange jumpsuit.”
This is a gross abuse of authority and sexual assault within law enforcement that will likely go unpunished and continue to occur. The young woman was a passenger in a car on a highway where they weren’t speeding and were pulled over for no apparent reason. The charges against her are unclear, but the police seem to have settled on pinning the arrest on the woman’s attitude towards them while she was being arrested for no reason. Sounds a bit like being arrested for resisting arrest… Which of course makes no sense.
She isn’t the first protester to be treated in this horrible manner, and, unfortunately, she won’t be the last. Reports of arrested protesters being strip-searched and forced to “squat and cough” to reveal anything that might be hidden in their rectum have been made public, and many of those arrested are first thrown into the pipeline they are against. Rebecca Kemble, Alderwoman from Madison, Wisconsin, remembered seeing one woman being brutally arrested recently:
“I saw the Marathon County deputy push her down the hill and slam her body and head into the transport van after this.”
Georgianne Nienaber, writer for the Huffington Post, wrote a piece about who is to blame for this mishandling of protesters. She stated in the article,
“Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier is the official who sets the tone for police actions in Morton County North Dakota. He alone determines how prisoners are treated. He holds the authority to enforce humane treatment or encourage cruelty designed to instill fear, humiliation, embarrassment and shame. And shame is the ultimate weapon—utilized by the narcissist in a pitiful attempt to gain control and break the spirit of his victims.”
Using fear and humiliation is not a novel tactic in discouraging these water protectors from furthering their cause, but it is completely inhumane. Throughout history, native people have been continuously attacked for trying to preserve their land and save their people, which is becoming increasingly hard as government officials and billion dollar companies push back.
These injustices need to stop, and the only way to even begin to do this is to raise awareness about what’s really going on at Standing Rock. While mainstream media continues to either ignore what’s occurring at the protesting sites or paint a picture of violent protesters getting what they deserve, citizens need to seek the truth and help protect their water.
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