October 27, 2016 by Lori Liddell
Out of the Police State, almost. North [Dakota is really North] Alabama. I didn’t post from the camp because of data mining by the authorities. Our fully-charged phones drained very quickly and when there was action no one’s phones worked due to jamming.
Everything I said to you about what’s going on there was 100% true. The authorities are over-the-top aggressive. On Saturday, they corralled a peaceful group of water protectors and sprayed pepper spray on them. This group contained numerous children and elders. The adults were able to surround the children and prevented them from being pepper sprayed. Elders were sprayed with impunity.
There are NO weapons in the camps. The camps are safe and patrolled by an excellent very brave group of tribal security. Shots were fired over their heads at drones that the protectors brought, trying to get news of this police brutality out to the world. That same day several police turned in their badges. I guess pepper spraying little children and old people maybe got to them.
Hopefully some whistleblowers will step forward.
I was very nervous driving past Morton County cops, even though I have never been in trouble. If they know you are going to the camp they interrogate you and search your car and send you 60 miles out of the way if they have one of their checkpoints open. If you trespass, rather than give you a fine like you would get in any other municipality—well, outside the Police State, that is, you would get a fine. There you will be zip tied and slammed to the ground, strip searched and humiliated and charged with ridiculous charges. Journalists are still being arrested. Lawyers were arrested on Saturday. Then after you get out of jail, your family or friends will have to drive many hours away to get you.
On Sunday I participated in a prayer walk. I had zero intention of doing so, but Spirit prompted me and I could not refuse. I felt safe. Not like I was going to jail.
Don’t ever believe it when someone says something is a “about a mile and a half.” This is not the first time this has happened to me but that was definitely the longest mile and a half so far.
I was offered a ride several times but I had walked so far already I wanted to finish the walk. We carried tobacco and cedar in our hand and ketchup in our pockets—for the pepper spray. We were told NO Weapons and to pray the entire way. I started out in the front of the group and found myself at the end. A beautiful young man doing camp security walked over to me and took my arm and walked with me because I was really struggling the last mile.
As I walked up to the cops in their riot gear with their war machines I was not afraid, not one stitch. I was really pondering this because I’m scared shitless driving by them. They really make note of out-of-state plates. But as long as your car is legal and you have no warrants, you should have no trouble.
During the prayer ceremony three eagles flew over us low, slowly circling. The cops drone buzzes us low too.
My legs were jello I could barely stand. After the ceremony, I was able to hitch a ride to camp.
After I left, the children were sent safely back to camp and then the authorities showed up in force and used a sound cannon on the people.
Go to the camps. Witness what is happening there.
I have a lot more to say about it but I have been sleeping in a tent in 30 degree weather. Last night it was 42! Woohooo! I slept great. I stayed in the prayer camp, so I didn’t see the famous people and I didn’t really care. It’s sacred land and so very easy to be on spiritual mode. This was one of the best experiences of my life. As scary as it looks and sounds, the authorities want people to stay away and lots of townspeople are super racist. But I highly recommend people go and see and speak on what you see. I made lifelong friends there.
Lori Liddell is a water protector from Wisconsin who helped stop Gogebic Taconite from building a 22-mile open-pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine on the shores of Lake Superior. This is her account of her visit to Standing Rock Sioux water protector camps in North Dakota.