LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

Update – November 22, 2016

From the Indigenous Environmental Network:

0_w150_h150_s1_pr15_pcffffffSophia Wilansky (left) is in Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she was airlifted after being critically injured by a concussion grenade at Standing Rock, ND. She faces a second surgery today as doctors attempt to save her left arm.

Sophia is among the thousands of supporters who have been standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their water from the Dakota Access pipeline.  On Sunday night, police and national guard attacked the peaceful water protectors with rubber bullets, pepper spray, water cannons and concussion grenades.  Sofia was hit with a concussion grenade fired by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

This was the latest assault in an escalated campaign of violence and intimidation by the police against those who have been asserting indigenous and human rights.  Approximately 300 injuries were identified, triaged, assessed and treated by tribal physicians, nurses, paramedics and integrative healers working in collaboration with local emergency response. These 300 injuries were the direct result of excessive force by police over the course of 10 hours. In addition to Sophia’s injury, at least 26 seriously injured people had to be evacuated by ambulance to 3 area hospitals.

Today West Roxbury pipeline resisters, including Sophia’s co-defendants – Karenna Gore, Tim DeChristopher and others – clergy, and other supporters will gather in prayer, song, and solidarity on the courthouse steps at 8:45am before Sophia’s scheduled healing and again after the hearing (end time dependent on proceedings).

Additional Context from the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council.

Photos of Sophia: headshot, with West Roxbury pipeline co-defendants on June 29, 2016 (photo credit, Marla Marcum). Sophia appears third from left in this photo.

In a historic moment of nonviolent resistance, thousands of people calling themselves protectors, not protestors, have gathered in North Dakota, to demand President Obama reject this dirty and dangerous proposal. If constructed, the Dakota Access pipeline would carry fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois, cutting under the Missouri River less than a mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux’s drinking water supply as well as through the Tribe’s sacred and historical land. This pipeline is a threat to Native heritage, their homes, and will be a climate disaster.

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Water Cannons Fired at Water Protectors in Freezing Temperatures Injure Hundreds

Joint statement by Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor the Earth and Sacred Stone Camp

November 21, 2016

Photo courtesy: SACREDSTONECAMP.ORG

 

Cannon Ball, ND– Hundreds of water protectors were injured at the Standing Rock encampments when law enforcement blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening.   The attacks came as water protectors used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that police had chained to concrete barriers weeks ago, blocking traffic on Highway 1806.  Water protectors’ efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Some flares shot by law enforcement started grass fires which were ignored by the water cannons and had to be extinguished by water protectors. Law enforcement also shot down three media drones and targeted journalists with less lethal rounds.

 

National Lawyers Guild legal observers on the frontlines have confirmed that multiple people were unconscious and bleeding after being shot in the head with rubber bullets.  One elder went into cardiac arrest at the frontlines but medics administered CPR and were able to resuscitate him.  The camp’s medical staff and facilities are overwhelmed and the local community of Cannonball has opened their school gymnasium for emergency relief.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Emergency Medical Service department arrived on scene to administer medical services. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe also sent Emergency Medical Service vehicles to the Oceti Sakowin Camp to assist. Hundreds are receiving treatment for contamination by CS gas, hypothermia, and blunt traumas as a result of rubber bullets and other less lethal ammunition.

The military vehicles blocking the bridge were burned in a blockade fire on October 27, after law enforcement raided and cleared the “1851 Treaty Camp,” an occupation of the pipeline corridor and reclamation of unceded territory.  Despite the obvious public safety risk, and despite promises from Morton County that they would clear the road, law enforcement has insisted on keeping the vehicles on the bridge for weeks.  This obstruction of Highway 1806 threatens the lives of the water protectors and residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, as emergency services have been needed but unable to reach camp quickly.  The blockage also unjustly restricts the free movement of local residents and hurts the Tribe economically by cutting off travel to and from the Prairie Knights Casino.  Images of the burned vehicles have fed negative, distorted, and sensationalist media portrayals of the encampment.

Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth, says, “For weeks, the main highway to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has been cut off, with no movement by the state to address a public safety risk. Attempting to clear the road was met with police spraying people with water cannons in 26 degree weather — that’s deadly force, it’s freezing outside. They want to kill people for clearing a road? When will our cries be heard? Stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Respect the rights of indigenous people, of all peoples.”

LaDonna Allard, Director of the Sacred Stone Camp, says, “All I can say is why? We are asking for clean water, we are asking for the right to live, we are asking for our children to live. Instead they attack us, because they protect oil. Morton county and DAPL security are inhuman- what is wrong with their hearts?”

Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, says, “It is below freezing right now and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is using a water cannon on our people, that is an excessive and potentially deadly use of force. Tribal EMS are stepping up and providing services that should be the responsibility of Morton County, this is ridiculous. Because of the police enforced road block, ambulances now have an extra 30 minutes to get to the hospital. Those are life and death numbers right there, and Morton County and the State of North Dakota will be responsible for the tally.”

The Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council released this statement: “The physicians and tribal healers with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council call for the immediate cessation of use of water cannons on people who are outdoors in 28F ambient weather with no means of active rewarming in these conditions. As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions.”

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