Standing with Standing Rock

Friday I went on a hike where I learned about the Trail of Tears. How white people forced the Cherokee to give up their lands and walk from Georgia to Arkansas and eventually to Oklahoma. How whites kept pushing the Cherokee out of their way for years, and how the Cherokee fought for the right to remain on their lands all the way to the US Supreme Court, who ruled in their favor, but President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the court ruling.

There were several routes taken by the Cherokee to Arkansas and eventually Oklahoma. Those forced to walk the northern route (dotted line) went through downtown Nashville. 

I learned that gold was found on Cherokee land in Georgia. White people wanted that gold, so the US army forced Cherokee people from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, held them in interment camps for months, then forced-marched them through the mud and the snow for up to 18 miles per day for 5 months with no shoes. Over one-third of them died, mostly the elderly and children.

I contrast that to today with the U S Army Corps of Engineers who, together with the oil industry, use local law enforcement and contracted thugs to attack the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters peacefully protesting for the right to maintain their sacred burial sites and for the right to clean drinking water. They lie about their tactics. “Oh, no, we didn’t use water cannons” when video clearly shows they did. “We didn’t use concussion grenades,” though a female protester’s arm was severely damaged after having been hit by one and she may lose that arm. They’re arresting journalists to prevent the truth from getting out about what’s happening.


It infuriates me to think that the feds sat on their asses and let Ammon Bundy and his armed thugs occupy federal lands, but to hell if they’ll let a bunch of peaceful Native Americans do so.

Photographer Rob Wilson captured this photo of police spraying peaceful protesters with a water cannon in sub-freezing temps. Law enforcement initially claimed this didn’t happen.  Click on the link to see more of his photos. 

I am not by nature a peaceful person. It’s why the peaceful water protectors impress me so. They have been out there peacefully protesting since April. They’ve faced pepper spray, dog bites, water cannons in sub-freezing weather and other “non-lethal” means of torture sanctioned by local, state, and federal government. These brave women and men join the ranks of MLK and Ghandi in teaching us that violence only begets violence, whereas nonviolent resistance can bring the strong and powerful to their knees.

Will the Standing Rock Sioux prevail? I don’t know. I have no faith in white men in charge of anything, and they seem to be in charge of everything. And the rest of us seem to be more interested in our own immediate comforts than in anything else. I know I’m sitting in a warm house avoiding getting ready for work as I write this, not camped out in the cold as these people are.

But I have great respect for these peaceful protesters. I will stand with Standing Rock. 

21 thoughts on “Standing with Standing Rock

  1. To be honest I been standing with the Lakotas since about 7 years old… As a young teenager I read Dee Browne’s Wounded Knee…. That widened me to stand with all the Native Peoples actually world wide as us in Britain didn’t treat the indigenous folk anywhere too well to say the least….2 million stolen people for one…..

    I feel so much for the Lakota people though. I always have and always will. I signed against the Pipeline petition, I support keeping Wounded Knee its self ‘safe’ as a spiritual place that sadly also saw a totally immoral massacre

    I signed for the medals of dishoner to be removed. I am horrified they have yet to be!! There was no honer that day only murder.

    Its 2016 and time the USA (as Britain at last has to a point re the stolen peoples) accepted its past yet …. Oh Rumpy the whole world now has a problem with fairness, equality, saving both the environment and the animals at highest risk…..Its a problem called Trump….

    I honestly hope the Lakotas will win this one yet know the last time they did ‘win’ (or rather defended them selves) it resulted in a policy of genocide……I honesty can’t think it was anything other than genocide….

    I sat here realising at last I have said what I really think on the net….I often wondered what would make me do that….

    Well Lakotas I stand with you till death

    Good thought provoking piece Rumpey x

    1. This morning I listened to a speech Senator Harry Reid gave on the floor of the Senate yesterday and learned of still more atrocities we’ve heaped on these people. I had no ideas that dams built on the rivers in the 1940s flooded their most fertile lands. White people have much to answer for. If there is a God, I hope like hell he holds us accountable.

      1. Its an odd one you don’t learn this in schools in the USA…..We do Slavery in the UK and were are taught how wrong it was but also that our own Empire was built on the suffering of the stolen peoples……I just think its good that so many of you there are learning the real history as if you can except the past I believe it can heal deep wounds x


  2. It’s ironic that gold is part of what compelled Europeans to begin migrating to the Western Hemisphere. Columbus’ original intent was to find a westward route to India to gain an edge on the spice trade. At the time, spices were as prized as gold. But, once the Europeans realized how much gold was available in the Americas, it became a driving force.

    It angers me now, though, that the so-called “liberal media” hasn’t paid much attention to the Standing Rock mess. They bestowed plenty of attention on the Bundy ranch chaos in Nevada and then – as you point out – to the Malheur National Park mess. The federal government backed off in the Nevada case and let the Malheur ordeal play out.

    If the government is willing to blast the otherwise peaceful Standing Rock protesters with water and tear gas now, I’d hate to see what they’d do if the protesters brought in guns. It would quickly turn into a bloodbath. Then maybe the mainstream media would give it some air time. I keep thinking that’s what needs to happen, although I’d hate to see any bloodshed.

    I’m also leery of how Donald Trump will treat the situation. He has a stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company that owns the pipeline.

    I don’t know what it’s going to take for some people to realize that, after some 500 years of genocidal behavior, the U.S. government and various White supremacist / separatist groups just haven’t been able to wipe out the indigenous peoples. It’s like White southerners keep fighting the Civil War, and – after more than 150 years – they still haven’t won!

    1. The southerners may not have won, but they sure as hell make life hell for the rest of us with the assholes they elect to serve us. As for the guns, I agree with you that that would be a no-win situation for the Sioux. Your claim of “liberal media” not covering this may be so, but many mainstream media sources are now doing so. And I get my news where I do about most things- Twitter and Facebook. Rob has a Facebook page where he posts all his photos and videos and tells what’s going on first-hand. Check him out!

  3. Sorry, I haven’t commented lately. Busy with my own writing, but you know I ❤ me some Rumpydog.

    Anyway, in 1960, Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi deportations of Jews to the Death Camps, stood trial in Jerusalem. When asked where he came up with the idea of mass deportation, he said, "The American treatment of the Indians."

    Thought you might want to know.

  4. Amazing. Being an Australian I know nothing about this (but unfortunately similar atrocities happened with our indigenous peoples).

      1. You can. Talk about it. Post news articles on social media sites. Let others in your country know about the Standing Rock Sioux protests.

    1. I think after this election we know how little we’ve grown. But it still infuriates me to know what bastards we white folk have been to the Native Americans.

  5. I as a Native American I am ashamed today because I realize that we as a people have been telling everyone that would listen about what man the white man has been doing to our mother Earth with all the pollution the garbage the cutting down of the trees the sewage in our rivers and oceans and what do we do as a people in return we do exactly the same thing and that makes it hundred times worse I’m talking about all of the brothers and sisters of all the tribes that were out there on the front lines with standing Rock I watched in disbelief when I seen all of the disgusting garbage that was left in the camp when Indian sister was heard to say it was the white man’s fault no it wasn’t the white man it was us the caretakers of our land we left it that way and we are the ones that should be ashamed remember the next time you go to one of these protest remember what you’re protesting for and remember you are one of those caretakers so the next time you want to leave the place is dirty and nasty and disgusting is that last at standing Rock think before you do something that you’ll regret later just my thought from 1 California, Indian

  6. BACK
    The Forgotten but a proud people
    4d ago
    Lost Tribes
    My name is Daniel and I am a Mutsun from the California Indian tribes and I have a story to tell you A story that the Catholic church does not want told; As it contradicts the lies that they have been telling from 1500s to now and no they were not the last they were just the first of many who for some reason decided they wanted to wipe us from the world of man. So much of our history has been lost, what little is there is in their words and not our own. They say that time heals all wounds well that’s a lie.The Catholic Church has done little or nothing to help heal the wounds that they inflicted upon us and all of the other tribes of California. We were and are the caretakers of the land and so when we first met we did not see the darkness and the greed within their hearts.To them we were a whole race of people that they could convert to their religion and save our souls even if it killed us [and it did]. We helped them to survive in this new land they thought they discovered and our youth were in intrigued with their weapons. So that is where they started to divide us then came the women and children. We had no concept of their religion. Or how it was going to change our lives. They Knew by converting us they would have more control over us The whippings, the beatings and raping of our women and children, was all part of the converting us to their religion. It is the same tactics they’ve been using throughout time in the name of Christianity. In reading the accounts of people back then who witnessed the inhumane treatment of my people I know now how the Jews felt in the death camps

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