#OneEarth, How a Desperate Extractive Industry Infiltrated the Water Protectors…

Everything comes down to protecting Mother Earth. We just don’t have anywhere else to live, this is our last chance, we have one planet, one Mother Earth, and she is sacred. In 2016 we heard the war cry “Mni Wiconi” (Water is Life) coming from the center of Sacred Stone Camp part of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. In April 2016 Water Protectors gathered together in solidarity at Sacred Stone Camp and native peoples from all over the world joined them. They gathered to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from coming through their land. What they didn’t realize at the time was that there was an infiltrator amongst them.

I first heard about this infiltrator from an article in The Intercept. It’s now known who this infiltrator is and the name of the company that hired them. It’s apparent that the oil industry is not going to go down peacefully. I believe these extractive industries are even behind the push to delist the Gray wolf because they want easy access to wolf habitat. The Endangered Species Act not only protects the endangered species but also protects the habitat they depend on to survive. Extractive industries want this habitat! I think the fight to protect our water from greedy extractive industries encompasses much more; it’s wolves, it’s water & it’s everywhere, and our sacred mother is crying for us to save her life. #OneEarth #OneMother

In 2016 we heard the war cry “Mni Wiconi” (Water is Life) coming from the center of Sacred Stone Camp part of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Read the following The Infiltrator by December 30 2018, 8:00 a.m

A former Marine working for the private security firm TigerSwan infiltrated an array of anti-Dakota Access pipeline groups at Standing Rock and beyond.

JESSE HORNE STILL struggles to talk about the day he was kicked out of the anti-Dakota Access pipeline movement. It had been an intense week. Searching for direction and ideological fulfillment ever since Iowa’s stand against the pipeline wound down, the 20-year-old had reconnected with some of the state’s more radical pipeline opponents, and the group was now taking on drone warfare. After a protest outside a drone base in Des Moines in which Horne and several others were arrested, two of his fellow activists, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya, sat him down and told him to stay away.

“They were asking me if I was an infiltrator,” Horne told The Intercept. “My response was absolutely not.”

There was a lot Horne says he didn’t know at the time — for one, that Reznicek and Montoya had recently been involved in a series of acts of pipeline sabotage. Between March and May 2017, above-ground valves along the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa and South Dakota were pierced with welding torches, creating new costs for the pipeline company, Energy Transfer, and sending its security personnel into a frenzy. A few weeks after their conversation with Horne, the two women would claim responsibility for the sabotage.

Another thing Horne says he didn’t know: that someone he considered a “brother in the cause” was indeed an infiltrator. For months, a man calling himself Joel Edwards had posed as a pipeline opponent, attending protests, befriending water protectors, and paying for hotel rooms, supplies, and booze. He told some people he had a job with a hotel that allowed him to travel, others that he was a freelance journalist reporting on the pipeline resistance. But five former contractors for TigerSwan, the secretive security firm hired by Energy Transfer to guard the pipeline, confirmed to The Intercept that Joel was an undercover intelligence operative. His real name was Joel Edward McCollough, and he had been sent to collect information on the protesters, explicitly targeting those who were down on their luck. Horne, who struggled with addiction, appeared to be a perfect target.

McCollough passed along what he learned to his superiors at TigerSwan, who attempted to use the information to thwart protest activity and identify people or plots that represented threats to the pipeline. Traces of his surveillance turned up in TigerSwan’s daily situation reports, which were written for Energy Transfer and at times passed to law enforcement. The former TigerSwan contractors interviewed by The Intercept, who declined to be named because it would threaten their continued work in the industry, had either worked with McCollough directly or knew of him through internal communications.

Like other contractors working for TigerSwan, McCollough had developed the skills he deployed in the Dakota Access pipeline fight during the U.S. war in Iraq, where he served as a Marine Corps interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. TigerSwan was founded by James Reese, a former commander of the elite special operations unit Delta Force, and the company got its start as part of a boom of mercenary security firms in the early years of the war on terror. McCollough was participating in something akin to a massive experiment in U.S. military-trained operatives applying lessons learned fighting insurgencies abroad to thousands of pipeline opponents engaged in protest against a Fortune 500 energy giant at home.

Behind the operation was Energy Transfer, whose pipeline empire has been key to propelling the U.S. oil and gas boom at a moment when the devastating impacts of climate change demand a rapid halt in fossil fuel production. Were the environmental movement able to convince policymakers to take climate science seriously, Energy Transfer would be out of business.

Instead, the business of building oil and gas pipelines is booming. Construction projects approved across at least two dozen states continue to face fierce resistance — including Energy Transfer-owned projects in Louisiana and Pennsylvania — ensuring that the pipeline security business will keep booming too. Although TigerSwan has failed to win many of the new contracts it once aspired to, few clear incentives exist to deter others from reproducing the mercenary firm’s tactics.

Through interviews with more than a dozen water protectors who were approached or befriended by Joel, The Intercept has tracked the TigerSwan operative’s path from Iowa to North Dakota to Illinois as he attempted to infiltrate an array of DAPL-opposed organizations, including Bold Iowa, Mississippi Stand, and Food and Water Watch, between September 2016 and April 2017. McCollough declined to comment for this story. Neither TigerSwan nor Energy Transfer responded to multiple requests for comment. Click here to continue reading the full article from The Intercept.

Photograph credit Jim Brandenburg

Standing Rock Sioux Takes Pipeline Fight to The United Nations 


The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe took its fight to stop construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday in a bid to gather international opposition to the project.
Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II addressed the 49-member Council in a brief two-minute testimony where he called “upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Archambault said the U.S. government had failed to abide by signed treaties with the tribe — referring to the 1851 Treaty of Traverse de Sioux and 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, two legally-binding treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate that recognize the Sioux’s national sovereignty.
“The oil companies and the government of the United States have failed to respect our sovereign rights,” Archambault said.

The chairman spoke as part of a United Nations Human Rights Council hearing on indigenous rights that featured more than three dozen tribes from around the world concerned with infringement on their lands by corporations and governments.
“I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials,” said Archambault. “Dakota Access Pipeline wants to build an oil pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation’s drinking water.”

In Geneva, Archambault and other tribe representatives met with two UN ambassadors — including Keith Harper, the U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council — and experts on indigenous rights.
Archambault also formally invited Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the U.N,’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to visit Standing Rock — a visit that would require approval from the Obama administration.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, which is already more than half completed, is a massive $3.7 billion project that would transport 470,000 barrels of oil a day across four states from the oil fields in Stanley, North Dakota, near the Canadian border, to Patoka in southern Illinois, where it would link with other existing pipelines.
Related: Judge Denies Request to Halt Pipeline, But Government Steps In
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe see the pipeline as an environmental and cultural threat to their homeland. They say an oil spill would permanently contaminate the reservation’s water supply and that construction of the pipeline would destroy lands where many of their ancestors are buried.
The project is financed by the Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which claims it will bring millions of dollars into local economies and create an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 construction jobs.  Read full story by clicking HERE

Featured image: Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, waits to give his speech against the Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access oil pipeline during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Sept. 20, 2016. DENIS BALIBOUSE / Reuters

Sacred Stone Camp has several thousand people in residence and they intend to stay – Standing Rock, North Dakota

In Lakota “Mni Wiconi” means “Water is Life” say these protectors of water. They will correct you if you call them protesters. They are “protectors” not protesters. They are at the Sacred Stone Camp to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that could potentially contaminate the Missouri River’s water system. Listen to www.kiliradio.org located on Pine Ridge Reservation for all the Sacred Stone Camp news. 

Listen to this Kili Radio interview:  Ladonna Brave Bull Allard from Standing Rock

Follow all the latest news on The Sacred Stone Camp’s Facebook page HERE
Latest breaking news from the Sacred Stone Camp, read the following;

Breaking: In a court filing on Monday, the Department of Justice said that the Obama Administration supports a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access, LLC, until the court can render a well-considered opinion on the motion for a preliminary injunction. The Corps of Engineers has stated that it also supports a restraining order “in the name of public safety.”

Tear gas and dogs were used by private guards to attack Native Americans trying to protect burial grounds from Labor Day weekend destruction by Dakota Access Pipeline bulldozers. Six people were bitten, and about 30 sprayed. One guard and two dogs were taken in for medical treatment.
Photo Credit: Dell Hambleton

The following is from Sacred Stone Camp’s Facebook page with photograph;
“After the events that took place at the construction site, I heard a young boy, no older than 7 years old, riding in the back of a pickup truck heading towards camp. His face lit up as he saw a young man riding a horse, face masked with a bandana, he said “You look like a Warrior”. 

It made me wonder, what does a Warrior look like? Does a Warrior look like the images painted on our TV screens? Does a Warrior need to be painted up ready for war? Does a Warrior need to be holding a weapon? No.. At that very moment I realized, a Warrior is what that young boy was looking at. A Warrior is the young man that he saw riding his horse, protecting his land. A Warrior is the men and women that are ready and willing to drive away those that are desecrating their sacred sites. A Warrior is what that boy saw when his face lit up and said “You look like a Warrior”.

#NoDAPL for the love of the culture.  

Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Project

The Dakota Access Pipeline, a new 30-inch-diameter pipeline, will originate from six locations in the Bakken/Three Forks production area of North Dakota, and travel about 1,172 miles to market centers in Patoka, IL. DAPL is expected to initially deliver 470,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, with potential for expansion to 570,000 bpd. Construction of terminals began in January 2016. Mainline pipeline construction began in May 2016. Source 

95 Tribal Nations gather to protect water

Photo credit Sacred Stone Camp Facebook Page 

The Ogala Sioux arrive in camp

Crow Nation arrives at camp

Photo credit Sacred Stone Camp Facebook page

Life at Sacred Stone Camp 

PAYTON RED ELK is one of the many committed volunteers working in camp kitchens to feed thousands of people who have come to Sacred Stone Spirit Camp and Oceti Sakowin (Big Camp) to support efforts to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through sacred treaty land. There are six host camp kitchens and one main camp kitchen situated across the Standing Rock Water Protectors camping area. Donations from across the country from over 188 First Nations tribes, churches, communities and individual allies have sustained the camp and its inhabitants. 

Those interested in supporting Sacred Stone Camp (and Oceti Sakowin) can view the camp’s needs at http://www.sacredstonecamp.org. You will find “How You Can Help” in the website’s FAQ section.

Photo: Dell Hambleton

For more follow Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Facebook page HERE