ExtraNewsfeed.com: "The True Story Of How Standing Rock Fell" -- At the end of a protest that lasted for nearly a year, one veteran traveled to Standing Rock to find answers. // #NorthDakotaPipeline #DAPL // [fz_links]
In reflection, I’m still deeply conflicted about how I feel about both the pipeline and the protest. One of the men I served with in 1st Ranger Battalion, and deployed to war with, was a Navajo protester and leader in the camp actively participating for months. My dad, a good and honest man now wheelchair bound and dying of ALS, worked until his last able day as a subcontractor for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I don’t know what happened behind closed doors between tribal leaders and DAPL officials before the protest started, and frankly I’m not sure it matters. I can tell you that I met people who felt moved enough to stand up for something they believed in on some of the most austere terrain on planet earth. I also met people who never lost their desire to serve and protect, even in the face of burning vehicles and a barrage of insults to their character.
From what I saw, the vast majority of protesters were non-violent and passionate. The vast majority of law enforcement and PMC’s were moral, ethical, people doing a job while showing restraint and operating within the legal constraints placed on them. I also saw opposing forces that were both negatively impacted by the few in their ranks who stepped over the line. It was those few, on both sides, that fueled the oppositions anger throughout the duration of the protest.
Will the fight continue, will the movement go on, as Oceti Sakowin becomes a memory? I don’t know. But the sheriff I talked to alongside the young ACLU observer that night had an astute observation: “The conversation among those in the camp has changed to treaty lands. That won’t be decided out here, at this level, but they have a very valid argument there. They might be on to something if they pursue that.”