I raged when the London paper, The Guardian, reported several hundred peaceful protesters were injured during the standoff with police last Sunday at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, on a bridge near a site where an oil pipeline is planned to cross under the Missouri river. One of the protestors, 21-year old, Sophia Wilansky was severely injured and may lose her arm after being hit by a concussion grenade that had been hurled by police and security services battling the protestors.
In my opinion it is unconscionable that militarized internal police and security forces would use a weapon like a concussion grenade on an unarmed, peaceful protestor. Following eight hours of surgery, Wilansky’s father, Wayne Wilansky stated “the best-case scenario is no pain and 10 – 20% functionality in her severely injured arm.” The worst-case scenario is they will need to amputate his daughter’s left arm.
The support for Sophia and her family in this time of need has been overwhelming. I urge you to join others on this time of “thanksgiving” to contribute to the Gofundme site that was established to help with her medical expenses.
I ask our subscribers to stand with the Sioux Nation and their allies who are protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). The time has come for our nation, and the world for that matter to take a good hard look at our reliance on fossil fuel and develop a national plan to move our country to a cleaner and greener future. DAPL is just another investment down the road to nowhere.
Further, I want to make an appeal to the police and security services committing acts of violence against these peaceful protestors. I appeal to your humanity. I appeal to your moral compass in the hope that you will see the folly of your brutality toward these good and gentle folk. Within all human beings, even the sociopath, is some degree of empathy. I ask you, when you face off next with the protestors, put yourself in shoes of Wayne Wilansky when he received the news his daughter was in critical condition in a hospital in Minneapolis. What if you where the parent getting that call?
As I mentioned above, hundreds have been injured, pelted by rubber bullets, threatened with hypothermia when water cannons were turned on them in the freezing night, peppered with tear gas and bludgeoned with batons. And now, a young American citizen could very well lose an arm. Is that what can be considered a good day’s work?
And should an appeal to your humanity not work, I will make an appeal to your sense of self -preservation. The world, the world courts, our federal, and our state courts will one day judge your actions. Lobbying a concussion grenade at unarmed protestors is beyond the pale. And I believe there will be justice.
Over a century ago US Citizens protesting against the heavy-handed use of militia and state police to protect corporate interests was met with a similar public outcry. In 1894, under the guns and gaze of law men who were attempting to keep members of the Seattle/Tacoma contingent of unemployed from joining a march on Washington, D.C., Mary Hobart, a Populist orator and songwriter said, “You villains, if you dare to shoot down one of these Commonwealers your names will go down on the black rolls of infamy as long as time shall last.” She went on to say, “the women of this world have something to say about this. We’re getting enlightened too. We’re tired of bringing children into the world to be made marks for deputy marshals to shoot at.”
For those looking for ways to get involved, a good first step would be to visit the Sacred Stone Camp website. Here you can find links to donate directly to the camp. There are also links to Amazon.com that has lists of much needed supplies. You will also find a link to their legal defense fund.
In closing, I would like to wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!