No Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – A First-Hand Account

This came from a very good friend who retired from teaching in June & headed out to join the Native Americans & the Internationals, as well as many from the U.S. I am grateful to all those who are protecting our land & water.  – Sherrie Miranda

A hero I am not. Two days prior to the Oct. 27th arrest, I sent an email to Susana and Brian, having come to accepting my decision not to get arrested here in protecting the water at Standing Rock. Well, one or two days later, on Thursday, heading to Bismark where I had an appointment with a doctor to look at a late flair up of painful sciatic inflammation and found myself blocked on the road, I decided to stay put — not quite a willful engagement, and offer peaceful resistance to the advance of the troopers pushing us South back to the main camp where I had stayed until the night prior to Thursday when we received a call to join the North Camp — the lately expanded camp on the front line. I tented up with my 2 Spirits brothers/sisters. Though we expected to be confronted, no raid happened that night, we went on sharing stories and warming our spirit around pit fires.
So Thursday morning my way to Bismark being blocked, I parked my car and soon found my way to the front line — facing Mr Cute Trooper:
I have 5 pictures of you Mr.. Good for you for looking more confused than mean…When approaching that line that we’ll all have to cross some day, keep in mind that there is redemption for you – those of you who doubt that you should bit up those who protect the water….Call on me — I’ll testify on your behalf😙

I stayed on the front line center until I got shoved on the way side and saw one of ours being dragged on the road stripped to his trunks — a young man I recognized, and then they charged with the pepper spray; my gargles got splattered and even though I wore a scarf/mask I inhaled some of the gas….there was a sense of horror at what they were doing to the young follks — not fear…I left the front line — no…NOT a hero — coughing away and joined further down South a prayer circle led by the elders on the side of the road… chanting in Lakota; it was one of the most moving moments. Chaos was all around us, smoke etc…but time stretched infinitely…the circle moved up to the road… later the elders were wheeled away and an elder woman led the prayer — I recognized her from the morning water rituals. We got disbanded and I went on to the middle of the camp (North Camp) another circle of locked arms — much more mixed. We got encircled by the troopers and began chanting — the spirits were high.
With enough cops around now… they began to tear us away from the group. Some resisted – submitted to brutal response; brought to the ground with knees pressing on their face, temple, their back, etc…painful to watch, their screaming of pain as their leg were twisted backwards. I didn’t resist, neither did the majority of us.Mr%20Cute%20Trooper.jpg
We were quickly plastic strips handcuffed — tight enough to be painful. From there we got pushed together across the road — lucky for us the sun was setting but the wind kept us warm. I began to witness the blessings…people caring for each other…Older women with white hair– both handcuffed…one of them with the hands exceptionally tied upfront was helping her friend in combing her hair..beautiful gestures; I cried overwhelmed. An hour later we had made our way from seating to standing when we got called one at a time — an arbitrariness which began to shake our nerves — a proven tactic. On that side of the road the cops had been respectful. I made a conscious decision not to be lulled into confusing the kindness of the individual with the viciousness of the repression. My phone was confiscated and a number was marker-written on the skin of my arm. That number was from now on one element with which we were asked to identify ourselves.
My head began hurting — I had been blessed with no migraine for 2 weeks…no more! Men and women, we were bused in a small van — .the gender difference was incredible; women decide to be rough when needed; they stay more human; a larger span of expression at their control. Men get rough right away…On the way to Bismark — 1 hr away, the driver and his partner were giving us “straight” answers as what to expect…respecting us — a total of 10 in that van. People began to speak and know each other — women assisted the conversation. I was seated in the back with 2 fellows , my “felons” mates in the days to come.
On a cold floor — 4 cages with linked fence on five sides; we had arrived in Morton Correctional facility. Two at a time we were let out of the van — stripped of our shoes, pants and jacket…standing up for a picture holding the ###. One guy paced alone in his cage; chanting. Chains and lock opening and closing the gate, I faced an intimidating number of dudes; some of them, immense (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).
A 2 ft diameter gave us the room to squat, and some fetus-like retrieved on the cold floor. A few had been pulled out of the sweat lodge during the arrest and shivered bear chested.
Head pounding, hip in excruciating pain — squatting was my only release. A scuffle heated up the voices on the other side of the fence. One of the big dude got in the middle and got it to stop; I will know about him later on in Kass Jail where 40 of us got sent.
3 hours drive to Fargo — Kass jail. In the lobby, in pain — don’t know for how long… we finally got blankets and lay wherever room allowed — on, around or under benches. A bunch of sudden calls for head-counts… frightening us out of our sleeping daze. Again “mug” pictures — face and profile. A few hours and we got called 2 by 2 to the shower — by then I couldn’t walk; “carry me there” — they finally rolled out a wheel chair they had earlier refused to give me.
Two pairs of white socks/underwear/orange garb top and bottom with matching chanclas, a towel; our felon’s tribute.

We strip, under the inspecting eyes of a cop. First me — I am not asked to bent over for cavity checking; the other one is — I recognize the small giant brother who had stopped the scuffle. He must go into all sorts of positions to expose himself.
I cannot not see — he has breasts, his genitalia are that of a woman.
A witnessing of each other’s body in this naked brutality gets us soul touching — brotherhood. Our spirit embrace.

He became a close brother…
Lead to the cells — 2 floors of thirty, some — 4 inmates are here for other matters…I got the attention of one because I could provide dry instant coffee — tar testing mixed with powdered orange flavor vitamin C — We laugh about that and other things. All of us are one brother to the other. The “Broths” take turn in getting my food — — a monolithic rubber shape tray container oozing with starch, meat and sugar. The Broths return it to the cart…releasing me from waiting in line…I cannot stand up for more than a minute without feeling a needle jerking its way in my hip/leg socket. Across the hall before being into our cells we hold our fist up in victory — no one needs to command us to the gesture — we are victorious brothers. Our forum of ten metal tables and stool attached is the place where all sorts of high spirited interactions take place….
On Saturday — through video screen conference, we are given the charges; none of which is close to the facts for any of our actions — we are all facing the same 3 charges of felony. The judge is addressing us respectfully. Following another brother lead, I thank the judge for giving us an audience on Saturday. The Public Defense Attorney — whom we do not see — advises us to keep our a minimum A first preliminary trial is set up for Dec. 5th with a $1500 bond. I was told that the ACLU had come forward with the money in CASH. A ridiculous provision given the circumstances — we are released Sunday morning.
I was one of the last to be released. A door opened as we were being embraced held up in the air one at a time.
The following days — Monday and Tuesday were spent chasing our belongings…Impounded cars — $700 each; that is the money which I believed was provided by an anonymous donor. I had a visit with a doctor yesterday…I can walk better today. I’ll be on my way to the camp in a couple of hours.


Reflection to come😇….

Things at Standing Rock aren’t looking too good today. You can look at these links or google for info yourselves. I’ve seen nothing about this on Facebook and I read somewhere they (FB) are censoring information.
Censored News is a service to grassroots Indigenous Peoples engaged in resistance … Wednesday, November 2, 2016 … Disturbing Footage From Standing Rock 11/2 …. are buried, this place has been desecrated by the police and DAPL.
Standing Rock Prayers at Water: LIVE NOW Nov. 2 … – Censored News
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 … Censored News Copyrights … Kyle Thompson Today at Standing Rock during the 1851 Treaty Camp standoff, a hired DAPL …

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
Or you can see it on YouTube: 😉 ❤ 😉


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