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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wounded Knee III in the Making? by Dave Lindorff from CounterPunch


Wounded Knee III in the Making?

The struggle at Standing Rock, North Dakota, between the Sioux people and their supporters and the oil corporations and banks trying to run a dangerous pipeline for filthy Bakkan crude oil through their sacred lands and underneath the Missouri River was cranked up to a new level of violence Sunday and in ensuing days as National Guard troops and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, bolstered by volunteers from various other police departments conducted an all-night attack using maximum violence, including flash-bang concussion grenades, rubber bullets, mace, teargas and three water cannons — this at a time the temperature on the prairie had fallen to a low of 22 degrees fahrenheit.
The casualties of this one-sided battle against peaceful protesters on a bridge were enormous, with some 300 of the estimated 400 protesting water protectors, both native people and non-native supporters, injured, 26 of them seriously. There was evidence that police were aiming rubber bullets at protesters’ heads and groins to inflict maximum pain and damage, with eight of the injured hospitalized, including a 13-year-old girl shot in the face, whose eye was reportedly damaged.
The gravest injuries were a tribal elder who suffered a cardiac arrest, and Sophia Wolansky, a
21-year-old New York City resident who had come to back the Standing Rock Sioux in their struggle to halt construction of the pipeline. She was hit in the arm by a flash-bang grenade thrown at her by a Morton County Sheriff’s deputy, which blew up on impact, blowing away the flesh and muscle and reportedly some of the nerves and bone of the elbow joint. She has been evacuated to a hospital in Chicago where physicians and nurses are fighting to save her arm and hand from an amputation.
Wolansky’s father Wayne, a 61-year old lawyer in New York, angrily called on President to put a halt to the violent repression at Standing Rock. He said of his daughter’s injury, which was the result of a flash-bang concussion grenade being thrown directly at her, “This is the wound of someone who’s a warrior, who was sent to fight in a war,” Wayne said. “It’s not supposed to be a war. She’s peacefully trying to get people to not destroy the water supply. And they’re trying to kill her.” Concussion grenades are not supposed to be used to target people.
Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
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