More than 120 land protectors were arrested last weekend at the DAPL, including film-makers and journalists. The action has brought new allegations of law enforcement and government officials stifling free speech, as well as using excessive force against peaceful protesters. Protesters and journalists who were later released told the Guardian that police were aggressively targeting individuals indiscriminately, before issuing “riot” and “criminal trespassing” charges.
Later in the week, on Thursday, hundreds of police and National Guard armed with military hardware, raided a Native camp, arresting at least 140 citizens. Law enforcement carried assault rifles, and fired rubber bullets at land protectors and their horses, as well as mace and pepper spray. The situation at the Dakota pipeline is now being called an all-out war.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has concluded their investigation into the security team who was using dogs to attack Native land protectors on September 3rd, which was caught on camera by Democracy Now. The dog handlers were with Frost Kennels out of Ohio, and were not licensed in the state of North Dakota. Frost Kennels was not cooperative with investigators, and as a result, investigators were supposedly only able to identify the handlers who were exposed through social media, according to Capt. Jay Gruebele of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department. This includes Ashley Welch, who was the main aggressor on September 3rd. Dakota Access has hired several new security teams, including TigerSwan Security, who is in charge of intelligence and supervises overall security; Leighton Security and HE Security, who are in charge of equipment security at work sites. The firms, 10-Code and Russle Group Security, are in charge of drilling operations. And SRG Security is in charge of filming operations.
And in Pennsylvania, a Sunoco Logistics pipeline burst after heavy flooding, spilling 1,300 barrels – that’s nearly 55,000 gallons – of gasoline into the Susquehanna River. The leak was noticed after a drop in pressure, and it’s assumed the 8-inch pipeline broke at around 3am last Friday morning. Sunoco Logistics is the future operator of the DAPL, and is responsible for more crude spills than any of its competitors, according to government data. Since 2010, the petroleum manufacturer has experienced more than 200 leaks. Aside from trying to protect sacred sites, this is exactly why Native land protectors and environmental activists have been opposing the Dakota Access pipeline.
In the state of Washington, a pregnant Native-American mother of three was fatally shot by two deputies at her home near the Muckleshoot Reservation. 23-year-old Renee Davis struggled with depression, and had reached out to someone through a text earlier that day expressing that she wasn’t doing well, according to her sister, Danielle Bargala. The individual Ms. Davis reached out to alert the Sheriff’s department, who then went to her home to conduct a wellness check. Sheriffs’ claim Ms. Davis had a handgun, however her sister states that she does not recall her owning one. She states Ms. Davis was an avid hunter, and did own a hunting rifle, but that she had never known her sister to be violent, and described her as, quote, “…such a soft person.”
Little information has been released by authorities, however in a statement from King County Sheriff’s Sergeant, Cindi West, it was disclosed that multiple shots were fired by the deputies, who have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. Ms. Davis was a receptionist at the Muckleshoot Health and Wellness Center, and also worked as a teacher at the Muckleshoot Child Development Center.
In a report from Alek Hidell, a Utah woman who was sexually assaulted and wrongfully arrested by a police officer after she called 911 for help, will now be filing a lawsuit against Layton Police. On July 25th, Amanda Houghton’s vehicle was struck from behind while at a stoplight, and after calling police for assistance, she was instead given a field sobriety test, and searched without prior warning in a move that resulted in the officer immediately reaching for, and groping her chest. Ms. Houghton failed the sobriety test, which she attributes to her visible injuries and the shock from having just been in a car accident, and was then arrested. She was later forced to take two blood tests, both of which came back negative for any drugs or alcohol. Ms. Houghton is scheduled to appear in court November 10th.
Reports recently surfaced that the Pentagon was forcing thousands of U.S. veterans to return bonuses that were given to them to re-enlist and serve in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. After receiving public backlash, Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, has ordered the Pentagon to suspend their efforts to claw back the bonuses. The soldiers had been enticed to re-enlist more than a decade ago, with the promise of $15,000, and for the last couple years, the Pentagon has been demanding the money back – along with interest. Many of the soldiers who accepted the deal served multiple combat tours, and some were badly wounded. Those who refused to pay back the bonuses were hit with wage garnishments and tax liens. Ashton Carter has stated that the suspension will last as long as it takes to complete the decision-making process for each case. The Pentagon has themselves lost trillions of dollars, and many are disgusted that the Department of Defense would have the audacity to go after our U.S. veterans in such a way.
In world news this week, the United Nations has adopted a landmark resolution that calls for a complete ban, worldwide, of nuclear weapons. The resolution is called L.41, and was accepted by a vote of 123-38. 16 member nations abstained, and among those who voted against the ban were the United States, France, Canada, Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Executive director of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons, Beatrice Fihn, stated, quote, “For seven decades, the UN has warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and people globally have campaigned for their abolition. Today the majority of states finally resolved to outlaw these weapons,” unquote. Negotiations on a treaty will begin in 2017, and though it’s being acknowledged that nuclear-armed states will unlikely be convinced to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles, the treaty will help to stigmatize nuclear weapons, bringing us closer to a nuclear-free future. The resolution is being referred to as a historical moment for the entire world.
In news from France, French police have been staging protests against police violence in Paris, and other cities. While the French government maintains no-go zones do not exist, the police claim otherwise, and state that they are no longer sufficiently equipped to defend themselves. These actions come before the presidential elections in France, and political opponents have accused Francois Hollande’s government of failing on security. Right-wing French opponents, such as Alain Juppe, have decried what he has called a loss of authority in the country, according to Reuters.
In Anonymous news this week; citizens have inquired into the recent massive Internet DDoS attack that shut-down numerous websites, effecting large areas of the United States, as well as areas of Europe. The hacktivist group, New World Hackers, has claimed responsibility for the attack, as reported by IT Ninja, and they accomplished the record-breaking feat in a move that was described as, quote, “practically genius” by those at We Are Change. The New World Hackers hit DYN DNS servers that are responsible for translating over 150K websites from their IP addresses to domain names, using a supercomputer botnet consisting of over 100K IoT devices. It included sites such as Twitter, Netflix, PayPal, and Spotify. The New World Hackers provided an image in a tweet to show how much bandwidth they were hitting Twitter with, which was an unheard of, 1,256.14GB. After testing their DNS cannon a few months ago, when they took out the BBC, they claim this recent attack was to show their power to Russia; however the next day, they mysteriously announced they were retiring, ending their message with, quote, “WikiLeaks is a good friend.”
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Cloud, David S. (2016). Defense secretary orders Pentagon to stop seeking repayment of California National Guard bonuses. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-defense-chief-pentagon-repayments-20161026-story.html
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FortheCoast (2016). BREAKING: 99 young people arrested on Parliament Hill calling on Trudeau to reject Kinder Morgan pipeline. For the Coast. Retrieved from: http://www.forthecoast.ca/99-young-people-arrested-on-parliament-hill/
Hampton, Liz (2016). Sunoco, behind protested Dakota pipeline, tops U.S. crude spill charts. Reuters. Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pipeline-nativeamericans-safety-i-idUSKCN11T1UW
Hidell, Alek (2016). Crash Victim Calls Police for Help – Gets Arrested and Sexually Assaulted Instead. AnonHQ. Retrieved from: http://anonhq.com/crash-victim-calls-police-for-help-gets-arrested-and-sexually-assaulted-instead/
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Krishna Kumar, Devika and Maler, Sandra (2016). Sunoco Logistics pipeline spills gasoline in Pennsylvania: media. Reuters. Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pipeline-operations-sunoco-logistics-idUSKCN12L2NK
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Love, Brian (2016). France’s Hollande under pressure over crime as police protest snowballs. Reuters. Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-police-idUSKCN12K0RO
Prupis, Nadia (2016). ‘All-Out War’ in North Dakota as Police Arrest 141 Water Protectors. Common Dreams. Retrieved from: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/28/all-out-war-north-dakota-police-arrest-141-water-protectors
Romero, McKenzie (2016). Woman claims Layton Officer groped her in unwarranted DUI stop. Deseret News Utah. Retrieved from: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865665290/Woman-claims-Layton-officer-groped-her-in-unwarranted-DUI-stop.html?pg=all
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