“When you have that many people engaged in that kind of behavior, inciting others to break the law, cheering others on as they do break the law, refusing to leave when they’re asked to leave, that’s not a protest,” Laney said at a recent news conference.
If it’s not a protest, then surely it must be a practice of the first amendment. The Native Americans have been in dispute between the police over the pipeline that’s contaminated and destroyed their lands, now fearing for what to come next once it nears the Missouri River. It felt as if they were being abused directly through their own soil with this act of interference that they had to take it upon themselves and bring this matter to the court. Unfortunately, the petition to block the construction of the pipeline was denied.
So how else is one suppose to respond to that, someone whose spirit and determination never seem to give up? It’s often shown through media and it is considered a peaceful type of protesting and that is by setting up their areas around where the pipeline was being built. They’re not doing anything. All they’re doing is expressing their first amendment through a peaceful protesting yet they’re being deprived of that as well.
The North Dakota police arrested over two hundred Native Americans and also used police riot shields and vehicles as well as an act of fear to be placed upon the tribes that were involved in the protesting. Just as how the County Sheriff placed it in his simple words, “that’s not a protest,” it seemed they were eligible to commit this type of act.
Despite the pleas that were being heard from the people, it seemed to have all come down to a conclusion that force was used against the native Americans despite going against their freedom of speech and they were right to do so so that they would be able to protect what’s rightful and justice to their tribes. It’s not fair that they had to go through this type of situation, but regardless of the disheartening event,
“But you can’t fight prayer,” Restoule said with a smile. “That’s what keeps us together. We are not alone.”