Jenni Giovannetti: Weapons pointed at #NoDAPL water protectors

Water protectors face North Dakota law enforcement in riot gear on October 5, 2016. Photo by Rob Wilson Photography [GoFundMe

By Jenni Giovannetti
Lakota Country Times Columnist

Now this has been and always will be a hot topic. Trust me I’m not someone that thinks weapons should be banned, but I am going to talk about how things are getting way out of hand with them.

Let me start by saying most police officers are not guilty of anything I’m about to speak of. I have been assisted by some for my protection and they are doing their job right. But then, a small group of corrupt ones ruin the reputation of the whole entire police force with shameful behavior and overuse of weapons. You would think with media coverage and the internet this issue would be getting better… but it is getting worse. They are supposed to protect, to keep safe from harm or injury, not to put people in harm’s way.

This leads me to the disgusting example of police brutality from the Morton County Sheriff's office who have turned a protest into a seemingly tense situation. Maybe, tense for the cops but not the protectors who have remained peaceful.

I have seen riots erupt over the shootings of unarmed black men and the stand offs with the Bundy family, and I never saw weapons brandished as they are on the peaceful water protectors at Cannon Ball. Cops are meant to serve and protect but lately all I can see is aggression. War on freedom, and now protecting capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Big Oil has the state turned against the people because of money. This pipeline is not needed for any emergency, it is needed for more profit for one company, and that company is paying to make it happen.

We are ALL supposedly living in a free country and some of our own law enforcement are oppressing people that have been exercising the right to use their voice. They are filtering what the media puts out, and even allowing false accusations to be headlines. Police are even deleting people’s social media accounts while they are in custody. This is because they have been showing live video of what’s really happening. Morton County has even fabricated warrants for people that where not even in the state for things they did not do. Women and children are getting guns pointed at them, dogs ordered to attack them, sprayed with mace, and planes dropping chemicals. The National Guard is bringing sound cannons and way too much backup for people armed with only prayer. They are literally prepared for combat to shut down a prayer circle.

This is warmongering and an attempt to incite violence at its finest. For over five months not one riot or assault has been carried out by a peaceful water protectors, and yet, police and military forces grow in numbers daily. Is it not clear that the bad guys are now paying the good guys to be there personal soldiers? Please stop STANDING UP for a plastic pipe that will save a company MONEY! This is a company that won’t even compromise with its own customers. In our business the customer is always right… where have all the values gone?

To any police officers I may have offended I would like you to remember I’m focusing on the corrupt ones in this column. I’m talking about the ones that can be bought and controlled by corporations. I have spoken with many Veterans that fought for our freedom and rights that are ashamed of these Morton County officers and the national guardsmen joining them in this battle against the very people they are supposed to protect. It’s time to put the weapons down and join in prayer.

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Choose your weapons wisely. Rifles and shotguns are meant for killing animals for food, they are also meant to kill an enemy. Let's hope law enforcement everywhere stop repeating history by treating Natives like the enemy.

Jenni Giovannetti is an Oglala Lakota and has worked for Lakota Country Times for over 7 years.

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