The women, who are members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, have been peacefully protesting to tops the construction of an oil pipeline that would destroy sacred sites and threaten the water supply for millions of families. In response, North Dakota authorities have started to arrest, strip-search, and hold protesters for days without bond. One woman was arrested without any cause given, stripped naked, and left naked in a jail cell overnight.2
The protests have gotten a ton of national attention, but not many know about the abusive arrests and violent strip searches. The Department of Justice, which officially sided with the resistance efforts a few weeks back, has the authority to step in and stop local authorities from abusing the law.3 If we speak up in huge numbers, the Department of Justice will intervene again.
Tell the U.S. Department of Justice: Stop the sexual humiliation of water protectors by Morton County police
If you thought the abuse of Native women and families is a thing of the past, you’re wrong. Oil pipeline leaks are notoriously common–and poisonous. That’s why the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline was moved away from the state capitol where state officials with more political power were afraid of the damage the pipeline would cause. Instead, it’s being built under the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s and millions of other people’s main source of drinking water.4
These water protectors, who are also currently fighting the pipeline in court, have been facing increasing terror from local authorities trying to further the pipeline’s construction. Authorities have begun to deploy military-grade weapons, attack dogs, drones, and now sexual humiliation as a way to stop the protests.5
The good news is that, a few weeks ago, the Department of Justice sided with water protectors and ordered the pipeline construction temporarily halted. If we speak up by the thousands with the water protectors, the Department of Justice will step in once more to stop the violent arrests.
Thanks for taking action.
–Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Megan, Libby, Emma, PaKou, and Pilar, the UltraViolet team
1. Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched, Jailed for Days on Minor Charges, Democracy Now!, October 17, 2016
2. Morton County Illegally Strip Searching Lakotas Opposing Pipeline, Narcosphere, October 19, 2016
3. Justice Dept., Army & Interior Dept. Temporarily Block DAPL Construction Under Missouri River, Democracy Now!, September 9, 2016
4. The fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline, explained, Vox, September 9, 2016
5. Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched, Jailed for Days on Minor Charges, Democracy Now!, October 17, 2016
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