State Troopers illegally Occupying Sioux Lands
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State Troopers illegally Occupying Sioux Lands

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John Ahni Schertow
April 26, 2008
 

Presently, State troopers from South Dakota are illegally occupying Yankton Sioux Lands. They began doing so on April 15, after Yankton Sioux Tribal Members began protesting a Hog Farm being constructed on their territory without their consent.

According to the Atlantic Free Press, the Sioux Protesters were “met immediately with illegal law enforcement presence and arrest[s]. To date twenty-two people have been arrested on trumped up charges and there has been a total over reaction of law enforcement numbering up to 52 SD Highway Patrol Cars with 22 more Highway Patrol cars waiting in reserve. Some patrol cars from as far away as the state of Iowa. The Highway Patrol has set up snipers with rifles on top of two command posts they have established near the scene.”

Kansas Mutual Aid adds that atleast one person has been injured, after “he was hit by a front loader attempting to start construction on the project. A tribal court has ruled that construction should be halted, and no land belonging to the tribe (including the road where protesters were arrested [on April 22]) can legally be used for the construction project.”

“The State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction on Indian land and the highway leading to the Hog Farm is Indian Land where Tribal members and others have been arrested while peacefully protesting. This amount of law enforcement presence is unprecedented for a peaceful protest and violates the legal Jurisdiction of the Yankton Sioux Tribe.”

For more news, see: 17 arrested in hog farm protests, Suit filed in federal court to stop work on hog farm, It’s Mother Earth against Corporate America, “Protest Statement” From Longview Farms Lawyer.

Kansas Mutual Aid has also set up an an emergency listserve for announcements and other info coming from the Yankton Sioux actions. You can e-mail johnbrown@riseup.net if you want to be added.

Photo from Indybay.org

Incoming messages from Yankton protesters

Courtesy of Brenda Norrell, here are two recent messages from the Yankton Sioux.

I am Oitancan Zephier, a former police officer of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, combat veteran of Afghanistan and a father. Last week I quit my job when the protests started over the building of a hog farm by a corporation on private land surrounded by tribal lands. I quit because the Bureau of Indian Affairs will not help us. They stand and watch us get tossed in jail. The filth of the pigs will effect every part of our Indian people here.

There is a headstart school 2 miles away from the hog farm. There is a kindergarten through 12th grade school 4 miles away. There is a day care a couple miles away from the site. It is a prejudice act granted by the state of South Dakota to these pig farm owners. We need your help. If this is completed they will assume jurisdiction of all that surrounds them. The already began taking our tribal road, which we have intensely fought for 2 weeks now.

I have been thrown in jail while on our Indian land by a state officer. That is wrong!

I am begging you for your help. If you can, please publish the cry for help below in any way you can.

Contact me if you can help; or please forward this on to anyone who can help us.

Oi Zephier
Ihanktonwan Dakota
Yankton Sioux Tribe
Marty, SD 57361
Zephiero@hotmail.com
(605) 454-8355 (Cell)

People! We need your help! Come to Marty, SD now! Help us fight the Longview Farms Hog farm and the State of South Dakota.

We need the help of every nation that is willing to help us! Don’t wait for an invitation. Please! Come help us now! We’re too busy with things here to think of everyone that can help us.

We have our hands full with whats in front of us. Call us. Make suggestions. Give us advise! Whatever it is, help us! We need bodies.

We need people! people! people! We need people willing to fight! We need people willing to go to jail by a state officer on Indian land!

Doesn’t that seem wrong to you? I went to jail while standing on a tribal highway by a South Dakota state deputy, while the Bureau of Indian Affairs watched.

That’s what is happening! It is wrong! We need money for bail. Many more of our Indian people will be going to jail.
If we don’t fight this, Indian people will continue to lose land. Next time it will be your people. Remember when a cry for help came out what “reason” or “excuse” you gave.

You’ll get it right back when you need help. The system keeps us locked in place. It keeps us working, paying bills and plugged into society.

In that mindset we’re all robots programmed to do what the government wants us to do pay taxes! Give them money! “I gotta feed my family,” you’re thinking.

I know it. I was too but overcame it. Tunkasina (the grandfather) knows that our fight is right and honorable. Better things will follow for us.

This is really not about a hog farm! This is about the racist state of south dakota moving in the middle of Indian country and saying, “This is our road!”

Tomorrow it will be “this is our land!” We need to fight! We need your help!

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