Jorge Rivas, Colorlines, March 6, 2012
Five Lakotas on Pine Ridge Indian land in South Dakota were arrested Monday after attempting to block two tarsands pipeline trucks from entering their land.
According to the Lakota activist the six-hour standoff started when the trucks refused to turn around claiming they had “corporate rights that supersede any other law.”
An action alert made it’s way throughout the reservation on Monday called on men to help block the trucks. KILI, a Pine Ridge Rez radio station posted the alert:
ACTION ALERT PINE RIDGE SD: Calling all Lakota Men on the Pine Ridge Reservation to come to Wanblee SD.
XL Pipeline trucks are being held there at the border by our Lakota Oyate, OST Police and State Troopers in an effort to keep them from entering our territory. Even the state troopers told the trucks they have to turn around and cannot bring their…pipeline or other materials on to our reservation. The XL Pipeline trucks are refusing to turn around claiming they have corperate rights that supercedes any other laws. Olowan Sara Martinez, Debra White Plume, Grandma Marie Randall and others are there holding their ground.
Plume, one of the activists arrested, told the Rapid City Journal on Monday she heard about two trucks with the words “Calgary, Alberta, Canada” on the sides were driving through the Pine Ridge Reservation. Those three words were all she needed to hear to rush to the scene. According to the Rapid City Journal Plume was blocking the road “around 10am.”
“We formed a blockade to stop tarsands oil mine equipment from passing our lands. The truckers told us the corporation office from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the State of South Dakota made a deal to save the truckers $50,000 per truck. There were two trucks, from having to pay $100,000,” Plume told Censored News.
“There were about 75 people on the blockade, people brought pots of soup, frybread, cases of water, doughnuts, soda, and parked their cars to join the blockade. The oldest woman there was Marie Randall, another elder was Ione Bad Cob who came in her wheelchair and participated in the blockade.”
The arrests were made by tribal police and they were charged with disorderly conduct, Plume told Censored News. They were all released Monday night.
“The tribal police had to let the trucks get off the rez. They escorted them to the reservation line. We oppose the tarsands oil mine in solidarity with Mother Earth and our First Nation allies.”