Police in Riot Gear Welcome Native Winter Gifts

“They seemed pretty caught off guard”

By C.S. Hagen 
MANDAN – Sheriff’s deputies in riot gear welcomed gifts donated by Oceti Sakowin and International Indigenous Youth Council Friday when the No DAPL activists delivered boxes filled from the department’s winter donation list.

Transparent tote boxes filled with batteries, granola bars, thick socks, trail mix, and hand warmers, were brought to Morton County Sheriff’s Department by Native Americans, including three veterans involved in Iraq Veterans Against the War. Before bringing the gifts inside the department, activists, known as water protectors, spoke and prayed on the public sidewalk.

Thomas Lopez speaks before activists give winter gifts to Morton County Sheriff's Department - photo by Chad Nodland

Activists speaking before bringing winter gifts to Morton County Sheriff’s Department – photo by Chad Nodland

Leonard Crow Dog led the activists in prayers, which were also on the sheriff department’s wish list – at the top.

Morton County Sheriff's Department - photo by Corey Carson Elevate Studios

Morton County Sheriff’s Department – photo by Corey Carson Elevate Studios

“What we’re doing here is offering them this water of life, to show the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, to show the people who believe that we’re here to hurt them that we’re actually here fighting for your rights to clean water, for your rights to clean air,” member of the International Indigenous Youth Council Thomas Lopez said.

“Thank you to the members of the International Indigenous Youth Council who stopped by with gifts and supplies and snacks for our employees,” Morton County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page, which is now running again. “Your kindness and support is very much appreciated.”

Activists who brought the supplies hoped for a reciprocation of compassion and respect, LZ Amsterdam said.

Activists cheer after speeches are given - photo by Chad Nodland

Activists cheer after speeches are given – photo by Chad Nodland

“They seemed pretty caught off guard,” Amsterdam said. “They wouldn’t let us inside, even though they have asked the public to bring supplies to them. We showed compassion and humanity today and they had the opportunity to do the same, which they did not.”

Morton County Sheriff's Department welcoming committee - photo by Corey Carson Elevate Sutdios

Morton County Sheriff’s Department welcoming committee – photo by Corey Carson Elevate Sutdios

The gifts were brought two days before the expected arrival of more than 2,500 veterans coming from around the United States and with Veterans for Standing Rock. The veterans en route have promised to show solidarity with Standing Rock, and to surround them in a human shield during any actions that may take place.

“We hold no hatred in our hearts,” Lopez said. “We don’t want to see you hurt. You are our brothers and sisters and we will treat you as such.”

Morton County Sheriff's Department winter donation list

Morton County Sheriff’s Department winter donation list

9 Comments

  1. I have been following your movement closely. We are fighting the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline in British Columbia. Hopefully, more people join us to bring down all the barriers that divide us as a single race. I have aspired to do this in my book, which has paid tribute to the Maidu, the Sto:lo & the Nootka. No group supported the early Chinese during their immigration to North America more than the people of the First Nations. My book is about social justice.

  2. With all due respect, your title is not accurate. The officers were not dressed in “riot gear” when they accepted the donations.

  3. So don’t the hired police (local and other) get some of the 7 million dollars for the ‘protection’ of the pipeline? This money was approved for the month of December alone. Shouldn’t the N Dakota government be footing this bill to ensure their enforcers are well cared for in their job? Trying to find where the money is flowing besides to the pipeline owners…

  4. Good for the youth! More power to them!
    What an interesting and visionary way to communicate with an abusive, disregardful, and inhumane Government….

  5. 11,000 Veterans have arrived as of today to Standing Rock and more are coming. 2500 was the original expectation, but I guess not everyone told the organizers.

  6. Seems like a goodwill gesture and why not, I am sure there are a lot of donations being made to everyone else. You have to include Morton County Sheriff’s Dept., others that are out there in the bitter cold as well. We all have our humanity and we will all be called to account one day.

  7. Thank you, Natives sis & bros…
    you have learned well…
    attack now…
    we come in peace!

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