A malign darkness has descended on the land and I’m not talking only about Trump. Look toward North Dakota, where petro-cops are committing atrocities daily with impunity, far removed from the cameras of the cable networks, beyond the salons of Washington now filled with frenzied chatter about how to adapt to the new dispensation, unnoticed by the remote-control protests outside Trump Tower.
Early this week, mercenaries armed with water cannons pulverized tribal protesters in the freezing night. There’s an arrogant symbolism to the image of rent-a-goons terrorizing tribal protectors of water withviolent blasts of water. Across the decades, the targets of this kind of brutality don’t change much: Indians, blacks, Hispanics, the homeless, striking workers. And neither do the vicious tactics of repression: attack dogs, cages, numbered tattoos, mace, water cannons, rubber bullets. All these and more are being inflicted at Standing Rock.
A Lakota elder recounted his experience of standing in front of one of the mercenaries. “He smiled at me and then shot me in the kneecaps.” A 13-year old girl was shot in the face with a “rubber” bullet, knocked unconscious, her head bloodied and bruised. A female protester was struck by a concussion grenade, mangling her arm so badly it may need to be amputated. All in a night’s work for the thugs of big oil and their government cops. Still, the people refuse to be dislodged.