Psychological Warfare at Standing Rock Reservation, Oceti Sakowin Camp


Water Is Life
Facebook Hill (All photos courtesy John Sheldon)

An airplane, flying low overhead, circling the camp. It comes at any time, dusk, midday, 3 in the morning. It stays up there for a half hour, or one hour, or four. Why? There are rumors that it is spraying chemicals, blocking cell phone service, doing surveillance. Sometimes it is joined by a yellow helicopter, which I am told belongs to DAPL, the pipeline company.

Up on a hill above Turtle Island, an armored vehicle sits among the police cars. It crouches there, among police, some with rifles.

At night, Kleig lights beam white light from the hill into the camp. Now, razor wire has been installed up there, and downslope, on the ancestral burial grounds of a people that were here long before we were. Imagine razor wire snaking through Arlington Cemetery.

We are talking about a law enforcement that has used dogs, mace, pepper spray, sound cannon, water cannon in freezing temps, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and golf ball sized “bean bag” ordinance. We know that they are equipped, and ready to use these weapons.

The result of all this, as I stand in the camp, is psychological. It is very hard to not be afraid.

12/9/2016 3:42:53 PM

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