[News] Oglala Nationals Roadblock Oil Pipeline Trucks On Pine Ridge Rez

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 7 20:26:17 EST 2012

Nationals Roadblock Oil Pipeline Trucks On Pine Ridge Rez

March 7, 2012


March 5th, 2012, everyone had their ear to the 
new moccasin telegraph. Social networks, 
telephones, and word of mouth networks were abuzz 
with reports of Oglala Lakota Nationals 
preventing oil pipeline materials, destined for 
Canadian Tar sands and/or Keystone XL 
infrastructure locales or some unknown 
destination, from being transported across the 
Pine Ridge Reservation’s Treaty territory. 
Information travelled to Debra and Alex White 
Plume (Owe Aku, Inc. “Bring Back the Way) and 
Olowan Martinez that semi-trucks loaded with 
enormous oil pipeline components were set to 
cross Oglala territory sometime during the 
afternoon on March 5th, 2012; “We did not know 
where the equipment was going, but we knew that 
these trucks were too huge, too heavy, and too 
dangerous to pass our roads. We thought the 
equipment may be going to the Tarsands oil mine, 
or other oil mines in Canada,” Debra White Plume explained.

A call went out via digital media and other 
sources for all able bodied and willing 
participants to mobilize and report to Wanblee, 
South Dakota, for an impromptu gathering of 
scores of activists ready to block the road with 
their bodies to prevent semi-trucks and pipeline 
components from crossing Oglala Territory. Within 
minutes the confrontation happened as several 
State and Tribal police officers and other 
officials responded to the tense scene. Oglala 
Tribal police arrived immediately with one 
Sergeant telling the road-blockers that the South 
Dakota Highway Patrol was parked a few miles down 
the road at the border between Oglala Country and 
the State of South Dakota but that the SD Highway 
Patrol would not proceed onto the reservation. 
Notably, this Sergeant also advised those present 
that the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) 
was en route to the reservation in two vans from 
Rapid City, SD. However, at the conclusion of the 
day there were no signs of such FBI presence.

The Texas semi-trucks, transporting 1.25 
Million-dollar “Treater Vessels” used in oil, gas 
and element separation, were stopped in their 
tracks as they approached the human roadblock. 
The human roadblock that featured two Lakota 
grandmothers: Renabelle Bad Cob Standing Bear (in 
her wheelchair) and Marie Randal (in her 90s). 
The drivers were questioned by those forming the 
blockade as to why they were crossing Oglala 
lands. One of the drivers responded that they did 
not know they were crossing Indian land, only 
that they were following company directives 
regarding their assigned routes and that their 
Canadian Corporation had received this particular 
route information as a result of a partnership 
with the State of South Dakota, whose elected 
officials have always supported the Keystone XL 
pipeline. This information prompted Tom Poor Bear 
(Vice President of the Oglala Lakota Nation) to 
phone South Dakota State officials in Pierre, SD, 
inquiring as to the nature and origin of the 
route of the stopped truckers. South Dakota 
affirmed to Oglala Vice President Tom Poor Bear 
that indeed the State was involved with planning 
such route, ostensibly without consulting the 
Oglala Lakota Nation. The heavy-hauling trucks 
were allegedly cutting through Oglala country in 
attempts to avoid a $50,000.00 per-truck-fee to 
pass through using State of South Dakota roadways.

During the roadblock, police ordered all those 
forming the road block to disperse. This command 
was heeded by most except those willing to 
sacrifice personal freedoms to make their 
statements against big oil and the continued 
mindless contamination of mother earth. The 
following individuals were ultimately arrested by 
Pine Ridge authorities for failing to obey 
commands: Debra White Plume, Alex White Plume, 
Sam Long Black Cat, Andrew Iron Shell, and Tyrel 
Iron Shell. The arrests were not without effect 
as the semi-trucks and their payloads were 
rerouted and escorted off by several Oglala sentries.

The protectors of the earth, all those present 
who succeeded in making a bold statement were 
backed by standing resolutions adopted by the 
Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Black Hills Sioux 
Nation Treaty Council incorporating the terms of 
the Mother Earth Accord. Additionally, those 
standing resolutions forbid any formal 
interaction with TransCanada and/or Keystone XL 
or other oil pipelines making overtures to the 
Oglala Lakota Nation and other landowners 
throughout the center of Turtle Island (North America).

was able to catch up with Olowan Sara Martinez 
and Debra White Plume to piece together the days 
happening for our readers’ benefit. Olowan Sara 
Martinez recalled the steadfast manner in which 
the modern warriors of the Oglala Lakota 
responded “it’s clear that our people will stand 
by each other when our land is threatened”, said Martinez.

Debra White Plume of Owe Aku, Inc. summed up the 
peoples’ sentiment when she said “It is always 
good to see that we’re still Indigenous. We will 
never stop caring for mother earth. When the call 
went out asking for help, the response was 
immediate. People from the community of Wanblee – 
[a major traditional stronghold during the 
tension and violent filled 1970s between the 
federally backed goon squads and the American 
Indian Movement backed traditionals *context 
provided by 
<http://www.lastrealindians.com>Lastrealindians ] 
poured out in numbers offering huge pots of soup, 
coffee, and other provisions for anyone willing 
to take a stand. The people will always help each other.”

was advised that since Oglala President Steele is 
currently in Washington, DC on official business, 
Oglala Vice President, Tom Poor Bear, is calling 
a meeting of the Tribal Council, today March, 6, 
2012, to address the roadblock circumstances and 
any future occurrences of this sort. The Oglala 
Tribal Council and In-house attorneys are 
drafting legislation to prohibit heavy trucks 
from coming onto the reservation as this writing 
happens; “It does not matter what trucks are 
carrying, if they are this big and heavy they are 
too dangerous for our roads”, Debra White Plume 
reiterated. Lastly, the Oglala Tribal Council 
will consider legislation prohibiting any vessels 
or equipment to be used in Tarsands oil 
development from crossing Oglala Territory.

Chase Iron Eyes is the Owner and Founding Writer 
a new authentic media project that offers fresh, 
incisive takes on relevant, hard hitting subjects 
impacting Indian country and the world.

This article was originally published at 
Lastrealindians.com. Republished with permission


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