Article by Brenda Norrell
Photo 1 by Andrew Iron Shell. Photo 2: Courtesy photo.
PINE RIDGE, S.D. -- Lakotas on Pine Ridge Indian land in South Dakota were arrested as they blockaded tarsands pipeline trucks from entering their territory on Monday, March 5.
Lakota human rights activists Alex White Plume, Debra White Plume, Sam Long Black Cat, Andrew Iron Shell and Terrell Eugene Iron Shell were arrested late Monday. They were charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the jail in Kyle, S.D.
The Totran trucks transporting the megaloads have a contract with the Alberta Tarsands, a massive environmental disaster in Alberta, Canada, in Cree territory. The trucking company is based in Calgary.
An action alert was sent out shortly before the arrests: "Calling all Lakota men on the Pine Ridge Reservation to come to Wanblee, South Dakota."
The alert said "Pipeline trucks are being held there at the border by our Lakota Oyate, Oglala Sioux Tribal 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
"Pipeline trucks are refusing to turn around claiming they have corporate rights that supersede any other law."
Reports from the scene say that the trucks are being allowed to pass, as Lakotas are being arrested attempting to halt the trucks from entering their sovereign territory."
Lakotas joined Native Americans and First Nations to protest the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in September. Debra White Plume was among those arrested. Lakotas urged the US to halt the plan for the pipeline, which would cut through Ogallala Aquifer, and endanger land, water and people from Alberta, Canada to Texas. First Nations in Canada are also protesting the pipeline and the ongoing devastation from the Alberta tarsands in Cree territory.
PHOTO: Lakota grandmother and activist Debra White Plume, and Oglala Vice President Tom Poor Bear protesting Keystone XL pipeline and tarsands at the White House.