Recap: First Amendment and Sioux Nation Under Siege

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Madison, Wisconsin Alder (councilperson) Rebecca Kemble was arrested during the same protest and spent the night in jail with Woodley. Kemble was working as a videographer with an attorney who was documenting the protest. Wearing a green hat that clearly identified her as an official observer, Kemble had her expensive professional camera ripped from her hands and thrown on the ground while she was subsequently handcuffed. She was released from jail on Tuesday afternoon. LISTEN to her riveting testimony.

As a result of Kemble’s arrest two City council men from Dane County Wisconsin have sent letters to Dane County Sheriff Mahoney telling him to stand down. Mahoney is part of a group of officers sent to assist in Morton County.

Councilman Al Matano wrote:

Alder Kemble stayed at the site as a legal observer and was arrested and her camera was taken away by law enforcement officials, in what she described as an effort to suppress evidence of police misconduct. She described how she saw a young woman slammed into the side of a van by a Morton County, N.D. sheriff. Alder Kemble herself was charged with four crimes, including inciting a riot. This charge was absurd given the actions of Alder Kemble and those around her.

Councilman John Hendrick also wrote a letter to Mahoney, objecting to his participation in events at Standing Rock and his deployment of Dane County employees, including “10 Sheriff’s deputies and their supervisors – to interfere with the peaceful presence of indigenous communities and their allies at Standing Rock in North Dakota.”

On Monday, October 10, Indigenous People’s Day, our colleague in local elected office, Madison Alderperson Rebecca Kemble, was arrested at the site while acting as a legal observer. She traveled to North Dakota to deliver a statement of solidarity adopted by the Madison Common Council. Alderperson Kemble stayed at the site as a legal observer and was arrested and her camera was taken away by law enforcement officials, in what she described as an effort to suppress evidence of police misconduct during arrests of persons following a prayer ceremony. She described how she saw a young woman slammed into the side of a van by a law enforcement officer.

If you believe that all of this over-reach and assault by members of law enforcement is limited to one county in North Dakota, think again.

Documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg was arrested while filming a protest action in Walhalla, North Dakota. She was held for 48 hours in Pembina County Jail without access to her attorney. Schlosberg is an associate of Josh Fox (Gasland) and was charged with Class A and C felony charges that carry 45 years maximum sentences combined. She has been charged with two Class A felony charges, one Class C felony charge, conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services, and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service.

How did this happen?

With echoes of the charges against Amy Goodman, Schlosberg was filming a protest against a pipeline bringing Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S. She was not participating; she was filming. She was a witness.

People should wake up. Having filmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and having had my film and equipment confiscated by a mercenary, held in detention, robbed, and abandoned penniless on the streets of Goma, I can tell you this all seems too familiar.

I will not go back to Congo for fear of the same, and to tell you the truth, I am leery about North Dakota, as are other journalists, photographers and videographers I have spoken with. That will not stop us, but I am already arranging to take a different car after being stopped and held on the road while my plates and driver’s license were checked and logged. My offense was having a camera on the front seat and wood in the back of my car.

These stops, arrests and detentions are in complete violation of the First Amendment.

Wake up. The water is boiling.

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/georgianne-nienaber/first-amendment-and-sioux_b_12510004.html?

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