The Associated Press report on the nonviolent effort to preserve water and sacred tribal lands in North Dakota painted a shallow portrait of what now is a frightening faceoff between powerless morality and immoral power [“No holiday break for pipeline protesters,” News, Nov. 25].
Unmentioned were the unwarranted armored tank presence and unconscionable use of water cannons against those who, in First Amendment terms, “peaceably assemble to petition government for a redress of grievance.”
Citing a sheriff’s spokesman’s statement that one person said protesters were “ready to die,” and that another protester remembered Wounded Knee in 1973, without substantiation or analysis, trivialized the commitment of the unprecedented tribal alliance and its outside supporters.
Michael McQuillan, Kensington
I urge President Barack Obama to intercede on behalf of the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota.
For months, tribes have been protesting peacefully to protect their sacred lands and precious water from the Dakota Access pipeline. They have been met with brutal police tactics, including pepper spray, Tasers, batons, rubber bullets and guard dogs. Protesters have been sprayed with water in subfreezing temperatures.
This is reminiscent of the harsh forces set upon peaceful civil rights protesters in the 1960s.
I urge the president to stop this project by denying the pipeline’s final federal permit. More than 200 tribes and countless other Americans are united in opposition to the pipeline. This is a matter of civil rights and environmental protection.
Joseph M. Varon, West Hempstead