by Matthew Borke
Standing Rock Stories ~ February 26th 2017
It was 3 days since militarized forces raided Oceti Sakowin on Feb. 23rd, 46 of us were arrested and Keisha. Thanks to bail funds, we were released in less than 24 hours. They claimed all our digital devices as evidence, bulldozed our homes, and impounded our vehicles.
The word came into Standing Rock Res that they were preparing to raid yet again. And roadblocks began to appear.
So I began to walk back to Mandan where our arraignment was scheduled. They allowed Keisha a seat in the Patty Wagon the first time. I was not so sure that would happen again. For the first raid, they abandoned all the animals as the officer expressed to me that the decision was preordained.
Keisha, the official camp mascot of Standing Rock; Keisha was the only dog to get arrested with her owner Matthew Borke
So I began to walk towards the roadblock on 1806. Knowing that 1806 is the shortest route, and it was February in North Dakota. I was not sure how far it was, as GPS was no longer available without Digital Devices.
Soon, I approached the roadblock at the Cannon Ball Bridge. A National Parks Ranger From San Francisco got into full riot gear before approaching me with a BIA officer.
I expressed to them, my need to get to court. And they were blocking the shortest, safest route. Several other uniforms began to appear. I expressed the need to understand why they would not let me take the safest route. And know that the “trouble” was dispersed, why would they say the route was dangerous? Another officer called for a vehicle with the cage in it. I thought, how thoughtful to think about Keisha. But then realized, the cage was for me… I even asked if they could give me a ride to the other side of the “danger” zone. They assured me, that if i was to enter any of the vehicles, they would take me back to jail. Although, it was where court was. So I asked the Park Ranger, a known deputized BIA agent, that needed some type of paperwork to reference in my court case. Even a business card. Which no officer was willing to provide. So he wrote down his name and badge number on a piece of paper. It Said, Officer Corn. I was shocked and replied, “You’re from the Corn Family, I’m from The Corn Family Too” (Which is True). He did not appear amused. So I agreed to take the long way around.
A BIA and State Trooper agents “marshaled” me back to the Pit Stop Road Block. Making sure i would not turn into Cheyenne River Camp. No stopping, or breaking, straight out the roadblocks they claimed.
When arriving to the Pit Stop Road Block, i politely asked the State Trooper if he would me rather, walk in the center of the road, or go around the roadblock. he responded that he no longer cared but it sparked a small conversation.
The BIA agent behind me, got on his loudspeaker and began cracking jokes about Keisha and her bones. I chuckled, which caused the state trooper to react and say, “Are you Laughing At Me?” I expressed the BIA actions and it made for a decent ice breaker. The officer began to express to me why the officers took off their badges. And told me, “I remember you from the Raid. You were arrested for trespassing.” I told him that’s incorrect. He expressed again his truth.
“Officer, I was arrested for “Interfering with a Government Function. Would you like to see my arrest papers? This is why we have a conflict of interest. I know this to be true yet your telling me otherwise. While I have your attention, You enforce Code, not Law. What sections of the Codes do you study?”
“Uh, I’m a State Trooper, so I study Penal Codes and Traffic Codes.”
“You do not study Safety Codes?”
“So Why then Does It Say Safety On Your Vehicle?”
“Wow, your actually coming at this rather peacefully.”
“Well Thank you”
We carried on with discussion a little longer as he talked about how much Fecal Matter was in Camp. I told him it was very muddy and attempted to explain to him the process of the composting toilets that we built. Which definitely was a necessity since the porta potties froze back in early December.
“I slipped in it.”
“Are you sure, it is rather muddy. Did you test it?”
“I Don’t need to. I still have a bag of it in the back of my squad car.”
At this time, i realized that our conversations were over. He had a garbage bag from our composting toilets in the trunk of his car… Apparently to show his buddies…
“uh, Keisha and i gotta go. We have a long walk ahead of us.”
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe Follow @OurVoicesEcho