Our family spent some time at the Olympia protest site. Considering the brutality and media blackout that has overwhelmed Standing Rock, my husband and I felt it important to be present if police showed up to remove it.
With negotiations set to take place on a Friday, what we witnessed has forever changed how I see this city. At 4 a.m., two Intercity Transit buses filled with over 50 police in riot gear, and countless unmarked police cars surrounded the site, pushed us out so that we couldn't help people without being arrested ourselves. We witnessed two hours of horrific tactics against unarmed protesters, watched them being dragged, screaming in pain, while protesters shouted “water is life” I saw up close the police being physically harmful to people.
That The Olympian arrived only to report on the last half hour of the brutal raid is inexcusable, reporting no injuries — which is 100 percent false. I saw cuts, welts from pepper bullets, and burns from some sort of gas released.
Had I been home reading the news the next morning, I may have felt the same way many in the community felt — that it was an unfortunate little riot. But I wasn’t. I saw the reality, and will never be the same.
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This sort of cover up is exactly what is happening in Standing Rock. Covering up the truth of the removal in Olympia makes you a complicit supporter of the DAPL and the violence against all the water protectors of Standing Rock.