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Make no mistake: the only thing that might prevent a huge and violent confrontation in North Dakota a week from today, with the Corps of Engineers Eviction Notice set for December 5, will be the members of the United States Senate and Congress who intercede next week and pressure the Army Corps of Engineers to rescind and withdraw their eviction notice to the Standing Rock Tribe and the Water Defenders.

standing rock tragedy

I ask you to call not only YOUR two Senators and your Congress person, but certainly these three Senators who have already made it clear that they support the water defenders.

You can call these Senators, plus your own two Senators, through the main US Capitol number: 202 224 3121.

Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico is likely to follow through with that, as he has already decried the "inexcusable brutality" of the police, and has asked Obama to move the pipeline. Getting the eviction order set aside is a small next step.

The only thing that might prevent a huge and violent confrontation in North Dakota a week from today, with the Corps of Engineers Eviction Notice set for December 5, will be the members of the United States Senate and Congress who intercede next week.

I will be asking him to intercede with the Corps tomorrow morning, along with Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico. Tom might be a strong candidate to do so, among the US Senate. I recall that his father Stewart would lead marches in Farmington, New Mexico, of Navajo Uranium Miners Widows, which I will remind him of. Stewart Udall was by far the strongest and most active environmentalist in the long history of the US Secretary of Interior.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey just two days ago wrote to the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, urging the Justice Department to intervene and send federal monitors to Standing Rock "to ensure protesters can peacefully assemble and exercise the First Amendment rights."

Booker cited the reports of inappropriate police tactics waged against water protectors. Last Sunday night and early Monday morning North Dakota law enforcement shot rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons in frigid temperatures at some 400 water protectors on the Backwater Bridge, the site of a barricade on Highway 1806.

"I am deeply troubled by this tense situation, and particularly by reports indicating that law enforcement may be responding to peaceful protesters near Standing Rock with overly aggressive tactics," Booker writes. "We now stand at a critical moment in our Nation on police and community relations."

Vermont's Bernie Sanders has already strongly supported Standing Rock Defenders, and readers in Facebook Groups know that he would respond favorably to requesting him to implement this new idea of mine.

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On November 21, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota asked the Department of Justice to take action to protect the safety and First Amendment rights of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters after media coverage of law enforcement using water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, Sen. Franken stated that he is deeply concerned after hearing reports of injurious clashes between police and individuals protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline project near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, stating that the use of water cannons for crowd control in sub-freezing temperatures is excessive, unnecessary, and extremely dangerous.

"Water cannons for crowd control in sub-freezing temperatures is excessive and unnecessary, and I urge you to take action to protect the First Amendment rights of protesters, and the physical safety of all involved parties. Native American populations have struggled for decades under the complex burden of historical trauma, and I have witnessed and admired how these communities have turned to their cultural foundations to build strength against that burden. These tactics against protesters exercising their Constitutional rights threaten to add another layer of trauma to these communities. I urge you to do everything in your power to prevent further escalation of violence."

Please make a quick one minute phone call to each of these four excellent Senators as soon as you can this week, plus to your own Senators, and suggest that they join these three in this effort, writing their own letter to the head of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The main number for the Capitol again 202 224 3121, and then just ask to be connected! You might also ask them by email. This has to be accomplished this coming week, remember.

It seems no accident or coincidence that about a week went by after it was announced that 5000 Veterans would show up December 4, and then the Army Corps of Engineers announced that the camp would be evicted. Are they "spoiling: for an armed confrontation? I hope not, and every effort toward these three Senators and your two also could AND MUST prevent more brutality and violence, already an international disgrace....

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has announced that she will be there December 4, so including her in your phone call efforts would be appropriate. I have found no evidence or news reports of any other Congress members supporting Standing Rock. If you know of one or more who might be willing to intercede with the Army Corps of Engineers, please comment or send your ideas directly to me, Stephen Fox, stephen@santafefineart.com

In conclusion, please Google this and read this article: The Free Thought Project, Here's a List of the 45 Officials Responsible for Militarizing Standing Rock -- and How to Contact Them

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Please don't waste a minute writing to them to convince them to change or to chastise them; let's work towards assembling the master list of 45 officials who will oppose them and will support Standing Rock!

Stephen Fox