Condemn attacks on unarmed clean water protectors

Please note: The time window for taking action on this post may have already come and gone. Please check our Do Something page for meaningful actions you can take right now, today!

Yes, this is a second thing to do today to help keep America Great, but this is in response to an unfolding emergency situation happening at Standing Rock.

CALL THESE NUMBERS TODAY

White House (202) 456-1111

White House (202) 456-1414 US

Department of Justice (202) 353-1555

Morton County Sheriff’s Dept. (701) 667-3330

North Dakota Governor’s Office (701) 328-2200

Tell them you condemn the attacks on unarmed water protectors, you support the protectors’ cause, and you demand that the constitutional right to peaceful assembly and protest be upheld and defended. Here is a sample script to get you started:

My name is ______ ______. I am a US citizen and resident of [CITY], [STATE]. I am calling to demand that constitutional right to peaceful assembly and protest be upheld in Standing Rock, North Dakota. The attacks on unarmed protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, noise cannons, and water cannons in subfreezing temperatures is criminal. Please intervene to stop this brutality immediately and prevent it from ever happening again. I am in support of the water defenders and want to see you support their cause too.

Why does this matter?

Amnesty International has a great explanation. On October 29th, Amnesty International sent human rights observers to monitor the response of law enforcement to protests at Standing Rock. The following is quoted from the Amnesty International press release that explains their concerns:

  • The decision to disperse an assembly should be a last resort and should be communicated clearly and with ample time for people to comply. If a small minority tries to turn a peaceful assembly into a violent one, police should protect the peaceful protestors and not use isolated violence as a pretext to impede the rights of the majority of protestors.
  • Police should not use force against protestors simply for assembling; the decision to disperse an assembly should only be taken when there are no other means available to protect public order from an imminent risk of violence; and the type of equipment used to disperse an assembly must be carefully considered and used only when necessary, proportional and lawful.
  • Police should not selectively enforce laws against the media, legal observers, or protest organizers.
  • Arrest and detention should be carried out in accordance with the law and should not be used as a means to prevent peaceful protest or to intimidate or punish people for participating in a public assembly.
  • If people are arrested, police should not use restraints in an excessive manner; people who are arrested should have access to food and water, restrooms, medical attention, and legal counsel.

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