Dakota Access Pipeline Dispute

Greetings Ladies and Gentleman, thank you for allowing me to speak on Meet the Candidates day here at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. I would like to take this time not to speak about my candidacy but to instead address a major catastrophe unfolding in our nation. I would also like to ask that all persons with an electronic recording device, and any media present turn on your devices and record the words I am about to speak, and stream them live on any social media you have, or to upload the video later. What I have to discuss concerns much of what is at stake in our Democracy, but also our humanity.

Some of you may have heard of the ongoing crisis at the Standing Rock site in North Dakota concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being built through Treaty protected lands, held by Native American tribes. I would like to reiterate firstly, that these lands are treaty protected, which means the actions occurring in North Dakota violate Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States of America eg. He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur. Furthermore it violates Article I of the Treaty of Fort Laramie specifically:

“If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States, shall commit any wrong upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States will, upon proof made to the agent, and forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington city, proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained.”

Article II of the same treaty, specifically:

“…and in addition thereto, all existing reservations of the east back of said river, shall be and the same is, set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians herein named, and for such other friendly tribes or individual Indians as from time to time they may be willing, with the consent of the United States, to admit amongst them; and the United States now solemnly agrees that no persons, except those herein designated and authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employees of the government as may be authorized to enter upon Indian reservations in discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article, or in such territory as may be added to this reservation for the use of said Indians..”

Article XII of the same treaty:

“No treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation herein described which may be held in common, shall be of any validity or force as against the said Indians unless executed and signed by at least three-fourths of all the adult male Indians occupying or interested in the same, and no cession by the tribe shall be understood or construed in such manner as to deprive, without his consent, any individual member of the tribe of his rights to any tract of land selected by him as provided in Article VI of this treaty.”

And lastly but certainly not least Article XVI:

“The United States hereby agrees and stipulates that the country north of the North Platte River and east of the summits of the Big Horn mountains shall be held and considered to be unceded. Indian territory, and also stipulates and agrees that no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any portion of the same; or without the consent of the Indians, first had and obtained, to pass through the same…”

And that the Indian protesters themselves have not violated Article XI, Sections 3 and 5:

“3d. That they will not attack any persons at home, or travelling, nor molest or disturb any wagon trains, coaches, mules, or cattle belonging to the people of the United States, or to persons friendly therewith.”

“5th. …white men, nor attempt to do them harm.”

I would also like to point out that such notables that were present for the signing of this treaty was Ohio’s own William Tecumseh Sherman, and Sitting Bull, perhaps one of the most famous and well known Native American leaders in our history.

I bring up the actual verbiage of both the Constitution and the Treaty of Fort Laramie specifically because the United States is implicitly violating both the Treaty and the Constitution by allowing armed Law enforcement and even the National Guard to enforce this unprecedented infringement of Native rights by a company let alone any entity. Furthermore as a SSgt in the United States Air Force I know explicitly swearing an oath that stipulated in no uncertain terms to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies both foreign and domestic. I say that the actions of the Oil company, the police presence defending the incursion and the activation of the National Guard to support the efforts of Law Enforcement and Construction crews is a gross violation of the Constitution which, again implicitly defends treaties entered into.

I would also like to add that such gross vandalism and incursion through the use of force, against a sovereign nation, and protected lands is grounds for immediate impeachment, removal from office, and in the case of the Armed forces present, grounds for decommissioning, and discharge. In essence through the acts of violence, and aggression against a peaceful populace, who are defending their homeland and drinking water, something that isn’t new in the United States as is evinced by Flint Michigan residents to this very day, is very close to being considered a breach of the treaty and consequentially an act of war against the Native American tribes present at the protest, and build site.

Ladies and gentlemen we are in an historic time of our lives and perhaps our nation’s history. We are facing unprecedented levels of: Obstructionism by a concerted effort of a major political party, a major party candidate beset with scandal, vulgarity, and unethical behavior, police brutality going unchecked, governors getting away with cutting State funds to local cities, governors not being held accountable for the dismal state of their cities poisoning their own citizens, gerrymandering all across the nation which deprives voters of their voices in exchange for “safe havens” of political party candidates, big money and private interests gouging consumers, avoiding their taxes, and denying employees’ rights and benefits out of hand for “profit, the greatest racial tension and intolerance since the 60’s, and a general dissatisfaction with all things politics.

We are on the brink folks. We are angry, we are being manipulated and controlled, we are being pushed and pulled in every other direction the exact moment we come close to unity and solidarity. We are desperate to reclaim what has been lost through 2 devastating recessions in an 8 year period and a damning Government Shut Down that implemented the most draconian cuts to government spending of all time. And now we are recommitting the atrocities of our not so distant past by attacking, and coercing Native Americans on their own land to step aside for the White Man’s pursuit of wealth and power. We are repeatedly meeting protestation, and civil outrage with brute force and anti-patriotic propaganda. We are condemning those who no longer toe the line and comply with outrageous demands as obstructionists, and anarchists while the crimes committed by those with power go unchecked.

We are on the brink. Not of destruction, not of despair, but of change. This is an election year, but this is no ordinary election year. This is a presidential election year, a year where We The People of These United States of America can stand United in a way that cannot be quelled! There are 435 Congressional seats up for grabs across the nation. Every single Congressman or woman can be voted out of office. Every Single Congressmen that has voted against Veterans benefits, Equal Pay for women, LGBTQ Rights, Religious Tolerance and Freedom, and have presented no jobs bills can and should be voted out of Congress this election year.

One third of all US Senators are also on the chopping block. All 49 Sitting US Senators who signed the Letter to the Ayatollah condemning and undermining the authority of the President and the Sovereignty of the United States during a crucial Nuclear Deal, can and should be voted out of office or brought up for impeachment. One such Senator is our own Rob Portman who is being upheld by the very corrupt powers that have plagued our nation’s politics for decades: avarice! Across the country there are hundreds of State Representatives running for election for the first time, many of who with military backgrounds, or Blue Collar backgrounds who can and will fight with every last breath for the American People they serve.

All across the nations there are thousands of elected offices up for grabs and every single one of those races can change the course of our nation, because every one of those elected positions are chosen and granted by us. I myself am a candidate in one of the aforementioned races, State Representative for Ohio’s 62nd district, and I can assure you that I am not alone in my outrage or convictions to set to right the injustices committed by those in power. Their promises of restoring our rights and freedoms, our privileges, our prosperity, our safety and security, and our civil well-being have had ample opportunity to deliver. They have not. That should be the greatest indication there is that those with the power to make the changes they promise are not inclined to do so, and would rather serve their own selfish ends.

I implore you, stand with Standing Rock, fight for our liberties, remove from power the corrupt defunct would be leaders of our Cities, our States, and our Nation and let us usher in a new era of hope and prosperity, dictated by the common man! Let us embrace our diversity, let us remember what our nation was founded upon: E Plurbis Unum, out of Many One. Do that and I promise you one thing: together we can and we will make a difference!