By now, you should be familiar with the NoDAPL “protester” Sophia Wilansky, who was injured severely the other day during an orchestrated attack and riot on a law enforcement defense barrier around a Dakota Pipeline Construction Site. There was little information early on, and then a narrative started coming out from other protesters that she had been targeted by police, and shot with a concussion grenade, which caused the injury. You can read our initial comments on it here.
Of course, it didn’t take long for a GoFundMe page to go up to help pay for medical expenses. Given the severity of the wound and the uncertainty if whether or not she has medical insurance, or her attorney father is financially stable enough to cover the bills, she will likely not be able to use her left arm for some time.
As such, any money she can raise as a victim to violence to help support her lifestyle and rehabilitation is a good thing. Many generous people have already donated, and the current amount is $346,227. The total amount being raised keeps increasing and is set to $500k right now. Michael Basillas (of unknown relation to Sophia, and hopefully not another scammer making easy money) is managing the campaign.
Shortly after the initial excited claims by various protester groups, other information started coming out. The first suggested that Wilansky was hurt by a chain that snapped after being tied by protesters between a tractor trailer and one of the vehicles at the barrier on the bridge. Why they decided that doing this in the middle of the night under the cover of dark was a good idea, who knows.
Overall though, the story seems to make sense and matches what we would expect with the photographs of the injury, but the timing does not match other events, or indeed other “first hand accounts”, which we will get to in a second.
The other explanation that came out: Wilansky and other collaborators were in the process of planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against one of the vehicles or the barrier, when one exploded, grievously wounding Sophia. Evidence found later that included a burst propane tank, rocks, glass, and other materials, strongly indicate that this is indeed the correct story. However, if this is the case, it is an ominous warning of what is really going on in the protester camps, and a disastrous escalation of violence that will result in an even stronger response from law enforcement, and now, necessarily, federal law enforcement and national security.
The sad thing here, is that these radical eco-terrorists and outside organizations that promote violence, have all but taken over the cause and are using it to rationalize and legitimize their actions…and Chairman Archambault says nothing, endorsing it implicitly.
So, what really happened anyway? Law enforcement is regularly releasing new evidence, even as different protester groups are releasing videos (which show nothing) and reinforce their claims that the police attacked them, without provocation (ignoring the thrown rocks, slingshots, racial slurs, started fires, middle of the night mob, riot shields, and attempts to attack law enforcement by crossing the barrier). Some video of Sophia’s father perpetuating the false narrative have surfaced, emboldening the radical elements and reinforcing their story.
Now where there were no first hand accounts yesterday and speculation was rampant, there are suddenly “first hand” eyewitness accounts emerging. We believe that these are either orchestrated and done to defend Sophia as well as support the “all cops are evil and they attacked us” narrative, or these are her co-conspirators and co-terrorists that are trying to cover their tracks obfuscating the truth, and playing the victim, which has the obvious result of dramatically increasing donations. They have an easy half million on the way if this keeps up.
By now you are wondering if we are making this up or if we are full of it. So, we are going to let you decide for yourselves, by giving you two links. One is an interview of Stephen Joachinson, and his first hand account as published on YouTube by Oceti Sakowin Camp.
The second, is an article in the Montana Standard by Suzanne Stefanac titled “Butte men witness injury at Standing Rock, dispute official account“. This account is more likely as Alonzo Willis and Isaiah Other Bull have shown up in photos together with Sophia in a few places.
The problem here, is that Alonzo and Isaiah’s account is contradictory to itself in terms of the order of events and the timeline they describe. Things get even more confusing when you consider Stephen’s account, in which the details get jumbled even more. There are common elements that remain strong. According to their story, they were minding their own business when police targeted them with an explosive grenade that nearly took her arm off. It makes a great story.
Unfortunately, we believe it is just that: A hastily constructed story by some over eager young activists trying to impress their friends by being more radical and front line “direct action” to get some street cred. Then they are shocked when things literally explode in their faces. And now Wilansky has to pay for it with her injury (and get paid for it, with a few hundred thousand donated dollars).
So what happened? If we follow these stories, Sophia was either shot standing up, or after falling down, or possibly after getting up, or perhaps, while running away. And one of the three happened: She was shot, something was thrown at her, or she was specifically targeted. Stephen says the shooting stopped as soon as she goes down, and Alonzo/Isaiah say it continued. Stephen says he told some guys to pick her up and take her away, Alonzo/Isaiah said they just picked her up and ran. No mention of Stephen standing nearby with a riotshield on his back.
Alonzo/Isaiah say she was shot, she fell, and then they *threw* a grenade at her…and then men got out of an armored vehicle and laughed at them. Stephen says they ran away and cops came later to laugh at them (miraculously finding them at some campfire nearby)…which begs the question…at what point where there roving bands of jovial law enforcement out for a stroll to taunt protesters?
Alonzo and Isaiah never mention Stephen, and Stephen mentions some other people that he called over (Alonzo and Isaiah? But weren’t they already there?). I could continue but I’m getting confused again after re-reading and re-watching the video. Maybe you can piece these two eye-witness accounts together and figure it out.
For us though, we believe they were all working together and Sophia suffered for their stupidity. We do support helping with her medical bills (we cannot even begin to imagine her pain or what she will have to go through for the rest of her life) but we also strongly condemn her actions and those of every other violent protester and rioter out there, that are making a mockery of the Standing Rock Tribe.
Finally, where is Chairman Archambault? He is quick to do a press interview, lacing it with lies and false statements, but how long has it been since he has led his people in a peaceful protest? Has he lost so much face and control over the situation, that he dare not show his face at one of these “direct actions” he endorses? Why is he not joining other Tribal leadership in disavowing the violence and demanding that outsider eco-terrorist radicals leave? Why are so many innocent and well-meaning people so far deceived that they can’t see what is happening and are convinced that they are in mortal danger from the pipeline and law enforcement?
This is a disgusting situation that is getting worse. The Chairman needs to resign, the rioting needs to be put down by the tribe with prejudice, the eco-terrorist radicals need to be kicked out of the state or incarcerated by the police, and the Tribe needs to sit down with the Pipeline, peacefully, and work this out. Enough is enough, and everyone involved is getting tired of being held hostage by a few bad apple radicals.
Truth, like water, is life.
Update: Sophia’s father is quoted in New York Times article…with yet *another* story about what happened, presumably from his daughter, or from her colleagues. Read it for yourself here, and then compare with other “eyewitness” and “first hand accounts”. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/us/dakota-pipeline-sophia-wilansky.html?partner=msft_msn&_r=0
Update: “Eyewitness” Stephen Joachinson gives yet another interview, contradicting his first one with another story of events. This time covered by the radical “news” group, the Young Turks. Note that the guy calling for ex-military veterans to “deploy” to fight law enforcement at Standing Rock is a Young Turks co-host. When will the lies stop? Here is new misleading interview in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEMLoYmrnz4