Featuring a former student of mine and current tribal cultural resources policy fellow at Berkeley Law, Nazune Menka, here.
In 2016 and 2017, we saw what the police response was to the Dakota Access Pipeline and water protectors. The use of water cannons and rubber bullets on peaceful people at the Water Protector Camp was reminiscent of the police treatment of activists during the civil rights movement in the South.
This summer, we saw what the police response was to the Black Lives Matter movement. The protests that were happening were largely calm. They were respectful, peaceful protests. People came in from out of town to counterprotest, and that’s where the clashing and violence came from. I don’t think that any of the violence this summer was at the behest of the Black Lives Matter movement. I think quite the opposite — these events were targeted to skew the optics in the media to basically demonize people of color even further. Thinking about this in contrast to the police response at the Capitol is heartbreaking to me.