Tennessee Emergency Call For Federal Intervention in Human Rights Abuses at Standing Rock
This petition had 783 supporters
November 3rd 2016
WE THE PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE
Call For Emergency Federal Intervention To Prevent Further Human Rights Abuses in Standing Rock North Dakota
On this the 2nd day of November 2016, the people of Middle Tennessee, in solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin camp at Cannonball, North Dakota request emergency action from US Congressional Representatives in the state of Tennessee to bring about an end to the state-sanctioned militarized violence currently being unleashed upon the non-violent prayer camp blocking the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline owned and operated by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. To achieve this aim, the citizens and taxpayers of Tennessee hereby request our nine US Congressional Representatives take the following actions on behalf of human rights in Tennessee and throughout the United States:
1 Sign onto the joint statement issued by the Ranking Member of the Congressional Committee on Natural Resources Raul Grijalva and co-signed by 18 other Congressional Representatives in a call for a halt to further excavation until a complete environmental, cultural and legal analysis can be conducted by independent authorities into the violation of sovereignty that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and over 150 other indigenous tribal nations are currently resisting on the banks of the Cannonball River on land that is theirs by U.S. Treaty. (Fort Laramie 1851) Please see the attached letter sent to the president requesting federal intervention by the Mayor of Seattle and co-signed by the mayors of Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Portland and Madison.
2 Put forward legislation calling for clearly defined limitations on the domestic use of surplus military hardware, both lethal and non-lethal, on American civilians that pose no threat of violence in the practice of their first amendment rights to assemble and peacefully protest, as enshrined in the US Constitution. Any use of such force should trigger an automatic independent inquiry at the Justice Department to ensure the rights of Americans are not being usurped by the unintended consequences of the “War On Terror”. Elected Officials and Law Enforcement seeking to undermine the constitutional rights of American citizens should be held accountable by the Justice System, as any other criminal would be.
3 Put forward legislation calling for strict prohibition of the use of Federal Pre-emption (aka Eminent Domain) by private, for-profit corporations. Eminent Domain was originally intended for public utilities and allowing profit-driven corporations to utilize this loophole is tantamount to government manipulation of the free market. The current environment in which for-profit corporations can seize property and force their agenda onto unwilling and vulnerable communities across the United States not only offends constitutional sensibilities, it erodes each and every American's faith in the due process of law.
These three points represent a potentially bipartisan position supported broadly by constituents of all political stripes under the banner of defending constitutional liberties. And in the event an elected official believes that a privately held corporation should be able to seize the property of ordinary citizens or if they believe it is acceptable for law enforcement to use militarized force against American civilians in putting down non-violent protest, that position should also be made plain.
In light of the urgency to prevent further violence and human rights abuses in North Dakota, we respectfully request these actions be taken at the earliest possible opportunity.
In order to fully appreciate the violence being visited upon our fellow Americans at Standing Rock please take a moment to view this important footage.
If the music is not your cup of tea it can be muted but it is quite revealing to listen to the interviews and raw footage of this immoral use of military equipment on men, women, children and elders unarmed and in the act of prayer and civil disobedience, both of which are protected by the US Constitution.
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