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        Tue, 14 Dec 1999 21:13:52 -0500 (EST)
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 21:13:51 EST
Subject: (no subject)

(D)ear Friends,  As many of you already know the Four Sacred Oaks were cut
down on Saturday afternoon.  At midnight Friday we started to receive phone
calls from anonymous sources that they were coming for the trees on Saturday
morning.  Leo and I went to the encampment about 4:00 am and were told that
state troopers had started to assemble at the MNDOT property across Highway
62, which is a short distance from the four sacred trees.  Many people had
started to already assemble at the encampment.  We started a large scrap
pile of wood for a bonfire to keep people warm, as it was very cold being
outside for hours waiting.  The last raid the police burned bonfires from
our signs and the wood that was there, we figured why leave the wood for the
police to warm themselves. Just before 7:00 am we gathered at the trees and
started a ceremony.  At 7:10am we could see the squads come flying down the
Bureau of Mines road toward the encampment.  We were then surrounded by
state troopers and they waited until the ceremonies were done.  At that time
they informed us that anyone who would not leave then, would be arrested.
The Native American people did as we had been instructed, we left the
encampment and stood in vigil all day, waiting. Many of our supporters chose
to stay and they were arrested.  No chemicals or pain compliance was used on
these people.  Although we never touched the lodges or inipi or trees or the
pipe that had been placed in the middle of the trees, we instructed the
police how to handle these things in a respectful way and they did as we
asked.  The removal of the encampment and the trees are on all of them now
and they will have to pay the consequences for what they have done.

Many of the young supporters had scrambled into trees that lay in the path
of the Four Sacred Oaks, all day they stayed in the trees, while the whole
area was surrounded by hundreds of police and squads. Tree limbs were cut
from around them and still they continued to hang on for as long as they
could.  Many of these young people have been arrested and brutalized
throughout this whole occupation time and time again.  Many of these young
people are minors, their courage and continued belief in this cause, has
humbled so many of us.  They are the future and the future will be brighter
because of their heart and willingness to fight against all odds.

Bob, Jim, Bear, Representative Karen Clark, and other Native Americans were
at the site and participated in ceremony before the trees were cut in the
afternoon.  Leo and I stood in vigil with others behind police tapes, and
witnessed.  All day long I avoided the press and other officials, my heart
was too heavy. When the first tree was cut it seemed to just fold within
itself as it touched the ground. That was the hardest point of the day for
me.  So many people stood and cried in their grief.  I held many people and
was comforted by many people.  We had done all that we could to save the
Four Sacred Oaks.  All of last week we made phone calls to officials, did
research, tried in every way we could, even until the last minute
Representative Karen Clark was trying to get a restraining order.  As it
grew dark, the last of the young people in the trees were taken down and
arrested.  33 people went to jail, the last of them were released this
morning.  There are still many people who are facing court cases in the next
few months and we must continue to pray and support them.

Sunday we gathered at the Four Sacred Oaks for ceremony and to start to cut
the wood.  We started in the morning and ended when it got dark.  The wood
will be used in inipi's and for the Sundance in Pipestone.  It is the last
thing we can do to honor these grandfathers who stood as a beacon and
brought people from all over the world and all races to this Sacred place to
pray for understanding and acceptance of our people and spirituality.

We are not finished, we still have the Sacred Spring to protect from their
destruction, the road is not yet built.  You can walk through this area and
stand and see the land laid bare and ripped apart for the path of this road.
The destruction starts at Minnehaha Park and continues through the area that
the Elders spoke about in the affidavits and hearings.  Across the world
people have been there with their support and prayers, we are truly blessed
as a people. From the Falls to the Spring it is Sacred  to us.  We will
never forget. Pidamiya, Love Linda

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine 
of international copyright law.
           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

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