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Statement by Father of Sophia Wilansky, Critically Injured at Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Action

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  • Statement by Father of Sophia Wilansky, Critically Injured at Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Action
    Statement by Father of Sophia Wilansky, Critically Injured at NoDAPL Action

    ICMN Staff • November 23, 2016

    Editor’s note: Water protectors were violently engaged by police on Sunday November 20 when they tried to clear a bridge of debris, enduring seven hours of assault that police say was necessary to push them back and because they themselves felt threatened (though in defense of their actions, reported no injuries, and on videos and according to eyewitness accounts the violence was one-sided). Of the 300 people who reported injuries to the medics of the camps near Cannon Ball, the most horrifically injured person was Sophia Wilansky, 21, of New York City, who may lose her arm after much of it was blown away by a concussion grenade that her father says was intentionally aimed at her by police.
    RELATED: Bone and Muscle in Woman’s Arm ‘Blown Away’ As Hundreds Injured on Backwater Bridge
    Prepared by Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council at the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Camps
    On November 21st as a direct result of the violent police response at Standing Rock towards unarmed people opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 21-year-old woman from New York City, Sophia Wilansky, was severely injured when a concussion grenade thrown by police hit her left arm and exploded. Sophia was heading to bring water to the unarmed people who were being attacked for several hours by Morton County Sheriff forces. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has stated that she was injured by a purported propane explosion that the Sheriff’s Department claimed the unarmed people created. These statements are refuted by Sophia’s testimony, by several eye-witnesses who watched police intentionally throw concussion grenades at unarmed people, by the lack of charring of flesh at the wound site and by the grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery and will be saved for legal proceedings.
    Sophia was safely taken out of North Dakota for emergency surgery and is currently in stable condition. Below is her statement as conveyed by her father, lawyer Wayne Wilansky.
    “At around 4:30 a.m. after the police hit the bridge with water cannons and rubber bullets and pepper spray, they lobbed a number of concussion grenades which are not supposed to be thrown at people directly, at protesters, or protectors, as they want to be called. A grenade exploded right as it hit Sophia in the left forearm, taking most of the undersurface of her left arm with it. Both her radial and ulnar artery were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well. All of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown away. The police did not do this by accident—it was an intentional act of throwing it directly at her. Additionally police were shooting people in face and groin intending to do the most possible damage. Sophia will have surgery again tomorrow as bit by bit they try to rebuild a somewhat functioning arm and hand. The first surgery took a vein from her leg, which they have implanted in her arm to take the place of the missing arteries. She will need multiple surgeries to try to gain some functional use of the arm and hand. She will be, every day for the foreseeable future, fearful of losing her arm and hand. There are no words to describe the pain of watching my daughter cry and say she was sorry for the pain she caused me and my wife. I died a thousand deaths today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now alien arm and hand.”
    A fund set up by friends and verified to help with Sophia’s recovery is set up here:
    The Standing Rock Medic Healer Council deplores the ongoing use of violence by the state of North Dakota to address the concerns of the thousands of people peacefully assembled at Standing Rock to insist on the right to clean healthy drinking water.
    Water is Life, Mni Wiconi
    Linda Black Elk, PhD, Ethnobotanist, Sitting Bull College
    Michael Knudsen, MPH candidate, Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council
    Noah Morris, EMT
    Amelia Massucco, RN
    John Andrews, RN
    Kristina Golden, EMT, herbalist
    Sebastian Rodriguez, RN
    Rosemary Fister, RN, MNPHN, DNP Candidate>
    Rupa Marya, MD, DoNoHarm Coalition, University of California – San Francisco
    David Kingfisher, MD, JD, Wichita State University
    Jesse Lopez, MD, Heartland Surgical Care
    Kalama O Ka Aina Niheu, MD, Aha Aloha Aina
    Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH, University of Illinois – Chicago
    Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, University of Chicago
    Elizabeth Friedman, MD
    Vanessa Bolin, ALS Paramedic
    Jewish woman seriously injured at Standing Rock leaves hospital, posts photos

    Sophia Wilansky, 21, back home after multiple surgeries for wounds sustained in widely publicized protest

    By JTA December 15, 2016, 5:57 am
    Earlier in November, another Jewish woman, Erin Schrode, 25, a self-described citizen activist and journalist, appeared to be shot by a rubber bullet while conducting an interview with a Native American man on the sideline of the protest.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

  • #2
    The human rights violations were extensive in November.
    Youth From Pine Ridge Reservation Vow to Stay at Standing Rock Despite Blizzards

    Oglala Lakota youths from Pine Ridge Reservation decided unanimously to stay the winter to keep the water protector camps going

    Liz Gauthier, One Spirit • December 13, 2016

    This announcement was just released by One Spirit, an all-volunteer organization, and the only non-profit that has been endorsed by the Lakota Tribal Council to raise funds on behalf of the Lakota people.


    (On November 20 Dom was shot in the kneecap with a rubber bullet and then shot in the back with a beanbag round when he was helping injured women and elders get up. His hood was frozen to his head from the water cannons.)
    “What DAPL is doing is so bad, so very bad,” said Ted Feather Earring. “We just have to stand strong, have to resist violence, have to pray for the DAPL workers that one day they’ll realize what they’re doing is wrong.”
    (On November 20 Ted was shot in the chest with a rubber bullet and thrown face-first on the ground when a concussion grenade was thrown toward him, exploding next to his head. He was also treated for hypothermia from the water cannons.)
    “I’m hoping that the pipeline will stop and that they understand why we’re doing this, because it’s their water they’re contaminating as well, not just ours,” said 19-year-old Shane Phillips.
    Asked about November 20, he said, “Now I see how police can be. They broke their oath to protect and serve. Hopefully it will never happen again, but—if it does—I would like to be there on the front line to protect the elders and the women.”
    (Shane was tear-gassed, water cannoned and hospitalized on November 20.)
    “I’m here doing this to save the future, to save water for the future – for the children of the next generation,” said Tyler Feather Earring.
    When asked about November 20, Tyler quietly stated that it was very hard seeing women and the elderly being hurt by police and that he was feeling angry about that when it happened.
    “But I had to just let it go and keep praying, staying strong—so strong,” he said. “And hopefully we can stop this pipeline that we call the Black Snake.”..
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)