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4 charged with tresspassing after Sunday’s protest

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 4th of July, or as Sunday’s protest referred to it on a banner, ”The Fourth of You Lie.”

The NDN Collective’s protest comes as a call for justice for indigenous people who have been, “over criminalized by colonial government and law enforcement on their own lands.”

The event started as a rally before turning into a walk toward downtown Rapid City.

Police received reports that 4 people were climbing a grain tower downtown to hang an upside-down United States flag.

The flag also had the word “LANDBACK.” Written across.

LANDBACK is a movement lead by the NDN Collective not only to reclaim their land but their relationship to the land.

That includes everything they believe was stolen such as culture and language.

“I think we were heard and I think people, you know, people across the so-called U.S. and even globally heard this message, but I think there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of locally and a global scale of addressing and dismantling white supremacy that exists,” said Krystal Two Bulls, Director of the NDN Collective’s LANDBACK.

Two Bulls was also one of the climbers arrested for illegally trespassing on private property.

“We’re fully knowledgeable and like, to be honest, we can’t trespass on our own lands. These are our lands. We don’t trespass on our own lands. We have every right to be in these spaces and most especially if we are being mistreated and oppressed systemically, we have every right to call that out and to do what we need to do to call forth that narrative,” said Two Bulls.

The event ended up using a large number of the City’s public resources as protestors failed to work with police to exercise their first amendment rights.

Pennington County Sherriff, Kevin Thom said in a release, “Local law enforcement made countless attempts to work with organizers of this demonstration. It was clear halfway through the course of the event that organizers intended to deceive us about the plan for an extent of the demonstration.”

The case is now forwarded to the Pennington County state’s Attorney Office for prosecution.

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