Your Call: Isolating Qatar and the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War

This week on KALW's "Your Call," Sandy Tolan joined host Matt Martin and Buzzfeed's Middle East correspondent, Bourzou Daragahi, at the media roundtable to have a conversation about the Arab states' decision to isolate Qatar as well as the 50th anniversary of the six day war. 

Click here to listen now. 

50 Years After the Six-Day War: How to Make Peace in the Holy Land

By Sandy Tolan

Fifty years ago, as the fog of the Six-Day War lifted and Israel celebrated its “miraculous” victory over Arab nations, a darker reality sank in. Israel’s military then dominated millions of Palestinians living on their own land. At the time, moral appeals within Israel and legal counsel in a secret Israeli Foreign Ministry memo warned of dire consequences if the occupation were not quickly abandoned.

  An Israeli security vehicle fires tear gas during clashes with Palestinians demonstrating in the West Bank city of Bethlehem in May. (Nasser Shiyoukhi / AP) via Truthdig

  An Israeli security vehicle fires tear gas during clashes with Palestinians demonstrating in the West Bank city of Bethlehem in May. (Nasser Shiyoukhi / AP) via Truthdig

Of course, the opposite happened. Year after year, thousands of Israelis, many who believed they were called by God, colonized the West Bank, threatening the dream of two populations living side by side in peace. The first Oslo Accord, signed in 1993 supposedly to facilitate a two-state solution, instead helped make one nearly impossible.

Consider:

● The Israeli West Bank settler population has nearly quadrupled to about 400,000 since Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White house lawn after signing that Oslo Accord in September 1993.
● More than a dozen Jewish settlements now ring East Jerusalem, the would-be capital of an independent Palestinian state, virtually snuffing out the two-state dream.
● Sixty percent of the West Bank remains under Israel’s full military control, with hundreds of barriers forcing Palestinian families into increasingly isolated cantons.
● Israel essentially controls so-called Area A autonomous zones, with checkpoints at the entrances of most Palestinian towns, and frequent night raids take place, which the military implements with impunity. In one incident straight out of the Jim Crow South, soldiers took over a swimming pool in Area A, forcing Palestinians out of the water so settlers could take a dip.

Click here to read the full article.

Peace In Israel Starts With An Apology

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by SANDY TOLAN for FORWARD

Imagine you have an old beater – say, a 1967 Chevy – that hasn’t really run in years. The tires are flat, it’s riddled with dents, seats are torn out, windshield’s cracked, the fuel gauge constantly malfunctions, and someone just stole your spark plugs and battery. Yet, for reasons you can no longer remember, you’re attached to this car, and so for decades you’ve listened to the “experts” over at Ross & Indyk Automotive tell you why this jalopy is not only your best option, but you’re only one. All you need, they tell you yet again, is another jump start.

At some point, wouldn’t you say to hell with this! and get a new car, and a new mechanic?

The Oslo “peace process” has been essentially dead for a decade, yet the zombie keeps getting its star turn, despite overwhelming facts.

Click here to read the full article. 

The Next Standing Rocks: 4,800 Miles of Oil Pipelines Planned Under Trump

by Sandy Tolan for The Daily Beast

U.S. companies are set to carve up Native American and private lands in more than a dozen states in order to sell petroleum and natural gas overseas. Activists are gearing up. 

This story is in cooperation with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

A high-stakes battle is underway on multiple front lines across America, as Native American and climate change activists square off against oil and pipeline companies racing to lay as much infrastructure into the ground as quickly as possible.

The U.S. oil industry is enjoying a surge in production, which has shot up 86 percent since 2008. Unshackled by Congress and enabled by the most oil-friendly president in decades, the industry aims to transform the American landscape with tens of billions of dollars in new pipelines, storage depots, and export terminals.

Click here to read more. 

Living on Earth: Big Plans For and Against Big Oil

By Sandy Tolan for PRI

Two Standing Rock demonstrators take to horseback as part of the Standing Rock demonstrations that peaked in 2016. (Photo: Robert Wilson, via PRI)

Two Standing Rock demonstrators take to horseback as part of the Standing Rock demonstrations that peaked in 2016. (Photo: Robert Wilson, via PRI)

North Dakota officials were protecting a grand plan worth tens of billions of dollars. In that plan, the Dakota Access Pipeline, DAPL, is North Dakota’s linchpin. It allows a glut of fracked oil from the massive Bakken formation to flow southeast toward the US Gulf Coast. Bakken oil is part of, what boosters call, the “North American petroleum renaissance.” The US is now the world’s third largest producer of crude oil, pumping more than Iran and Iraq combined. 

Turns out, the pipeline company Energy Transfer, backed by North Dakota officials, police, and the National Guard, fought that huge battle at Standing Rock, in large part so that US crude oil could leave the country.

Click here to listen.  

Taxpayer-Funded Horror at Standing Rock

by SANDY TOLAN for The Daily Beast

Feb. 21, 2017

ALONG THE CANNONBALL RIVER, North Dakota—The following story is brought to you by the taxpayers of North Dakota.

It was a bitter cold night on the Backwater Bridge when Efrain Montalvo got the desperate call from the front line.

“The medics were screaming for help, because they were overwhelmed,” remembered Montalvo, 25, a member of the International Indigenous Youth Council at Standing Rock. He looked up through white mists of tear gas, cut by screams and shouts on the bridge. Native elders stood motionless in front of barricades of razor wire, clutching feathers, burning prayer bundles of sage, holding their ground. They were unarmed, eyes shut tight against the clouds of pepper spray. Others held up plywood shields or the tops of plastic bins against the spray. “Disperse!” shouted police, who then unleashed a fire hose, soaking protesters in the sub-freezing temperatures. Icicles formed on their hair. Their winter jackets crunched.

Reuters

Reuters

Montalvo moved swiftly toward the front line, carrying bottles of water and Milk of Magnesia (to relieve the tear gas sting) toward the medics. Riot-clad police, ensconced behind concrete barriers and the looping wire, began firing rubber bullets. Montalvo watched an elder fall at his feet, his staff clattering to the pavement of the shut-down state highway. Then police launched a barrage of smoking tear-gas canisters from grenade launchers.

“That’s when people started panicking,” Montalvo recalled.

A tear-gas canister hit Montalvo squarely in the chest. He inhaled its smoke deeply, then wandered aimlessly, hands over his eyes. Two minutes later, he could see again. Another canister exploded at his feet. He saw a brilliant white light. Then everything went black and silent.

Montalvo began shaking uncontrollably. For 10 minutes, “I couldn’t remember who I was, where I was.” Medics whisked him off the bridge. Days later, he could still taste the tear gas in his mouth.

Click here to read the full article. 

 

Journalist faces charges after arrest while covering Dakota Access pipeline protest

by SANDY TOLAN for The Los Angeles Times

Journalist Jenni Monet reports from an Oct. 27 sweep during a mass demonstration over the Dakota Access pipeline in Morton County, North Dakota. (Photo courtesy of Jenni Monet)

Journalist Jenni Monet reports from an Oct. 27 sweep during a mass demonstration over the Dakota Access pipeline in Morton County, North Dakota. (Photo courtesy of Jenni Monet)

Feb. 5, 2017 — A journalist arrested in a broad sweep of a “rogue” protest camp near the Standing Rock reservation is facing criminal charges from North Dakota authorities.

Jenni Monet, 40, on assignment for Indian Country Today and the Center for Investigative Reporting, has been arrested and charged with criminal trespass and “engaging in a riot” by Morton County prosecutors. She was arrested Wednesday and released on bond late Thursday.

Monet was arrested as authorities rounded up about 75 “water protectors” attempting to set up a new protest camp on private land near the Cannonball River.  Police moved in Wednesday afternoon to prevent the establishment of the “Last Child Camp,” locking down the area with highway barricades.

Click here to read the full article. 

The Next Battle of Standing Rock Is Protesters vs. Tribes

by SANDY TOLAN for The Daily Beast

January 27, 2017

ON THE BANKS OF THE CANNONBALL RIVER, North Dakota—In the first Battle of Standing Rock, the pipeline resisters and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stood together.

STEPHEN YANG / REUTERS

STEPHEN YANG / REUTERS

Thousands came to “Stand with Standing Rock” in a collective effort to block the 1,172-mile, 500,000-barrel-a-day oil pipeline from completing its journey under the nearby Missouri River. Through prayer and direct action, they pledged to protect the water for Dakota Natives and some 17 million other Americans, and to prevent the desecration of Native sites. Representatives of some 300 North American tribes planted flags here, and Standing Rock became an international symbol of Native rights and the fight over climate change.

In the second Battle of Standing Rock, as a brutal winter settles in on the Northern Plains, many tribal officials and the hardy “water protectors” are squaring off. 

Under other circumstances President Trump’s renewed vow to build the pipeline might have united the two factions. But the tribe wants pipeline foes to leave before anyone freezes to death or drowns when the annual spring snow melt inundates the main protest camp. The Standing Rock Tribal Council, citing public safety, is urging the “water protectors” to shut down all three protest encampments along the Cannonball River. This despite the fact that the original camp, Sacred Stone, is on high ground and private land. The land belongs to Ladonna Bravebull Allard, who has vowed to keep Sacred Stone open. And in a stunning move, the chairman of the nearby Cheyenne River tribe, Harold Frazier, announced the lease of 25 acres of land on the Standing Rock reservation, where pipeline resisters will also be welcome. Many in the camps, including enrolled members of the Standing Rock tribe, resent the council’s edict and have no intention of following it.

Click here to read the full article. 

The latest challenge for Dakota Access pipeline protesters: A punishing blizzard

More than 1,000 people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline have taken refuge in community centers and a casino on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation since a powerful blizzard blew through their main camp.

High winds knocked down a large military-style tent in the Seven Council Fires encampment late Monday. The tent caught fire, which spread to two other tents.

Click here to read the full article. 

Efrem John, a Dine Navajo from Shiprock, N.M., clears snow from his camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. (Scott Olson / Getty Images via LA Times)

Efrem John, a Dine Navajo from Shiprock, N.M., clears snow from his camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. (Scott Olson / Getty Images via LA Times)

Veterans came to North Dakota to protest a pipeline. But they also found healing and forgiveness

They had come to join Native American tribes and environmentalists protesting an oil pipeline, fully expecting to endure tear gas and rubber bullets. But in the end, veterans who traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation found something far more profound.

Tribal members conduct a cleansing ceremony for the veterans who traveled to North Dakota to oppose the Dakota Access oil pipeline. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Tribal members conduct a cleansing ceremony for the veterans who traveled to North Dakota to oppose the Dakota Access oil pipeline. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Inside the auditorium at a reservation casino, Wes Clark Jr. and about a dozen veterans in formation behind him faced a small group of Sioux spiritual leaders. Encircling them, hundreds of other veterans looked on.  

Click here to read the full article. 

Thousands of veterans converge on North Dakota to aid pipeline protest

An estimated 2,100 U.S. military veterans were bound for the frigid Northern Plains on Saturday in a mass show of support for Native Americans and their allies battling the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Military veterans are briefed on camps rules and their mission at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Saturday outside Cannon Ball, N.D. (Scott Olson / Getty Images via LA Times)

Military veterans are briefed on camps rules and their mission at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Saturday outside Cannon Ball, N.D. (Scott Olson / Getty Images via LA Times)

The vets, organized under the banner “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” include 219 vets from California, many of whom departed in seven charter buses on Friday. 

Click here to read the full article. 

Army halts Dakota Access pipeline: 'Today, the voices of indigenous people were heard'

By William Yardley and Sandy Tolan

The Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday denied permission for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a section of the Missouri River, handing at least a temporary victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters. 

Photo via the LA Times

Photo via the LA Times

The decision came after months of protests by thousands of self-proclaimed “water protectors” — bolstered by the arrival of more than 2,000 U.S. military veterans — who have opposed the pipeline out of concern that it could rupture and contaminate the river, which they say provides drinking water to the tribe and 17 million other Americans.

Click here to read the full article. 

Dakota Access pipeline protesters vow to continue, despite threat of more dousing with hoses (LA Times)

 

by Sandy Tolan | Nov. 23, 2016 | Reporting along the Cannon Ball River, N.D.

Opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline vowed Wednesday to keep protesting despite a clash this week in which law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and pepper spray at demonstrators and doused them with water hoses in subfreezing temperatures.

Protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline stand on a burned-out truck near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Nov. 21. (James MacPherson / Associated Press) via LA Times

Protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline stand on a burned-out truck near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Nov. 21. (James MacPherson / Associated Press) via LA Times

Interviews on a chilly Wednesday morning at the main protest camp evoked a chaotic, frightening scene as dozens of demonstrators were rushed into wood-fired camp kitchens for “aggressive rewarming” and “vigorous painful stimulation” after being soaked by the officers.   

Noah Morris of the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council said more than 300 people were treated for hypothermia and other ailments during the confrontations that erupted Sunday night and continued into Monday.

Click here to read the full story.

Thanksgiving at Dakota Access pipeline protest: 'It's a beautiful day to protect the water' (LA Times)

by SANDY TOLAN

Reporting from along the Cannon Ball River, N.D. — 

Demonstrators against the Dakota Access oil pipeline hold a ceremony at the main protest camp Nov. 15 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (James MacPherson / Associated Press)

Demonstrators against the Dakota Access oil pipeline hold a ceremony at the main protest camp Nov. 15 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (James MacPherson / Associated Press)

It was still dark on Thanksgiving morning as the pickup truck with mounted speakers rode slowly through the dirt lanes of the Oceti Sakowin camp.  

“Wake up, water protectors!” boomed an amplified voice as the truck moved past tents, teepees, and the occasional flickering campfire. “It’s a beautiful day to protect the water.”   

Hundreds of opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline were just finishing the morning prayer at the Sacred Fire in the center of the camp. Now they trudged through snow flurries toward the staging area for another day of confronting North Dakota officials over the $3.8-billion pipeline.

“Today we all made sacrifices to be here,” organizer Vic Camp called out through a bullhorn as the group of Native Americans and their supporters began gathering at the southern edge of the camp for a ride north toward Bismarck. 

Click here to read the full story. 

American-Indian wars, 21st century style (KCRW)

The Thanksgiving holiday celebrates the supposedly peaceful partnership between early European settlers and the natives who lived in America first. But while much of the country sits down to dinner, a very different historical pattern is playing out again near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. A Native American protest against an oil pipeline has been met with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. It's aroused attention all over the world.

As Jane Fonda plans to serve the protesters thanksgiving dinner, can President Obama make a lasting difference? We get an update.

Click here to listen now. 

Guests:
Sandy Tolan, University of Southern California / Los Angeles Times (@sandy_tolan
Charon Asetoyer, Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center(@charonasetoyer
Tom Seng, University of Tulsa (@utulsa
Tom Disselhorst, attorney
Mark Trahant, University of North Dakota (@TrahantReports)

 

After violent clashes, Native American protesters vow to continue their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sandy Tolan for the LA Times

Hundreds of Native Americans staged a peaceful march up a North Dakota highway Saturday, renewing their vow to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in the wake of violent clashes this week.

Pipeline protesters hold signs for passing motorists during a rally on the south side of the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Saturday. (Will Kincaid / The Bismarck Tribune) via LA Times

Pipeline protesters hold signs for passing motorists during a rally on the south side of the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Saturday. (Will Kincaid / The Bismarck Tribune) via LA Times

On Thursday, state police, county sheriff’s deputies from four other states and the North Dakota National Guard members made more than 140 arrests, using pepper spray, rubber bullets and Tasers to clear protesters from a camp they set up on the path of the oil pipeline, which is under construction. More than 50 people were treated for injuries.

Work on the $3.8-billion project resumed the same day.

The demonstration Saturday was centered just south of a bridge that authorities closed this week after pipeline opponents apparently torched a car — one of the several vehicles burned in the clashes — and deposited it there.

Click here to read the full article. 

North Dakota pipeline activists say arrested protesters were kept in dog kennels. Sandy Tolan reports for the LA Times

After a night of chaotic clashes with police on the front lines in a months-long protest, Native American activists complained about the force wielded to drive protesters from the path of a pipeline they contend will desecrate tribal lands and put their lone source of drinking water at risk.

A handout photo from the Morton County Sheriff's Department shows protesters and law enforcement personnel during a demonstration against the North Dakota oil pipeline project Thursday. (Morton County Sheriff's Department / EPA) via LA Times

A handout photo from the Morton County Sheriff's Department shows protesters and law enforcement personnel during a demonstration against the North Dakota oil pipeline project Thursday. (Morton County Sheriff's Department / EPA) via LA Times

Protesters said that those arrested in the confrontation had numbers written on their arms and were housed in what appeared to be dog kennels, without bedding or furniture. Others said advancing officers sprayed mace and pelted them with rubber bullets.

Click here to read the full article. 

Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters cleared from camp, sheriff says; more than 140 arrested - Sandy Tolan reports for the LA Times

 

As helicopters circled overhead, police in riot gear arrested activists Thursday in an effort to break up an encampment of protesters blocking the path of the planned Dakota Access oil pipeline, near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. By the end of the day, authorities said they had ousted the protesters from their camp.

Protesters confront soldiers and law enforcement officers assembled Thursday to force Dakota Access pipeline opponents off private land. (Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune)

Protesters confront soldiers and law enforcement officers assembled Thursday to force Dakota Access pipeline opponents off private land. (Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune)

Police arrested at least 141 people on charges including criminal trespassing, engaging in a riot and conspiracy to endanger by fire, according to the Morton County Sheriff's Department. 

Click here to read the full article. 

North Dakota pipeline protests reach boiling point - Sandy Tolan reports on KCRW's "To the Point"

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters square off against police near the Standing Rock Reservation and the pipeline route outside the little town of Saint Anthony, North Dakota. Photo: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters square off against police near the Standing Rock Reservation and the pipeline route outside the little town of Saint Anthony, North Dakota. Photo: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

Native Americans and supporters from around the world are digging in against an oil pipeline near the Missouri River — despite being struck with batons, sprayed with Mace and charged with crimes. After the protesters lost a battle in court, the Obama Administration asked Energy Transfer, a Fortune 500 Company, to defer construction. But the bulldozers are coming. Protesters aren't the only ones being arrested, so are journalists perceived to be on their side. 

Guests:
Sandy Tolan, University of Southern California / Los Angeles Times (@sandy_tolan
Deia Schlosberg, documentary filmmaker and producer (@deiaschlosberg)

Click here to listen now. 

Living on Earth: Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux

A rally led on horseback by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and their allies. (Photo: Robert Wilson)

A rally led on horseback by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and their allies. (Photo: Robert Wilson)

A rash of arrests at the Standing Rock demonstrations points to rising tensions between North Dakota state officials and the thousands that have allied themselves with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through ancestral lands and sources of water. Reporter Sandy Tolan visited the encampment that serves as a home base for the protestors, and explains to Living on Earth Host Steve Curwood that claims of protester “riots” are unfounded, based on what he observed.

Click here to listen now.