Friday Hoydens: Lakota and Dakota Grandmothers vs Neo-Nazis

These women from the Standing Rock Indian Nation in North Dakota are only holding this Nazi flag up to the camera because they’re about to burn it, having captured it from public display on the property of a white supremacist in the nearby very small town of Leith, ND.

Four elderly but strong looking indigenous American women stand next to a van.  They are holding a captured Nazi flag  and cheering in preparation for burning it.

Lakota and Dakota grandmothers captured the Nazi flag hanging in Leith, ND and burned it. Warriors! | via lastrealindians.tumblr.com

Craig Paul Cobb had been quietly buying up land around the town so that he could pass it on to other neo-Nazis, in order that they could outnumber the existing residents at town hall meetings and end up establishing a White Pride enclave on the prairie. Now that the public protests in Leith against the white supremacists received first a moderate amount of publicity, and then this flag-raid by the grandmothers received far more publicity, the bigots won’t be able to continue their plan under the radar. The district’s public authorities are now examining the properties bought by Cobb to ensure that they meet zoning and sanitation laws, and plan to condemn any houses which fail to meet legal standards, which would leave the neo-Nazis out in the cold.

Wonkette has more details. PZ was conflicted about his instinct to applaud the flag capture because it was an act of theft and vandalism and essays a rare-for-him slippery slope argument to express his discomfort. I’m with the majority of the Horde there who are mostly responding that public display of a Nazi flag is a clear threat of violent intent and ending such a display is an ethically justifiable form of civil disobedience. I stand with the grannies.



Categories: history, indigenous, law & order, social justice

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4 replies

  1. I applaud their action while worrying about the possible consequences for them. But at least they go the issue on the radar. Why must some white people be such fuckwits?

  2. According to people who should know, the Standing Rock Indian Nation has excellent security in place to protect against any reprisals, so they should be physically safe.
    In terms of possible justice system consequences, the Sioux nations of North Dakota hold a rather comprehensive treaty giving them title to lands surrounding the Standing Rock Indian Nation settlement, a treaty which has been repeatedly disregarded but hasn’t had a case to hang a sovereignty challenge onto for many decades, and the prosecuting authorities may well choose not to open that particular can of worms by pursuing charges for theft or vandalism.

  3. I’m with the majority of the Horde there who are mostly responding that public display of a Nazi flag is a clear threat of violent intent and ending such a display is an ethically justifiable form of civil disobedience.
    I see his point, but I agree with you.

  4. In thinking about the ‘private liberties’ issue, I think PZ should also take into account that while on private land, it was clearly viewable by ‘the public’. These women did not break into a man’s house and take a flag that nobody could see; they responded to a flag being flown visibly, presumably for the benefit of the public. The whole point of flags, after all, is to claim territory and to make a political statement. You can’t actually do that without them being seen. And, in doing this, the flag flyer moves his property into the ‘public sphere’, and I would argue then makes such interventions (such as flag theft) a legitimate form of civil disobedience that does not infringe on privacy rights. In essence then, the flag flyer made his private space a public space through his actions.

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