When peaceful, public prayers are halted by armed men;
the response, brothers, to my brothers was TOO HARD
with weapons
on a road
by tanks, drones, tear gas and rifles.

When calm vigil leads to arrests of twenty-one,
men, women and children are forced to run TOO HARD
down a road
Can you hear the children crying?

When “spirit riders” race their horses to front lines,
protecting people fleeing from men armed strongly
with weapons
on a road
felony charging is TOO HARD.


Words and Photography ©2016 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in human rights, noDAPL & poetry. Bookmark the permalink.



Note: While this is my opinion, I would remind all my readers that the persecutions one man receives for peacefully praying on a public access road or in a public area of any kind are easily forced upon others. Once we start burning books, history proves that there is no determining on which page we will stop.






35 thoughts on “HARD #2

    1. Thank you so much. It should be more simple than it is, shouldn’t it? I was appalled at the fact that one of those riders was charged with a felony. They were there to protect the unarmed people. It is sickening.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Powerful words, Tanya. It is an old tale when religions are exploited by zealots to punish others who do not believe the way they do. This why true faithful need to stand firm and shine spotlights on bigotry, hate and disenfranchisement before it festers. When I asked a missionary in Nigeria what were the greatest threats to the planet, he said global poverty, climate change and corruption. He said on the latter, corrupt leaders take and take and leave scraps for others. The disenfranchised invite in terrorists who they think are there to help and realize too late, they are worse than the corrupt leaders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Keith! I think you summarized a huge part of the problem. In the 1800’s the Native cultures of America experienced similar corruption (and still do). They were forced to survive on desolate reservations and received meager sustenance from corrupt US Gov’t entities that often skimmed a large chunk off the top and left them impoverished.

      Wounded Knee wasn’t the last battle of the Indian Nations with the US Gov’t. It was a massacre of unarmed Indians attempting to flee to safe territory where they could survive against a trigger happy 7th Cavalry. All it took was one nervous shot, and hundreds of men, women and children were killed. IF we don’t get this history right, we will be forever repeating it.

      The ghost dancers were simply a desperate people trying to reconnect with a way of life being torn away from them. The US Gov’t banned the practice out of stupidity and fear, ultimately leading to Wounded Knee. Our ignorance is stunning.

      And you are right, this is a global problem, an old tale being ever repeated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said. This is why fear mongers and bigots like one of our Presidential candidates cannot be elected. He has already harmed us through his divisiveness and given voice to the worst among us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I followed the link and watched the video clip. Although I don’t know anything about the facts of this particular case and so can’t really comment on it, in general when there are powerful business interests and heavily-armed police officers on one side and a group of protestors sitting peacefully on the other and talking only about protecting the earth, my instinctive sympathies lie with the protestors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were 27 more arrests today and several more felony charges. The US Fed Gov’t lifted its temporary ban on the pipeline going in today, so things have become more intense. We just don’t seem to learn anything from history. It is sad. Thanks for reading and taking the time to watch the videos, Bun. Educating people is a first step. We’ve a long way to travel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll try to keep a closer eye out for this story in the news. Recently, most of my news reading time has been taken up with following US and international coverage of the upcoming election and hoping against hope that Donald Trump gets nowhere near the White House.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think there is a chance of him being elected. I don’t like Clinton, but Trump is a nightmare. I think she is going to win by a lot. (I’ve been tuning it out. I can’t handle listening to Trump talk…fingernails on a chalkboard…that is all I hear.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As a long retired officer of the law, I am so glad that that the street no longer calls. My small backyard flock of chickens gives me all the consternation I wish for.

    Back in 1973 I had a sister who was in South Dakota as part of a college Sociology class prior to the uprising. There was much going on within the political factions of the Oglala Sioux as well as Nixon’s police force. My sister returned home safely and today remains a strong supporter of the American Indian.

    I have a granddaughter living in Oklahoma,not God’s country.,great Football though. Just count the peoples sent there by our past government, far, far away from their homes.


    We have but to go back to the beginning to learn that politics corrupts, and sadly this year represents one of the USA’s saddest moments.

    there but for the grace of God (go I)

    Tanya Cliff, promoting awareness, well said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the support and for sharing. I will follow the link. A group of officers from my own state have been send to N. Dakota to help with the security. I pray for their safety along with the others. They are just doing their jobs. The folks who make these decisions are making some very poor ones in my opinion. Building awareness will help, but we have a lot of work to do. We need to start by trying to understand how we got here in the first place. The hurts inflicted have been devastating and long lasting.


  4. We are entering tough times for anyone who does not strictly toe the party line. I have retired from this world of ours in more ways than one. I no longer know how to match my own personal values with those I see in the majority of the world around me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a Trump rally yesterday, where the people were chanting to throw Clinton in jail. I see 20-somethings in the crowd chanting this. It is chilling. This is the stuff of fascist rising, not democracy. Peace-loving humanists (the real ones) stand on the front lines of an extraordinary battle of the heart right now, and love of brother/neighbor is its rallying cry. Thanks for giving a read, Roger and for your poignant comments. Strange days…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am reading Carl Jung on the Discovery of Self … can’t remember the full title now. It predicts Trump to a T. It makes chilling reading. When we are de-valued and under-valued as individuals, then the herd-instinct takes over and we run and hunt in baying groups. I think it was written in 1956-57.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fascist rising always needs a “Trump” to stir the soul of the discontent masses. At its ugly heart is a belief that “someone else” is the cause of all the problems, and that if we just get rid of that “someone else” everything will be good. People stop thinking, because hating is always easier than thinking and infinitely cheaper than loving. I like/agree with your herd-instinct description. It is troubling. There is nothing new about it, and we have to battle against it with whatever platform we are given. It is scary watching the reactions people have to Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Carl Jung book is uncannily accurate in its predictions. Unfortunately, emotions trump logic and wisdom, especially when whipped up in public and nobody says no. Some people are saying no … but are they the right people and is anyone listening? We’ll find out!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peaceful protest is an important balance in a world that insights violence by both offender and protector. Rather than viewing each protest with individuality, we must awaken to a greater truth revealing imbalance in the world as a whole. We must seek constructive ideas to rebalance the rights of ALL people with the goal of unification than the current path of further division.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jonathan! It is so easy for folks in the “majority” to forget how easily minority groups and their concerns/issues/rights become marginalized. Sad, because the world seems to be moving in the exact opposite direction. Real unity needs to have its roots in respect, empathy and understanding.

      Three days after Wounded Knee, an infant girl was found in the freezing cold surviving under the body of her dead mother. She was named Zintkála Núni, Lakota Sioux for Lost Bird. Though her life was saved, the rest of her story was a sad one, ever struggling to fit into a “white” world that did not even try to understand her. Her story reflects a battle that is still raging.

      On a funny note, if you want to know why people from the Midwest, especially the Dakotas (think Fargo), talk through their noses, take a listen to the Native American languages that dominated the region. Lakota Sioux, in particular, has a string of vowels spoken completely through the nose, similar to French (which also had its influence, especially where I live). English has no equivalent. We don’t comprehend or appreciate how closely we are connected.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Our world seems to be moving further in divergence creating a greater need to survive than thrive. The elite have always relied on fear to keep the masses from revolting. This is a pressure cooker scenario and one that offers to outcomes: (1) respect, sharing and MUTUAL GROWTH, (2) “cut throat” survival and destruction for ALL. Burying our heads in the sand only blinds us from these two realities. It doesn’t prevent it.

        Liked by 1 person

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