Sophia Wilansky — Sarah bat Devorah — a Jewish woman who took part in a nonviolent protest led by the Sioux Nation of Standing Rock, was desperately wounded Sunday night by a concussion grenade, fired by the police and mercenaries hired by the Dakota Pipe-Line companies, that blew apart her left arm. She is now in hospital at Hennepin County Medical Center.
We have written a Minneapolis Rabbi and a Shalom Center Board member in Minneapolis to ask them to help her in every way possible, including visiting her in hospital, leading Mi Sheh-Beirach prayers for healing in their and other synagogues in Minneapolis, helping raise money for her medical needs, and taking part in efforts to make publicly clear how the Water Protectors of Standing Rock are struggling to stop the Dakota Oil Pipe Line in order to protect life in three concentric circles:
- the sacred lands of the Sioux and Lakota Nations;
- the millions of people who depend on the drinking water of the Missouri River and who must be protected from poisoning of the River by leakage from the PipeLine;
- and billions of human beings and other life-forms throughout the Earth, our common home, who need to be protected from the added CO2 emissions hat will come from burning this additional oil.
And to explain how the cruel behavior of the massed police forces there toward nonviolent prayerful protest is aiming deadly — literally death-risking — force not only against the Water Protectors there but against us all.
We are asking all of us to do what we can, including sending a message to President Obama (see the end of this letter).
Sophia Wilansky lives in New York. She left New York City several weeks ago to help with the struggle at Standing Rock. She been an active participant and family to the activist group NYC Shut It Down. Sophia has always been committed to confronting injustice through vigilance and resistance.
Sophia was giving out bottles of water to protectors holding down the space when she was shot with a concussion grenade. This was the response of police and DAPL mercenaries as she and other brave protectors attempted to hold the line against the black snake in service of protecting our water. As of last night, we found out she was air lifted to County Medical Center in Minneapolis where she’s currently undergoing extensive, hours-long surgery from injuries sustained from the blast.
Please consider donating to help pay for her treatment. <https://www.gofundme.com/30aezxs/donate> We must support our comrades when they need us the most. She needs all of us right now. #StandWithStandingRock #WaterIsLife
Sunday night’s no-holds-barred offensive by police from multiple agencies against unarmed water protectors opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline on Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge — in which at least 167 suffered injuries — sent two elders into cardiac arrest, left a 13-year-old girl injured by a rubber bullet to the head, and now, one woman will almost certainly lose her arm.
Sophia Walinsky stood among the crowd of around 400 water protectors as the police launched an all-out assault, firing ‘nonlethal’ projectiles, tear gas, mace, LRAD sound cannons, and concussion grenades — one of which exploded on her left arm, tearing through flesh and exposing bone, and leaving her facing possible amputation.
At this time, the fate of her arm was still unknown.
No statement or press release has been issued by the Morton County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency present that night, nor has any word addressing Walinsky’s grisly wound come from the office of North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Hyper-militarized police officers began the offensive Sunday evening after water protectors attempted to clear burned-out military vehicles from the roadway that had been blocked since a clash on October 27. Standing Rock Sioux water protectors have been concerned the blockade was obstructing access by emergency services to the reservation and area residences.
We at The Shalom Center urge you to place immediate phone calls to the White House at 202-456-1414 and 202-456-1111 with the following message or its equivalent in your own words:
Mr President, I am -- [give your name, religious connection if you wish, and your address or at least city and state, and then:]
Cruel actions by hyper-militarzed police against nonviolent Water Protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota, violate US treaties wth the Native Nations, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, and the life-sustaining needs of the entire region and the Earth, our common home.
Your predecessors used federalized units of the National Guard and even US Army troops in the South to protect civil rights there against violent mobs and police.
We call upon you to federalize the North Dakota National Guard and order it to protect nonviolent protesters from attacks by any armed force, whether public police or mercenaries.
And we call upon you to cancel once and for all the Army Corps of Engineers permits that are allowing the Dakota Access Pipe Line to endanger life, for Water is Life: Mayim chayim!
We also urge you to send this message to the White House by Email. The link is --
Shalom, salaam, peace, Earth!— Arthur