VETERAN AND ALLIED WATER PROTECTORS

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"NO-OCCUPY NATIVE LAND" IS HAPPENING IN NEW JERSEY

  Since October 2016, under the leadership of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp has been holding space and leading the fight against the proposed
Pilgrim Pipeline,a 178-mile pipeline that would carry up to 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey endangering local water supplies,
 sacred sites, and essential wetlands.Unfortunately, the presence of Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp  has exposed deeper issues surrounding indigenous sovereignty,
land rights, freedom of religion, and discrimination against the Ramapough Lenape Nation. Water and land protectors at Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp
have experienced harassment, intimidation,
and false accusations on an ongoing basis from the Town of Mahwah and surrounding Polo Club neighbors. 

  The town of Mahwahhas levied fines in excess of $1,000,000 --and counting-- for zoning violations. These fines have been levied because the tribe erected "structures" without a zoning permit.
These "structures" in question are tepees, sweat lodges and a prayer circle with a stone alter.

  The NJ court ruled that the prayer circle objects were "structures" erected without a permit because the wooden objects carved with
 masks were "painted" and had "copper slits" in place of eyes were a violation of zoning laws and that tepees are also "structures";

  This constitutes religious persecution. The Ramapough have been praying on this land for decades. Imagine if a town were to go onto private land to
 cut down a cross because the carved figure of Jesus on a cross was painted and had copper slits on the eyes!

  The land sits in the middle of the "Polo Club," and exclusive development of mansions and high end-homes.
These home owners resent the presence of indigenous people amidst their aerie;

  It should be noted that the 3,000 plus member tribe consists of people of color, primarily the result of blacks being the only people who could be counted as friends for the ensuing 100 years after the civil war,
 the Ramapough Lenape were the 1st people to be enslaved in the state of New Jersey when there were no sizeable African presence on the continent.

  Many of these indigenous people are veterans, including Chief Perry a Vietnam veteran.

For news coverage and other information on the Ramapough, click here-->http://niany.com/VeteransCamp-SplitRockSweetwaterPrayerCamp.html