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One of the leaders of the protest that shut down the highway to Mount Rushmore last Friday prior to President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebration at the monument is facing five criminal charges.

On Monday, Nick Tilsen was charged with second-degree robbery and simple assault for allegedly stealing a shield and assaulting a law enforcement officer, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The Porcupine resident and member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe is also charged with three misdemeanors for impeding a highway, unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.

If he is convicted, Tilsen faces up to 12 years in prison — 10 years for the robbery charge and two years for the simple assault.

The charges at the Pennington County Courthouse in Rapid City, South Dakota, come days after 150 demonstrators used vans and their bodies to shut down the road and a checkpoint to Mount Rushmore to protest the president’s visit to the monument.

“The biggest message that we have been trying to send this entire time is that Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy and racial injustice in this country and that the four faces carved on that mountain are the four faces of colonizers who have committed genocide on Indigenous people,” Tilsen told the Rapid City Journal on July 3.

“To have their faces carved on our sacred lands is why it’s an extreme injustice.”

He said that his group took action “because white supremacy will not be dismantled if we merely bow down.”

Tilsen was one of 15 people who were purposely arrested in order to bring attention to their cause.

He was released on Monday afternoon after posting a $2,000 bond.

His lawyer and family say that Tilsen was targeted because “he’s been identified as someone who had a leadership role.”

“There’s a long history of persecuting leadership and trying to separate leadership away from the groups they work with,” his father, Mark, said.

Tilsen wrote an NBC News Op-Ed published on July 3 criticizing the president’s visit to the area.

“Make no mistake, this divisive visit was an attack on Indigenous people,” he wrote.

He added that the Black Hills are “the site of death, violence and war.”

“They are home to Mount Rushmore — a monument to white colonizers carved by a Ku Klux Klan sympathizer into land stolen from us by the U.S. government in 1877,” Tilsen wrote.

“Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore, timed to America’s celebration of the Fourth of July, was almost a natural sequel to his rally in Tulsa — originally coinciding with Juneteenth. He is taking his campaign from the site of one of the United States’ most horrific acts of racism to another place with long histories of oppression and state-sanctioned violence.”

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52 Comments
  • jimmie c boswell says:

    american indians were just as much involved in stealing land from each other for thousands of years. robbery, murder, theft, wars and kidnapping was a common theme among american indians from south america to north america.

    so don’t give me with this we were all innocent until the spanish, french, and white men came along doing the same things they were doing to each other. since apparently the great white spirit was not pleased with the american indians nation and/or tribes either.

    even tribes of the souix nations plundered from each other. the only time they all came together was for the battle of the little big horn. after the battle they all went their own separate ways to be fought and defeated piece by piece. the american indians, may have been more wicked and evil than the french, spanish, and white men.

    you only need to ask yourself one question, “why did ELOHEEM Command it to happen that way”? since we are not in charge of what G-D Commands to physically happen to us. we are only in charge of what our mental free will thinks about it usually corruptly false. so i am not responsible for what G-D Commanded to physically happen then. this is ELOHEEM’S Story of The Physical Creation again with this whole world having failed at least twice before here in THEIR Same Physical Story again.

    if you are mentally wicked and evil ELOHEEM shall command you too express it physically to each other. so do not tell me this whole world today is a righteous world. when all the pestilence, plague, and famine sent says otherwise.

    nor am i a big fan of blood liable for what your ancestors were Physically Commanded to do by G-D. when you exclude what G-D is Commanding to happen with what and why you are leaving out the most important part to any discussion.

  • GEORGE EADY says:

    CUT OFF THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE AND THE BODY WILL DIE OFF . LOCK UP THE LEADERS AND THE PEST WILL GO WAY. THIS STOP BEING ABOUT RACE IT HAS BECOME GET ALL YOU CAN ANY WAY YOU CAN. AND NOW IT THE TIME TO STOP IT IN ITS TRACKS . WHAT EVER IT TAKESS .

  • Pattie Kelly says:

    Were are these crazies coming from? There was no problem with Obummer went there to speak. Well that says it all. A libtard speaking at the monument is OK but when a Republican president speaking there not OK. So these nut cases can crawl back under the rock they came from and then go to jail. Fun times are here again.:-)

  • bobp says:

    The Indians stole the land from the dinosaurs !

  • Gordon says:

    Redskin has Redass. Put in Cooler.

  • Frank Campo says:

    Let me know when he’s in jail.

  • CF
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