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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
52 Comments
Frank Campo July 9, 2020
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Let me know when he's in jail.
Gordon July 9, 2020
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Redskin has Redass. Put in Cooler.
bobp July 8, 2020
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The Indians stole the land from the dinosaurs !
Pattie Kelly July 8, 2020
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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.:-)
GEORGE EADY July 8, 2020
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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 .
jimmie c boswell July 8, 2020
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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.
Sam July 8, 2020
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I hope this motherf**ker TILSEN goes to prison for the complete 12 years! THESE RIOTERS AND PROTESTERS HAVE TO BE STOPPED! MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THIS ASSHOLE AND AS MANY OF THESE BITCHES THAT PROTESTED ON ALL HIGHWAYS AND ROADS. WE ARE SICK OF ALL THIS SHIT AND WE WANT IT STOPPED! I DON"T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO SHOOT THE BASTURDS...STOP IT NOW! SICK OF PROTESTERS, BLM, ANTIFA, AND ALL YOU SICK BASTURDS!!!!!!!!!! HAD IT UP TO HERE ALREADY!
RPR July 8, 2020
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Ask any liberal what acts of systemic racism conservatives or President Trump exhibit and NOT ONE answer! Ask any liberal what lies of any consequences Trump has been accused of telling and again NO ANSWER
Sparky July 8, 2020
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If you asked any indigenous person they will say all their land is sacred to them. So does that mean everyone will have to leave America and go back to where their ancestors came from? I really do not think those countries will want or take us back. And why is it now all of a sudden such an issue? Because Trump was going there? TDS is running out of control!
Stephen Russell July 8, 2020
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Hooray, awesome, make em pay hard
Evangeline July 8, 2020
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THROW THE BOOK AT HIM. WILL TEACH THEM A LESSON. IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THEIR TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. MORE SHOULD'VE BEEN CHARGED THAN JUST HIM.
Matt July 8, 2020
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Amazing how not one of them gave a fuck, until DJT became POTUS!?!
Tony July 8, 2020
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One thing keeps coming to my mind. God equates rebellion it witchcraft. Based on that we now know what rebels are practicing. His Word also warns us to not allow a witch to live in your lands. Am I saying to kill all the witch's or rebels? No I'm not saying that, but God is. Fortunately we now live under grace and not law.
David July 8, 2020
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The lawyer and family says the picked on the leader. Well that is where they need to start. The ones that incite riots should pay the price. Where was there injustice when Obama was there 4 years ago? Where was all the hate for our statues 4 years ago? This is about Trump. A president that is for the people and they can't control him.
bubba July 8, 2020
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The term indigenous people tries to make it sound as if all Native Americans are all of one mindset like one big tribe. Anyone who has ever lived near multiple reservations knows better. It's much like saying there's no difference between the French and the Germans.
Reallydontcaredems July 8, 2020
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Go cry to someone else tonto, the Lone Ranger don’t wanna hear it! All this BS about land stealing and all that is so far outdated it’s pathetic that people are still crying about it today. If this supposed tribe member wants to blame someone for his being so upset over things let him blame his idiot ancestors who let the “Whitman” come here and take their holy lands! Shoot most of the land the white man supposedly took was sold to them for beads and booze anyhow, it’s not our fault the Indians were horrible traders!!
Kathryn Lycksell July 8, 2020
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In the Treaty of 1868, the U.S. government promised the Sioux territory that included the Black Hills in perpetuity. ... (Some of the area in which Rushmore stands was eventually purchased by the state of South Dakota and developed as Custer State Park; the rest was part of the Black Hills National Forest.)
vincent mohindas July 8, 2020
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...but all this so called " creative " protests did not happen when that lazy without an "agenda" useless President Obama and equally white-brained lady Hillary ware in power ? Democrats hypocrisy is evident with their "road runners, " everywhere now in the US...
the grey man July 8, 2020
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naturally there are videos of him protesting obama and sanders when they visited. oh wait, that's right, this has nothing to do with racism or anything like that.
JD July 8, 2020
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So the monument that’s been there for decades is suddenly a symbol of white supremacy? It wasn’t during Obama’s presidency? What BS!
Cecelia Henderson July 8, 2020
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Those faces have been on the mountain for Nick's entire life. Why now? Why the anger and hatred now? Could it be because none of these protestors are having to pay a price for their illegal actions? I'm sick of it.
binkyxz3 July 8, 2020
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Hypocritical that he mentions the Klan, Indians were among the most racist and were barbaric slave holders themselves.
Realetybytes July 8, 2020
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A) it is NOT "indian land". We bought it from France. B) They are lucky to have not been wiped from face of the Earth and have any land at all, and will continue to live wherever the hell the United States tells them too. Or they can give up the bs that they are a "great nation" and assimilate, live wherever they want. Many a great nation was defeated thru history. None of them have any claims on any property. They had no problem when #EnemyPresobama went, Sanders went. No one cares about what they think they are owed, or who they think wronged them. Yes, a Democrat carved it. If he was a KKK supporter, from anywhere in the world, he was a Democrat. Tough. The world has never been fair. Africans enslaved for themselves or sold their brother and sister tribes. Many more white Europeans were slaves thru history than Africans. But Africans are trying to catch up, they still sell slaves today!
LST July 8, 2020
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Dumb fuck, how about the Indian tribes who fought and killed each other? Almost as stupid as the spear chucking darkies.
marid July 8, 2020
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So where were the protesters when every other president has been here? Did they protest 0bama being there? Bush or Clinton? They've all been there. I just don't remember there being any protests until now. Guess as long as everyone is being a cry baby about things from the past they may as well jump on the bandwagon.
Kathleen Marion July 8, 2020
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So for the Sioux it's their sacred land, but apparently they didn't give a damn about that when they stole it from the Lakota, who stole it from the Cheyenne, who stole it from the Kiowa, who stole it from the Pawnee who stole it from the Crow who stole it from Arikara. It's only an outrage when somehow the white man has it! Hypocrites are famous for shouting the loudest! Keep in mind they didn't just walk in a tell the other tribes to take a hike, they were evil, vicious, torturous, murdering heathen. History has shown them to be merciless towards other tribes. Any time they sought to expand their land they did so by murdering neighboring "street gangs"—bashing heads with tomahawks, stabbing, shooting arrows into vital organs. They were also into kidnapping. Just a lovely group of innocent primitives before the evil white man arrived and corrupted them. For them it was those with the most might got the most land, but along comes a tribe of white men playing their same game, their tribe won but now forever we will hear the wailing cries of the poor losers who lost their land the same way they took it in the first place. Sorry, I'm not buying into their sad little story!
Darth Rageous July 8, 2020
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BUT...what the Lakota Sioux Nation refuses to tell everyone is they sold their heritage down the river to The U.N. FACT. Other Native American people (especially in the Great Lakes Region & Northeast) have called the Sioux Nation out on THIS. Apparently, this group of "counting coup" sellouts have forgotten their history...ESPECIALLY THE SIOUX NATION'S INVOLVEMENT IN WW2 (ever heard of The Windtalkers?)...let alone their history being saved from "extinction" a few years earlier than WW2 by a "white man" basically living like the people & letting the Native American culture be once more world recognized (Archibald Grey Owl). I'm 1/4 Connecticut Mohegan...& I think the Native Americans listening to U.N. prog-soci banter better think TWICE about what "white man speak with forked tongue".
Gail M Williams July 8, 2020
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Throw the book at him. You cannot go easy on one or they take that as an ok .
Gerry July 8, 2020
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Let me see -- when was the first face carved into the rock there and now all of a sudden it is white supremacy ???????
Nathan M. July 8, 2020
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Make him march along the road he tried to block while a huge nun rings a bell crying "Shame. Shame."
Geo July 8, 2020
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Snow removing truck would work good for clearing out the road.
Cindy July 8, 2020
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Oh shut up you little whiner snowflake. I’m fed up with all your whining.
TRUMP 2020 July 8, 2020
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WATCH THE WHOLE 40 MINUTE VIDEO. THEY WANT A GLOBAL RACE WAR. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=nfac&&view=detail&mid=823A32A719D19F5F2806823A32A719D19F5F2806&&FORM=VDRVRV
Matt July 8, 2020
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Criminal charged with being a criminal. Yeah. Idiot.
CF

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Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, believes that former President Donald Trump “let us down.”

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