Western Journal reported that Nick Tilsen, one of the leaders of the protest near Mount Rushmore during 4th of July weekend has been arrested and is currently charged with five criminal violations that could put him in prison for more than a decade.
Nick Tilsen of Porcupine, SD, was reportedly charged with second-degree robbery and simple assault for allegedly taking a riot shield from a law enforcement officer and allegedly assaulting a law enforcement officer. He has also been charged with three misdemeanors related to blocking the highway leading to the monument.
Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe has been charged with impeding a highway, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct for his actions intended on disrupting President Trump’s visit to the monument. If convicted the charges could amount to 12 years in prison.
He is being charged in the role he played to help organize 150 protestors on the highway that blocked the road leading to Mt. Rushmore. The protestors stood in a line and parked vans in a manner to stop all traffic headed to the monument.
Tilsen has stated that he does not want the faces of “colonizers who have committed genocide on Indigenous people” carved into his tribe’s sacred land and believes that Mt. Rushmore is a “symbol of white supremacy and racial injustice in this country”.
His father reportedly believes that his son was targeted because he is a leader in his community. Tilsen was arrested with 14 other members of the protest and released after being bonded for $2,000.
Western Journal reported further on the fallout from the violent clashes in South Dakota last weekend.
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.”