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Lone monk prays for peace at Turtle Island. Turtle Island hill has been the scene of various actions that took place between police and water protectors. It was here on November 2, 2016 that authorities fired a rubber bullet and hit journalist Erin Schrode while conducting an interview. 

 

Police have responded to protesters in some instances with pepper spray, bean bags, and other controversial means, and used private security staff with guard dogs in one confrontation with protesters that included women and children. Amnesty International also reports that those recently arrested have reported being strip searched and forced to pay bail for minor offenses.Members of the media and legal observers have also been arrested or charged with minor offenses.

“People here just want to stand up for the rights of Indigenous people and protect their natural resources. These people should not be treated like the enemy. Police must keep the peace using minimal force appropriate to the situation. Confronting men, women, and children while outfitted in gear more suited for the battlefield is a disproportionate response” – Eric Ferrero, director of communications for Amnesty International USA. 

Blackwater Bridge is the dividing line between the Water Protectors and Oceti Camp which is to the south of the bridge on Highway 1806. Law enforcement are on the north end of the bridge behind concrete barriers with military vehicles facing south. I was able to hitch a ride with strangers from Washington State and we joined a caravan of about one hundred cars to travel to the north side of Blackwater Bridge via backroads. We were spotted by a helicopter and were met by County law enforcement and several green and white US Border Patrol vehicles just short of the entrance to the north side of the bridge. To their credit they allowed the Water Protectors to hold a prayer ceremony on the highway without disruption.

On the way my fellow passengers were singing a Chief Dan George’s prayer song for safe travel into unknown waters – it must have worked because there were no clashes or arrest.

 

Oceti Sakowin Camp.jpgFrontline reporting, video and stills images with content available. Contact: Dave Banks dave@davebanksmedia.com/818.399.3670

Water Protectors and volunteers gather at the top of a hill to find cellular service – two bars are outstanding and let me add that uploading images and videos is exasperating. 

FYI: The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.
The original Sioux tribe was made up of Seven Council Fires. Each of these Council Fires was made up of individual bands, based on kinship, dialect and geographic proximity.
Sharing a common fire is one thing that has always united the Sioux people. Keeping of the peta waken (sacred fire) was an important activity. On marches, coals from the previous council fire were carefully preserved and used to rekindle the council fire at the new campsite.
The Seven Council Fires are:
Mdewakanton – Dwellers by the Sacred Lake
Wahpekute – Shooters Among the Leaves
Sisitonwan/Sisseton – People of the Marsh
Wahpetonwan – Dwellers Among the Leaves
Ihanktown/Lower Yanktonai – People of the End
Ihanktowana/Upper Yanktoni – People of the Little End
Tetonwan – People on the Plains

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Dear Friends in the Los Angeles area,
On November 16, 2016 I will be leaving Los Angeles for Standing Rock, North Dakota to document (video and still images) the protest of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. I will check in with the Tribal Council in Fort Yates, ND and drop off donated goods. If you would like to donate items for the people of the Sioux Nation let me know I am happy to take them with me. Beyond my cameras and audio gear the space in my Kia Sorento is limited but I do have a roof rack. If by chance you have extra 9volts batteries, AA batteries and AAA batteries I could sure use them for the production. 
Thank you all for your support. – Dave Banks

Dave-Image047 There was a time in my professional life that the tools of my trade required 13 anvil cases, patients, and throw away paper underwear. The demands for international travel as a documentary filmmaker was like an assault on climbing Mt. Everest. Months of preparation are involved along with logistics, scheduling, and risk management. Once at the point of entry in a foreign country the arduous task of clearing customs begins with lots of patients as every item in the anvil cases are cross referenced to see that the serial numbers match the Carnet.  For those not familiar, a Carnet is analogous to a passport for equipment. It is an import/export document, which allows property to pass across borders without hindrance. Free passage is assured by the guarantee that imported property will be reliably exported again after a set period of time. However, the documents Whitewater Westmust be scrupulously prepared and every item’s serial number on the Carnet. The Carnet must be recorded through customs on entering a country and then checked out again on exiting. Any errors or omissions can cause the delay of the entire shipment unless you have Baksheesh which is tipping or as some may call it charitable giving. I call it outright bribery.
That was then and this is now, I can now wear brown socks with white tennis shoes, plaid Bermuda shorts and a “Go Dodgers “ tank top and travel as a tourist. Today, I travel “Light and Fast”  which is an alpine mountaineering approach to traditional mountaineering that seeks to leave behind everything but the minimum gear required to reach the 252617_3880792791286_1338272699_nobjective and allowing the climber to summit faster. An experienced mountaineer will jettison gear that was not used on previous climbs and go “Light and Fast”. With that in mind and since I’m not tackling Mt. Everest but Scotland I have downsized my gear to an carry on bag.
This is my equipment list today:Travel Gear
  1. Canon 5D Mark II, 17mm – 40mm Lens, for stills and HD video w/Sennheiser short shotgun mic, headphones.
  2. Fuji X Pro 1, 18mm Lens
  3. GoPro Camera
  4. Macbook Pro
  5. Portable battery charger
  6. External hard drive
  7. 3 thumb drives
  8. 4 Report’s Notebooks
  9. Composition Notebook
  10. 5 pencils
  11. 10 copies of Cue The Camels
  12. 100 business cards

Part One

Dave Banks discusses and signs Cue the Camels
Jay Leno says, “Within these pages Dave has written gung-ho, self-deprecating, wildly engaging accounts of his exploits, with all the behind-the-scene high-jinks that go into shooting news and documentaries across the world.” In Cue the Camels, Dave shares his misadventures in a comedic style that is sure to entertain.

Vroman’s Bookstore Link: http://www.vromansbookstore.com/local629

 Cue The Camels available atwww.cuethecamels.com, www.oodlebooks.com,  Also available at: Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California www.vromansbookstore.com/book/9780957438385, , Book Soup in Hollywood, California,  booksoup.com/book/9780957438385 , Amazon Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Cue-Camels-three-time-award-winning-film-maker-ebook/dp/B00IA10Z88/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403461103&sr=1-1&keywords=cue+the+camels

 

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Exciting news regarding my debut novel, Cue the Camels. My U.K. publishers, Diane and Gail of Solopreneur Publishing, have chosen February 6 for the release date.

You’re able to pre-order the book here and the actual paperback will be on sale and orders fulfilled as of Feb 6.

This date has been picked for more than one reason. February 6 is the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno, who’s written the foreword for the book. As most of you will know, as well as my adventures in far-flung lands and hostile territories as I shot news reel, stills and documentaries, I’ve been behind the camera filming the Tonight Show for the last two decades. That is now coming to an end.

Luckily for me, I’ve a new career ahead: that of a novelist. Which is all the more reason why I need my fans to get behind me as I make this leap of faith into a completely different world. I’ve loved nothing more than recounting my memories in Cue the Camels and I hope my brand of humor carries across the pages. It’s a book that’s been as widely received by women as men, and Di and Gail have shaped it into a fantastic mainstream read that anyone can enjoy.

Boots_and_LR_WebThe other bonus of the Tonight Show departure is that I can spend more time hanging out online and getting to know my virtual (and tangible) friends more deeply. If you’d like to connect with me on Twitter, my ‘handle’ is @WorldlyMorsels and the Facebook page for Cue the Camels is here. Check in and stay with me as I report back on what’s it’s like to be a published author. No A-lister parties with fireworks and a free bar planned yet, but you never know.

I also welcome your feedback; get in touch and say ‘hi’, or let me know what you think of the book. It’s been a busy time trying to get all the ‘i’s dotted and the ‘t’s crossed but we’re now there. Thank you to my wonderful friends, family, and my beautiful wife, who have all supported me and will continue to do so on this new journey.

Tune in on February 6 for Jay’s last show.

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