Mount Rushmore: Police Clash With Protesters Blocking Road to Monument After Vote to Ban Donald Trump

The Ogala Sioux tribal council has voted to ban both President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem from Mount Rushmore hours on Friday, just hours before a planned celebration for the 4th of July holiday. The tribe said that the reason for the vote was due to the lack of consultation between governments about the event.

Ogala President Julian Bear Runner spoke with The Guardian to further explain the motivation behind the action. "The lands on which that mountain is carved and the lands he's about to visit belong to the Great Sioux Nation under a treaty signed in 1851 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and I have to tell him he doesn't have permission from its original sovereign owners to enter the territory at this time," Bear Runner explained." It's going to cause an uproar if he comes here. People are going to want to exercise their first amendment rights to protest and we do not want to see anyone get hurt or the lands be destroyed."

Numerous indigenous groups have already been planning to protest Trump's controversial trip to the 79-year-old monument. Mount Rushmore, which depicts four prior presidents, is carved into the Black Hills, which is territory that wasn't ceded in treaties in the Black Hills. The subject of the monument, and its carving into the sacred land of the Black Hills, has recently been brought under renewed scrutiny following more than a month's worth of civil rights protests that have erupted across the U.S. While protesters were initially calling for an end to police brutality and its focus on minorities, they led to the removal of scores of monuments that depicted Confederate officers and other figures who have ties to racism.

The event is still expected to happen, which will include the first fireworks display at the site since 2009. Back in June, Gov. Noem explained what the event would look like, which would largely ignore protocols laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Speaking to The Ingraham Angle, Noem assured that "we won't be social distancing" at the event, and those attending would be asked to "enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have this country."