Yesterday we reported that things were heating up in North Dakota over the oil pipeline controversy.
Today, it reached a boil when local law enforcement jurisdictions used force to move Sioux Nation water protectors out of the way in order to resume construction on the Energy Transfer Partners’ Oil Pipeline.
Not only were activists assaulted by American police officers, but journalists were assaulted as well. Derrick Broze of Mint Press News was pepper sprayed and tasered. His phone was confiscated by police in addition to his audio recorder.
Derrick said the press were being targeted to try and silence the information from getting out. In this interview he tells the story about how he stood between a horse and the officers who pointed 4 or more tasers at the animal.
Protesters have taken the land back that was granted to them in the Treaty of 1851 and are attempting to block the final construction of the pipeline. They do not want to see their sacred burial grounds disturbed, nor their water supply tainted.
Watch the tension build as each side lines up and faces off before the clash began:
Sound weapons were also used against the prayerful activists who lit tires on fire in a series of road blocks to prevent the police from moving forward through their baracade.
Here is a live video that shows the arrests taking place from afar:
And here is a video from up close – you can actually hear the sound weapons in use, and see the crowd reaction at the end of the video:
There was a Buffalo Nation Stampede lead by a team of drivers on horses. Derrick reported that police on ATVs followed the horses and some were shot, possibly with rubber bullets.
Watch the stampede here:
See it from the angle of the protesters, hear them come alive when the buffalo arrive!
Overall, it sounds like rubber bullets, tasers, and pepper spray were used in mass by the police. The protesters lit hay-bales and tires on fire to create blockades in the road and were told if they put the fires out the police would cease their advancement for the day.
Tomorrow the pipeline will again try to continue construction on the pipeline, and the Water Protectors will try to stop them.
Here is a statement issues by the Sioux Nation today.
The statement below is from Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
“Militarized law enforcement agencies moved in on water protectors with tanks and riot gear today. We continue to pray for peace. We call on the state of North Dakota to oversee the actions of local law enforcement to, first and foremost, ensure everyone’s safety. The Department of Justice must send overseers immediately to ensure the protection of First Amendment rights and the safety of thousands here at Standing Rock. DOJ can no longer ignore our requests. If harm comes to any who come here to stand in solidarity with us, it is on their watch. They must step in and hold the state of North Dakota and Morton County accountable for their acts of violence against innocent, prayerful people.
The Obama administration has asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction until the review process has been completed, but DAPL has ignored these repeated requests. By deploying law enforcement to support DAPL construction, the State of North Dakota is collaborating with Energy Transfer Partners and escalating tensions.
We need our state and federal governments to bring justice and peace to our lands, not the force of armored vehicles.
We have repeatedly seen a disproportionate response from law enforcement to water protectors’ nonviolent exercise of their constitutional rights. Today we have witnessed people praying in peace, yet attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, sound and concussion cannons. We urge state and federal government agencies to give this tense situation their immediate and close attention.
We also call on the thousands of water protectors who stand in solidarity with us against DAPL to remain in peace and prayer. Any act of violence hurts our cause and is not welcome here. We invite all supporters to join us in prayer that, ultimately, the right decision—the moral decision—is made to protect our people, our sacred places, our land and our resources. We won’t step down from this fight. As peoples of this earth, we all need water. This is about our water, our rights, and our dignity as human beings.”
In an interesting twist, learn how the delay of the Oil Pipeline maybe actually line Warren Buffet’s pockets.
You can follow breaking news via the hashtag #nodapl.
Please link to any videos we left out in the comments.
Edit October 28th, 2016: Derrick Broze reports a suspicious situation last night under a bridge during the protests:
Second edit: Here is an article in full from Derrick about yesterday. He reports over 100 arrests.
The following photos are by Antonia Juhasz who compared his experience reporting at Standing Rock to his time reporting in Afghanistan!
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