Hundreds are clashing with police at the protest site
Law enforcement stationed at the Dakota Access Pipeline turned water cannons on protesters in freezing temperatures along with rubber bullets, tear-gas and percussion grenades in the latest clash with unarmed protesters. According to the Guardian, the cannons were deployed at around 6pm local time, as protesters attempted to remove one of two burned trucks from a bridge that blockaded the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The bridge is the most linear way to get from Standing Rock to Bismark, North Dakota. Police placed a barricade behind the trucks.
This is the latest bout of violence against the “water protectors,” the anti-drilling protesters fighting for the government to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The concern over the potential poisoning of their water supply is palpable, as the members of the tribe erected several spiritual camps along the Missouri river and have been protesting for months. President Obama has yet to intervene.
The protest has captured national attention. Bernie Sanders recently made a surprise speech at the site.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a member of the tribe, asked people to pray for her people.
“They were attacked with water cannons. It is 23 degrees out there with mace, rubber bullets, pepper spray, etc. They are being trapped and attacked. Pray for my people.”
Law enforcement countered by claiming that water cannons were used because protesters were starting fires around the bridge. Fires that, the protesters argued, were being used for warmth. The Sherrif’s department called the situation an “ongoing riot.” Meanwhile, an elder was reported as having gone into cardiac arrest because of the clash.
Twitter is, again, on the forefront of covering the situation as tweets and videos poured onto the social media platform. The videos, especially, are quite graphic, showing police blatantly spraying unarmed, freezing protesters with water cannons.
Police Spraying Protesters
The Scene is Captured By @zhabowekwe
Leland Brenholt is a Medic At The Protest
On The Water Cannons
Senator Bernie Sanders Appeals to President Obama
@bluefancyshawl Captured This Photo
Drone Footage of Police Spraying Protesters
Amnesty International Had This To Say
As a uniquely divided America approaches Thanksgiving this week, the violence playing out at Standing Rock serves as a God-awful reminder of the fragile history of the U.S.