A small battle has been won in the current war protestors are facing with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on Saturday. Private hired security forces began to attack Native-American activists with dogs and pepper spray, all of which was caught on camera by Democracy Now! (video below). The protestors were able to successfully push security and construction crews out for the meantime, but the war is ongoing.
For months, thousands of citizens of various Native Tribes from both the U.S. and Canada have been resisting the construction of the pipeline, which cuts through sacred Native locations, including burial grounds, and has the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies. The Saturday attacks on protestors comes during a holiday weekend, after an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order was filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and while the judge is still in the process of considering that motion. The judge is to reach a decision on the 9th.
In a statement from Tribal Chairman David Archambault II:
“On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts. They did this on a holiday weekend one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.”
According to reports, the motion “seeks to prevent additional construction work on an area two miles west of North Dakota Highway 1806, and within 20 miles of Lake Oahe until a judge rules on the Tribe’s previous motion to stop construction.” Attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux, Jan Hasselman, had this to say:
“Destroying the Tribe’s sacred places over a holiday weekend, while the judge is considering whether to block the pipeline, shows a flagrant disregard for the legal process. The Tribe has been seeking to vindicate its rights peacefully through the courts. But Dakota Access Pipeline used evidence submitted to the Court as their roadmap for what to bulldoze. That’s just wrong.”
The Red Warrior Camp released this statement in response to Saturday’s attacks:
“Red Warrior Camp remains nonviolent and unarmed… we ask that supporters keep focus on the fact that this corporation feels justified in using this level of force against unarmed and nonviolent water protectors and the state is allowing it!”
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