Over the weekend security officers protecting the Dakota Access Pipeline used dogs and pepper spray on protesters attempting to halt construction of the project.
After a relatively quiet week at the site of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, violence erupted between protesters and a team of security officers hired by the company behind the project. Local media reports unquestioningly repeated statements from the Morton County Sheriff’s Office which claimed that the violence was initiated by the protesters.
The DAPL, alternatively known as the Bakken Pipeline, is owned by Dallas, Texas-based corporation Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., which created the subsidiary Dakota Access LLC. The pipeline will stretch 1,172 miles upon completion and transport crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The project is set to cross the Missouri River not far from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camp’s were formed in opposition to the DAPL.
Around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, an estimated two to three hundred supporters from the Red Warrior Camp marched to the construction site. The marchers climbed over a fence to get closer to the site. As they neared the site the scene became violent.
“Once protesters arrived at the construction area, they broke down a wire fence by stepping and jumping on it,” the sheriff’s office said. “According to numerous witnesses within five minutes the crowd of protesters, estimated to be a few hundred people became violent. They stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles.” Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said it “was more like a riot than a protest.”
The Morton County Sheriff’s office said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured in the melee. While reports of horses and a few hundred people were true, the origin of the violence is unclear. Videos of the incident clearly show protesters using flag poles to defend against the attack dogs being wielded by security officers. There are currently no known videos showing knives being used by protesters. However, there are videos showing protesters with wounds from the dogs and pepper spray being used indiscriminately against the crowd. For a powerful look at the violence see the report below from Democracy Now!
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reported that six people had been bitten by security dogs and at least 30 people were pepper-sprayed. Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, told CBS the protesters “attacked” the workers.
The protesters were eventually successful in driving off the security officers and halting construction. However, Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said that workers returned during the early morning hours on Sunday and dug up more ground. In response to the violence and the continued construction, the Standing Rock Sioux filed an emergency motion in court on Sunday seeking a temporary restraining order seeking to prevent destruction sacred sites which are threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” Archambault said in a statement. “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.”
The Standing Rock Sioux believes they were not properly consulted before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline project. A U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. is expected to rule by September 9 on whether the Army Corps of Engineers violated the law.
“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,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux. “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.”
One of the most disturbing aspects of this weekend is the outright lies and bias from the deadstream (formerly known as the mainstream) media. While social media pages were filled with videos showing the protesters, or protectors as they prefer, being pepper sprayed and attacked, it would be hours and days before the local media corrected the reports to admit that the security officers were violent. Following the incident, KXNews in North Dakota reported:
Once inside, pipeline security officers were hit and jabbed with fence posts and flag poles.
Knives were also reportedly pulled out.
By the end of the weekend, the story had been updated to reflect the violence used by the security officers.
Authorities and protesters have both reported tactics including assault, tear-gas release, and use of attack dogs.
It’s not confirmed if Dakota Access used tear-gas or attack dogs on protesters, but many people their say that’s what they saw.
I wasn’t expecting them to mace, it came out of now where. They let the dogs loose on a horse, and they maced a woman in the face, this close range, that’s what started it all,” say protesters.
This event should serve as an important reminder of how critical defeating the media is in order to create a more free and ethical world. When you sit back and analyze the problems of our world you begin to recognize that the culprit behind the turmoil is not simply a corrupt president, or judges, or even corruption in local police departments. The infection runs deep in this system. One of the most crucial aspects of this fight is the control and influence exerted by the corporate media.
Without the corporately controlled, State-friendly narrative being pushed on billions of television and computer screens the masses would recognize the truth of our situation. Without the deadstream media pundits, who would teach us to be divided and ignorant? Take solace in the fact that every time the deadstream media attempts to sell lies and keep us divided, the independent, people-driven media is there to tell the truth and to expose the lies. Take heart in the fact that the people of all nations are rising and taking the truth to the media whether they want to hear it or not.
Activist Post recently reported that the Red Warrior Camp issued a call for all allies to stand in solidarity with the pipeline resistance from September 3rd through 17th. The “Global Weeks of Solidarity Action” will target the pipeline companies behind the pipeline, as well as the banks funding the companies. As part of this call, cities around the country have launched rallies and protests to raise awareness to the fight against the pipeline and the media bias.
In Houston I had the pleasure of supporting and documenting a “Water Is Life March.” This morning Houstonians took their fight to the local media by rallying, drumming, and praying outside of the offices of Channel 11 KHOU during the filming of local talk show Great Day with Debra Duncan. Houston is not alone in supporting the Sacred Stone Camp and the Red Warrior Camp. Over 120 tribal nations have now joined together in this fight to protect the water, defend the Earth, and push for a more sustainable future. It’s time for all the free hearts and minds of all nations to stand up to the empire.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]
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