On Wednesday, 21 water protectors were arrested by dozens of police in riot gear armed with shotguns and armored vehicles as tensions escalated in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Relations between water protectors with the Standing Rock Sioux and the police hired to protect the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) deteriorated on Wednesday after police showed up dressed for a riot. A caravan of hundreds of water protectors were attempting to hold ceremony and pray for the end of the pipeline at two different sites of construction when police began surrounding them. The water protectors with the Red Warrior Camp and Sacred Stone Camp oppose the pipeline because of environmental dangers, as well as threats to indigenous sacred sites.
“Roughly 150 peaceful Water Protectors gathered for prayer near construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline 15 miles south of Mandan off Highway 6 and were met with a heavy show of force by authorities,” reads a post from the Sacred Stone Camp’s Facebook. “There were 3 airplanes, 2 helicopters, 2 militarized vehicles (with LRAD) and personnel armed with shotguns and assault rifles. All this was deployed on people praying.”
Unicorn Riot reports that the caravan successfully prayed at one of the sites of construction for about an hour before heading to the second site. After praying for around 40 minutes at the second site the protectors began to leave when a large contingent of police vehicles blocked the only exit from the DAPL work site. The police arrived with shotguns in hand driving a Bearcat armored vehicle and an Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Protectors continuously told the officers they were unarmed and peaceful. The police spread throughout the field and made 21 arrests.
Police told Valley News that arrests were made for criminal trespass on private property, possession of stolen property, and resisting arrest. The officers also said that one person was arrested for charging at an officer while on a horse. This brings the total arrests to 95 since the beginning of the fight against the DAPL.
“Despite the accusations by the police that there ‘were shots fired’ at todays ceremonies and actions, we stand united that this was a peaceful act of prayer for our Water and our Lands,” the Red Warrior Camp posted on Facebook.
Wednesday’s militarized response from the police follows actions on Tuesday where over 100 water protectors from the Red Warrior, Oceti Sakowin, and Sacred Stone camps successfully stopped construction at the site for the day. This was also the first appearance of the Bearcat militarized vehicle. It seems obvious that the authorities are perfectly happy to initiate a violent, militarized response in the face of peaceful, prayerful action. Stand strong, brothers and sisters. The movement against the destruction of this planet continues to grow. Stay in a peaceful way and the resistance will prevail.
Stay tuned to Activist Post for more details on this developing situation.
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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