The National Guard and Morton County Sheriff’s Department violently clashed with protesters on a day we are supposed to remember a man who dedicated his life to non-violence.
200 people marched on the Dakota Access Pipeline horizontal drill pad. According to the Morton County Sheriff Department, the three individuals (who have not yet been named) that were arrested are charged with criminal trespassing onto private property, inciting a riot and resisting arrest.
The individuals are accused of cutting security wire, removing fencing material and dismantling lights that are used to illuminate a nearby bridge.
Reports from other individuals at the demonstration stated that police fired tear gas on the protectors. Officials were not available for comment on this.
In video footage below you can see water protectors peacefully chanting and singing in front of a line of armed police outfitted in riot gear:
Footage from that evening shows tear gas being used and the sound of shots can be heard. The videographer also states that “they are starting to shoot pretty heavily now” and that “they ran some people over” :
Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer wrote on her Twitter:
— Ruth Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) January 17, 2017
Once again there was media silence from the mainstream media on the events at Standing Rock.
This is not the first altercation between water protectors and law enforcement. In the last 10 months since the demonstrations began, police have sprayed water canons at the peaceful water protectors in sub-zero temperatures, have fired rubber bullets, and used attack dogs and tear gas.
The water protectors are opposing the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will, if completed, travel through Standing Rock Sioux lands, threatening the tribe’s water supply and disrupting sacred land and burial sites.
Last month the Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit for completion of the pipeline. However, Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, has filed a lawsuit against the Corps and vowed to finish construction regardless of the decision.