Media silence after water protectors and police clash on MLK Day

On MLKDay 2017 water protectors were shot at and tear gassed once again by law enforcement in riot gear.


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.

On Martin Luther King day this past Monday, officials fired less-than-lethal projectiles and pepper spray at water protectors and arrested three for trespassing. 

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:

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.

Tell the Trump administration to stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access Pipeline:


If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

Previous articleThe long ordeal of whistleblower Chelsea Manning
Next articleDon’t judge Sessions by his cover
Alexandra Jacobo is a dedicated progressive writer, activist, and mother with a deep-rooted passion for social justice and political engagement. Her journey into political activism began in 2011 at Zuccotti Park, where she supported the Occupy movement by distributing blankets to occupiers, marking the start of her earnest commitment to progressive causes. Driven by a desire to educate and inspire, Alexandra focuses her writing on a range of progressive issues, aiming to foster positive change both domestically and internationally. Her work is characterized by a strong commitment to community empowerment and a belief in the power of informed public action. As a mother, Alexandra brings a unique and personal perspective to her activism, understanding the importance of shaping a better world for future generations. Her writing not only highlights the challenges we face but also champions the potential for collective action to create a more equitable and sustainable world.