Law enforcement use militarized tactics against peaceful protesters
Law enforcement used tear gas, beanbag rounds, and other non-lethal militarized tactics against protesters in North Dakota
As of now, at least 141 have been arrested
Among those injured are said to be women, children, elders, and horses
Things escalated to a dangerous level along Highway 1806 in North Dakota on Thursday as law enforcement used an aggressive and militarized approach to moving those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The area has earned the name of the frontline camp. Once inhabited by only a couple dozen people, it has now become the center of attention in the fight against the pipeline. The frontline camp sits directly in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline, making the encampment a major problem to complete the construction of the Dakota Access.
Across Highway 1806 from the frontline camp lies what Natives claim to be burial ground that has now been desecrated by a hasty attempt to finish the $3.7 billion pipeline.
Dakota Access claims the area is not a burial ground, and recently purchased the land from David and Brenda Meyer for an undisclosed amount. Many believe that Dakota Access, LLC bought the land to escape federal regulations.
A large number of people had gathered on private property directly in the path of construction of the pipeline. Those staying on the grounds erected tipis and prepared for their long and cold stay through the winter.
Law enforcement is taking a militarized approach
Patience from law enforcement towards those opposing the pipeline has been wearing thin over the past few weeks leading to Thursday’s attack on those who have been dubbed water protectors. The scene exasperated as heavily armed militant law enforcement agencies stormed upon those staying at the frontline camp. Morton County Sheriff’s Department announced on their Facebook that 141 arrests had been made.
Through various livestreams, it was seen that law enforcement was armed with batons and tasers. Officers deployed tear gas, beanbag rounds, and other various non-lethal attacks. Reportedly a child was hit with one of the beanbag rounds, along with several elderly women. Several horses were reported by witnesses to be injured during the aggressive strike by law enforcement.
Law enforcement still continues to attack those standing against the pipeline. Hundreds are said to have been maced; dozens shot with rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters are overwhelming the crowd.
Bismarck refused the original pipeline path with water concerns being one of the reasons
Initially, the pipeline was planned to be placed up the road through the small town of Bismarck, but one of the reasons the pipeline changed was the concern that the pipeline could have an adverse impact on the town’s water supply.
Now as the Standing Rock Sioux say they do not want the pipeline to run through their reservation due to the negative impact, it could have on their water supply, and the water supply of other communities, they are met with hostile attacks by law enforcement.