In an attempt to re-open a blocked bridge in Cannonball, ND, protestors were assaulted by militarized police, tear gas, and water cannons in below freezing temperatures, leading to multiple injuries.
As the controversial Dakota Access nears completion despite a government injunction on its construction, police violence against protestors is spiraling out of control. Last night, militarized police forces assaulted protestors opposing the pipeline with concussion grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons despite the below freezing temperatures. The incident took place on the Backwater Bridge near the Oceti Sakowin encampment. The bridge has been closed since late October when a clash with protestors and police in riot gear led to its forcible shut down by the authorities. The protestors were attempting to clear the bridge as they claim the blockade prevents aid and supplies from reaching their encampments and that it is harming the local economy of nearby Cannonball, ND.
After a brief confrontation with police, protestors allegedly succeeded in removing some vehicles from the highway blockade. Soon after, heavily militarized police appeared, who targeted the protestors in an all-out assault. Tear gas, pepper spray, concussion grenades, rubber bullets were used on the protestors, despite the below freezing temperatures, in a police attempt to clear protestors from the bridge. By midnight, an estimated 167 protestors were injured. Medics confirmed that a 13 year old girl was shot in the face, though they did not confirm if it was a rubber bullet or live ammunition. Medics on site also said that police had targeted the face and legs of protestors. Seven were eventually hospitalized, three of whom are said to be elders of the Standing Rock Sioux, the tribe that has led the protest against the pipeline. One of the elders suffered cardiac arrest at the scene, though medics successfully resuscitated him, though he remains in critical condition. The assault was live-streamed on Facebook though Facebook eventually cut off the feed. The brutality has already generated a firestorm of outrage and criticism on social media as the increasingly violent crackdowns on the peaceful protestors have become a national disgrace.
The great irony in all of this is that many Americans are gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday meant to celebrate the “teamwork” shared between Native Americans and European colonists. Despite the cheerful façade that this holiday publicly portrays, Native Americans live in some of the most impoverished communities in the Western world after suffering centuries of criminal exploitation by both corporations and the federal government. Dakota Access is only the most recent example.
Live by the blockade on hwy 1806 just north of Oceti Sakowin camp Check 1hr 11mins to see projectile fired into water protectors from police and national Guard. It catches ground on fire and while the water cannon is being used to soak peaceful water protectors another group of water protectors stamp out the fire to prevent it spreading. This shows the story of water cannons to put out fires to be untrue.
Posted by Kevin Gilbert on Sunday, November 20, 2016
Police are tear gassing #NoDAPL water protectors, using the LRAD, stinger grenades, and firing less-lethal rounds into the crowd on Highway 1806 bridge in North Dakota. One of our reporters had their press badge shot off when shot in the abdomen with a rubber bullet. We are now LIVE here : https://livestream.com/unicornriot/events/6668525Police have formed a line with armored vehicles, concrete barriers, and razor wire. It is 27° and police have begun hosing down the unarmed crowd with a water cannon. Water protectors are using a semi truck in an attempt to remove burnt military vehicles which the police chained to concrete barriers weeks ago to keep the bridge blocked on 1806. Updates soon…Support our work here: http://www.unicornriot.ninja/?page_id=211
Posted by Unicorn Riot on Sunday, November 20, 2016
The Pine Ridge Sioux reservation, just miles away from Standing Rock, has the lowest life expectancy in the Western world with 47 years for males and 52 years for females. The infant mortality rate is also five times the US national average. Under these circumstances, the celebration of Thanksgiving is a cultural farce and complete hypocrisy as many of those munching on turkey and stuffing this upcoming Thursday will not be spend even a second reflecting on the centuries-long suffering and violent suppression of Native Americans that continues to this day.
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