Showdown at the Dakota Access Pipeline

 In Domestic

More than 260 people have been arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests since they began several months ago.  On Thursday, police moved in to remove them from private property after they began blocking county roads and setting makeshift barricades on fire.

We have reported previously on the Standing Rock Tribe’s protest, which originally began peacefully. But with the addition of outsiders who are not from the tribes of the area, and angry pipeline owners, the situation has escalated. Today, the protesters set fire to makeshift barricades and blocked a county road, so police geared up and moved in.

Some “nasty internal fighting” broke out among the protesters, according to Wes Enzinna,Senior editor/writer at Mother Jones, who is on scene.

As the situation became chaotic, the protesters began to back away from the barricades with their hands up. Most of them retreated to the encampment, but not all.

According to the Seattle Times, also live on the scene, at 12:3o p.m. police advised the people “Please move to the south. I am going to sound the alert tone. You guys are too close to the vehicles. Please move. … We do not want to arrest anyone. We are moving forward a few feet.”

Police reportedly pushed down the encampment on the private property, nd herded the protesters toward theirm ain encampment. A representative of the North Dakota Farmers Association told the Times that it was an abuse of the 1st Amendment to destroy one right over another.

Will this be a war over water?

On Tuesday, the Obama administration asked, for a 2nd time, that the Energy Transfer Partners company stand down from constructing the pipeline. They have not done so.

We reported previously that  the first court ruling did not allow an injunction, but a subsequent ruling by the Army Corps of Engineers was supposed to halt the construction until the full ramifications of the pipeline on an easement to the Missorui River was studied.

But the protesters came onto the land belonging to the Corporation and established an encampment apart from the main one on Federal land that has been there for months.

They have also been accused of vandalizing company equipment – a warrant was issued for “Green Party” Presidential candidate Jill Stein to be charged with misdemeanor vandalism after being videoed while spray painting a bulldozer.

From the perspective of those who are there, the government has done nothing to stop this confrontation, and has actively been on the side of the corporation constructing the pipeline. Millions of people drink from the waters in question…and they are unhappy about the way the corporation and the govt have  cooperated.

About 100 protesters remained at the site of the controntation by about 3 p.m. Eastern time.

According to one Vietnam Veteran and member of the standing Rock Tribe,

“If they take everybody to jail, there will be twice as many tomorrow, and every day that passes more will come. If they raze these teepees, tomorrow we will be back.” Robert Eder, 64


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