On Wednesday, 21 water protectors were arrested by dozens of police in riot gear armed with shotguns and armored vehicles as tensions escalated in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Relations between water protectors with the Standing Rock Sioux and the police hired to protect the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) deteriorated on Wednesday after police showed up dressed for a riot. A caravan of hundreds of water protectors were attempting to hold ceremony and pray for the end of the pipeline at two different sites of construction when police began surrounding them. The water protectors with the Red Warrior Camp and Sacred Stone Camp oppose the pipeline because of environmental dangers, as well as threats to indigenous sacred sites.
“Roughly 150 peaceful Water Protectors gathered for prayer near construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline 15 miles south of Mandan off Highway 6 and were met with a heavy show of force by authorities,” reads a post from the Sacred Stone Camp’s Facebook. “There were 3 airplanes, 2 helicopters, 2 militarized vehicles (with LRAD) and personnel armed with shotguns and assault rifles. All this was deployed on people praying.”
-Boots, who also sent along this comment with the link:
Protesters arrested for trespassing on private property. Ok, that’s fair. But showing up with MRAP and APC with ring mount turrets, cops in body armor with shotguns and sub-machine guns? Another show of terror by a militarized, mentally unbalanced, police department.
Check out these cops with shotguns in low ready position approaching protesters. That’s a show of force and an example of escalation. De-escalation would be to approach them unarmed and talk to them. No need to approach in a 3 man fire team when you’ve got armor behind you.
America is no longer the home of the free. And it remains to be seen if we’re brave.