The Dakota Access Pipeline protest took a very ugly turn when private security agencies, hired by the construction agencies, allegedly set vicious guard dogs on peaceful protesters and even attacked them with pepper spray. There are claims that the police dispatched to ensure the safety of everyone at the controversial construction site, silently watched the guard dogs tear into multiple civilians and did nothing to intervene.
Corporations building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline appear to condone violence against those protesting the “black snake” oil pipeline, and allegedly the law enforcement agencies seem to be protecting them. There were multiple reports and social media posts that indicate the peaceful protesters were attacked by dogs and pepper spray wielding security personnel. Several Native American groups have been circulating photos and videos which appear to show security forces hired by corporations pepper-spraying the protesters and large attack dogs lunging at them.
The Dakota Access Pipeline protest was slowly gaining national attention. However, Saturday’s incident is bound to send shockwaves across the nation and intensify the movement already going on in Washington, D.C. According to U.S. Uncut, the Native American protesters have been increasingly congregating at the pipeline’s construction site to protect their public drinking water, and land which they consider sacred, by peacefully demonstrating the controversial pipeline in North Dakota.
Protesters were seen with placards that read “Native Lives Matters” and “Water Is Life”, and chanting the slogans energetically but peacefully, when security personnel sprayed pepper spray into the crowd. After the pepper spray attack, dogs were let loose to attack the protesters randomly, claimed one of the members of the Red Warrior Camp,
“The dogs were blindly lunging at everyone, even DAPL construction workers!”
While the exact tally of the injuries sustained in the attack using non-lethal forces hasn’t been forthcoming, several people, including women were believed to have been hurt. Some of the photos show dogs with blood all over their mouths and protesters with deep gashes on their bodies. The Red Warrior Camp even claimed that a North Dakota patrol helicopter was seen hovering right above the attack just off Highway 1806, but there appeared to be no movement from the cops to intervene or stop the security forces and their dogs from targeting the protesters.
Some protesters allege that the dogs belonged to the very police force deployed to ensure the situation remained peaceful, and no one got hurt. They added that cellphone reception and data network suddenly and mysteriously plunged and became non-existent, most likely to prevent protesters from live-streaming the attack. However, reporters like my Goodman from Democracy Now and their film crew managed to capture the event. The police, on the other hand, insist when officers managed to reach the remote location of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, the large-scale and violent confrontation had broken up, and as a result, nobody was arrested.
The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline is being handled by Energy Transfer Partners, a Dallas, Texas company. The Native American tribes insist that in the event of a spill, which is very likely, multiple farmlands, and more critically, the large drinking water reservoirs would be irreparably contaminated. At least 8,000 tribal members in the immediate vicinity and millions more downstream, depend on the water supply. The protest against the pipeline began when the company behind the project announced it would begin construction near a Native American reservation. Last month the governor of North Dakota had declared a state of emergency in the area.
As the September 9 court date to decide whether the pipeline can continue as planned, draws near, the Dakota Access Pipeline protest appears to be intensifying. Meanwhile noted Hollywood celebrities including Susan Sarandon, Shailene Woodley, and Leonardo DiCaprio have lent their support to the voice of the Native Americans.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]