Up in North Dakota there is a huge gathering of Indians and allies who have been camping and protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline for months. They call themselves "Water Protectors" -- among other things -- and their goal is to prevent the construction of this pipline that is supposed to carry crude oil from Montana to Illinois, crossing the Missouri River twice as it does.
The complaint is that oil pipelines can't be secured from leaks and blow outs and water contamination is inevitable if the pipeline is constructed and put in operation. The Indians are trying to preserve and protect the water. Note has also been made of the fact that the route of the pipeline goes through Indian burial grounds, sacred sites and ceremonial grounds, and that already, numerous Indian remains have been destroyed by over enthusiastic bulldozers, including last Saturday when there was a violent confrontation between the protectors of the water and the protectors of the bulldozers. It did not turn out well.
Attack dogs were set upon the crowd by the security guards who'd been hired by the construction company and numerous individuals were bitten -- including a horse.The guards used pepper spray on the protectors. There were reports that a child was bitten by one of the dogs, but a published photo of the purported child victim had actually been taken in 2012, so the incident on Saturday in which a child was bitten was not yet documented as of Saturday.
The guards claimed that four of their number had to be hospitalized (a lie) and that two of their dogs were injured severely enough to be seen by a vet (unknown if true.) The guards claimed that the water protectors attacked them with sticks, flagpoles and horses, but it's clear from video of the incident that the attack came entirely from the guards and their dogs, and that at least one of the dogs actually turned on its handler and attacked her. At least one dog escaped from the leash and went wild in the crowd. In several cases, the protectors tried to defend themselves as best they could against the onslaught of dogs and pepper spray, and in other cases, protectors attempted to defuse the situation.
Story and video from Democracy Now!
Nasty business. Indian Country Today has a good story on the incident and there is more in their news section.
Students at the Institute of American Indian Arts where Ms Ché is studying are collecting food, water and donations to send to North Dakota in support of the action. The campsite is said to host thousands at this point, almost doubling during the weekend after Saturday's violence.
These incidents and protests are becoming more and more common as our neoLibCon overlords insist on exercising their might against any and all popular outcries. This pipeline, like so many others, simply isn't needed, and it is an active danger to water supplies for millions of Americans including the Standing Rock Sioux who are spearheading the protests. Our overlords do not care, and when they are challenged this way, they have a tendency to double down -- until they give up.
Give up they will, but not without any number of incidents like Saturday's.
People have been and are gonna get hurt. It's the way these things play out. But I don't see the Indians and their allies giving up.
It may be a small matter in the vast eternal scheme to stop this madness, but it has to be done.
March in Solidarity, October 6, 2016