Violence Erupts At North Dakota Pipeline Protest With Ties To Enbridge

Indigenous protesters gather near their reservation straddling the North Dakota-South Dakota border on Aug. 25. On Saturday, security guards and protesters clashed. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press)

Indigenous protesters gather near their reservation straddling the North Dakota-South Dakota border on Aug. 25. On Saturday, security guards and protesters clashed. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press)

Security forces clash with protesters at North Dakota pipeline Enbridge to buy into

The Associated Press Posted: Sep 04, 2016

A protest of a four-state, $3.8-billion oil pipeline turned violent after tribal officials say construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural sites on private land in southern North Dakota.

Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters confronted construction crews Saturday afternoon at the site just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

One of the security officers was taken to a Bismarck hospital for undisclosed injuries. The two guard dogs were taken to a Bismarck veterinary clinic, Preskey said.

Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear said protesters reported that six people had been bitten by security dogs, including a young child. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed, he said. Preskey said law enforcement authorities had no reports of protesters being injured.

There were no law enforcement personnel at the site when the incident occurred, Preskey said. The crowd dispersed when officers arrived and no one was arrested, she said.

Legal challenges

The incident occurred within half a mile of an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby.

The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses the Dakotas and Iowa to Illinois, including near the reservation in southern North Dakota. A federal judge will rule before Sept. 9 whether construction can be halted on the Dakota Access pipeline.

Calgary-based Enbridge is spending $1.5 billion to be a part of the project.

Energy Transfer Partners did not return phone calls and emails from The Associated Press on Saturday seeking comment.

Pipeline Protest

Native Americans protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota. (The Associated Press/James MacPherson)

The tribe fears the project will disturb sacred sites and impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions farther downstream.

Cultural and historic sites

The protest Saturday came one day after the tribe filed court papers saying it found several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” along the path of the proposed pipeline.

Tribal preservation officer Tim Mentz said in court documents that the tribe was only recently allowed to survey private land north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Mentz said researchers found burials rock piles called cairns and other sites of historic significance to Native Americans.

Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II said in a statement that construction crews removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for 2 miles.

“This demolition is devastating,” Archambault said. “These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.”

Video from both sides

Preskey said the company filmed the confrontation by helicopter and turned the video over to authorities. Protesters also have posted some of the confrontation on social media.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement that “individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles.”

“Any suggestion that today’s event was a peaceful protest, is false,” his statement said.

On Sunday, South Dakota tribal chairman is urging members to avoid Bismarck and Mandan in North Dakota after a clash between private security guards and people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying he fears for his people’s safety.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier said Sunday urged tribal members to avoid travelling to or doing business in the area.

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One thought on “Violence Erupts At North Dakota Pipeline Protest With Ties To Enbridge

  1. THE DEMONIZATION OF NATIVE PROTECTORS AS VIOLENT…. IS IN FACT…..A EURO-CENTRIC IDEOLOGY EMBEDDED WITHIN AMERICAN CULTURE, SOCIAL SYSTEM, HISTORY, CORPORATE AMERICA, ETC. IT IS IN FACT THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY THAT JUSTIFIES ALL THAT IS WRONG. IT IS IN FACT A HISTORICAL WESTERN IDEOLOGY PERPETUATED IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE (ON TV & SCHOOL BOOKS) SINCE COLONIAL TIMES THAT SAYS THAT ANY PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED THE DOMINANT CULTURE AND THEIR CORPORATIONS (PROFIT MAKING) MUST BE UNCIVILIZED, SAVAGES, EVIL, BAD, VIOLENT, OR UN-CHRISTIAN. THE WHOLE WOLD IS SET UP AS TO BE THE BINARY OPPOSITE OF THE WEALTHY CORPORATIONS. HISTORICALLY THIS EURO-CENTRIC IDEOLOGY HAS BEEN USED TO JUSTIFY THE OPPRESSION OF ALL PEOPLE AROUND WORLD, INCLUDING: POOR WHITES, AFRICANS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ETC. THIS CAN INCLUDE — THE SELLING OF AFRICAN SLAVES ON WALL STREET AND THE GENOCIDE OF NATIVE AMERICANS BY OFFERING MONEY FOR SCALPS FOR OVER 200 YEARS. THE OPPRESSION OF LGBT GROUPS, ETC. THIS EUROCENTRIC IDEOLOGY THAT CREATES BINARY CATEGORIES OF “”US VS THEM, BLACK VS WHITE, CORPORATIONS VERSUS OTHERS, RICH VERSUS POOR, ETC. WAS USED TO JUSTIFY THE HISTORICAL EXPLOITATION AND GENOCIDE AND EVEN TODAY MASS OPPRESSION IN SOCIETY. EVERYONE HAS A STAKE IN THIS FIGHT NO MATTER YOUR RACE, GENDER, SOCIAL CLASS, SEXUALITY, RELIGION, NATIONALITY, RICH OR POOR, …. ETC. ETC…. ITS THIS EURO-CENTRIC IDEOLOGY PERPETUATED BY THE OWNERS OF THESE OIL CORPORATIONS – THE CORPORATE ELITE THAT SAY’S ITS OKAY TO EXPLOIT MOTHER EARTH, THE LAND, HUMANITY, AND THE PEOPLE OF EARTH – EVEN HUMAN BEINGS…HUMANITY. THEY SET UP BINARY CATEGORIES – OF US VERSUS THEM — TO MAKE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WHO OPPOSES THEIR GREED FOR MONEY AND PROFIT, UNDER THE GUISE OF PROGRESS, TO MAKE OTHERS LOOK BAD, EVIL, OR VIOLENT…. SO THEY CAN STEEL THE LAND UNDER THE GUISE OF THE COMMON GOOD.. EVERY THING THEY ARE DOING HERE IS IN ORDER TO FATTEN THEIR WALLETS WITH MONEY AT THE COST OF THE LAND, CLEAN WATER, THE HEALTH OF THE COMMUNITIES ALONG THIS RIVER WILL SUFFER, ETC. WE ARE SAYING NO….ETC. ETC. ETC. .

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