Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Turn Violent When Tribe Says Burial Grounds Were Destroyed
The Dakota Access Pipeline has caused protests among the Native American community. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has rallied other tribes as well as landowners and environmentalists. Out of speculation that the the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) will have a negative impact on water quality on the Sioux’s reservation.
The company that is responsible for the pipeline has tried to ensure the Sioux tribe that the pipeline will have no impact on their water. That has not eased the hearts and minds of any. Protests continue to the point of blocking the pipeline bringing construction to a halt for the most part, arrests are made daily.
Up to this point there have been only threats made, mainly by tribe members to workers and supporters of the DAP. That was until yesterday, September 3, 2016 when protests turned violent.
Fox News is reporting that, 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 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 disbursed when officers arrived and no one was arrested, she said.
Vicki Grenado from Energy Transfer provided this statement to Heavy
“What has been represented over the past several weeks as a peaceful protest is simply not the case. We are greatly saddened and extremely bothered to confirm that today, unwarranted violence occurred on private property under easement to Dakota Access Pipeline, resulting in injury to multiple members of our security personnel and several dogs. It is unfortunate that what has been portrayed as a peaceful protest by the opponents of the pipeline has now turned to violence and intimidation by a group of criminals and activists. Assailants broke through a fence and attacked our workers. We are working with law enforcement to ensure that all offenders are arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will not tolerate the assault and/or injury to our employees or contractors. The safety of all those associated with our project and those living in the area is our top priority. We are hopeful that state and federal law enforcement and the tribal leaders will do their part to maintain order and to ensure a peaceful protest.”