by Derek Scarlino/Love and Rage
NEAR RED WARRIOR CAMP, N.D. – Shocking scenes developed over the weekend when Native American protesters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who have been protesting the planned Dakota Access Pipeline through their land for months, were set upon by security dogs on Saturday.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, on scene to report on the protests which have grown to number in the thousands, yet fail to register much in mainstream media, caught on camera both direct action by protesters to stop bulldozing that was occurring, followed by security hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline Company letting dogs attack and bite protesters.
The protests, ongoing since April 1, have been successful at halting construction of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, a $3.8 billion dollar project which indigenous activists say will contaminate the Missouri River and disturb cultural heritage and burial sites.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has also sued the Army Corps of Engineers which approved the construction of the pipeline. The tribe is challenging their decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline.
According to The Guardian, several hundred protesters confronted construction crews which led to up to 30 activists being pepper-sprayed while several others were bitten by guard dogs, including a small child. Despite photo evidence, Morton County sherriff spokesperson Preskey said that they were not aware of any reports of injury to protesters, while commenting that up to four security guards had been injured along with two dogs.
The tribe has already filed claims that there are culturally sensitive areas that the pipeline’s path with cut through.
Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II said that construction crews removed topsoil across an area about 150ft wide stretching for two miles:
This demolition is devastating. 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 courtesy of Democracy Now!: