There were dramatic images again on September 28 out of the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests, this time of police responding with armored vehicles as Native American protesters say they were engaging in prayer.
“They have called the cavalry against #WeStandWithStandingRock – Armed Arrests of Peaceful Protestors – #NoDAPl,” wrote one pro-protester site on Facebook of the scenes, captured on video, of police marching toward protesters and showing up at the scene in armored vehicles.
Reaction was as emotional as when private security guards for the company behind the pipeline brought out dogs against the protesters.
According to Valley News, 21 protesters were arrested on September 28 “at two construction sites along the DAPL south and west of St. Anthony.”
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the arrests in a press release on Facebook. The department said, “Officers arrested the protesters for various crimes including resisting arrest, criminal trespass on private property and possession of stolen property. Tow trucks were called to transport 5 impounded vehicles. When officers responded they witnessed numerous people and horses on private property.”
The press release adds, “A protester on horseback charged at an officer in what was viewed as an act of aggression. The officer responded with an appropriate show of force by raising his weapon containing less-lethal ammunition….Due to the current threat to public safety, law enforcement responded with specialized equipment and weapons to include armored vehicles and less lethal ammunition using bean-bag rounds.”
The Sheriff’s release said rumors of an airplane spraying mustard or tear gas were false and “it was a crop duster spraying a field.” The 21 arrests bring the total to 95 since the beginning of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, the release said.
Protesters online criticized what they see as a militarized police response.
Wrote the site Unicorn Riot on Facebook, “Today, indigenous water protectors once again arrived at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site to halt work and hold prayer ceremonies. Police arrived with several military-style armored vehicles, and threatened water protectors with shotguns. We are hearing reports of up to 21 arrests.”
Read more about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests here: