Yesterday (September 28), armed police in militarized gear arrived to a Dakota Access Pipeline work site south of Mandan, North Dakota, where they arrested up to 21 out of the approximately 150 water protectors who had gathered to pray.
After they prayed for 40 minutes, reports Unicorn Riot, a news outlet that’s been on the ground at #NoDAPL actions since April, police showed up armed with riot shields, shotguns, assault rifles, a Bearcat armed vehicle and a mine-resistant armored-protective vehicle known as a MRAP.
According to Unicorn Riot, the Bearcat made an appearance September 27 during a separate demonstration where water protectors halted construction, but yesterday was the first time police officials brought out the MRAP. Three airplanes and two helicopters were also reportedly hovering above.
Along with all that, a crop-duster airplane seemed to have sprayed the area with an unknown substance. On the Sacred Stone Camp Facebook page, some speculate it was mustard or tear gas.
The Red Warrior Camp Facebook page wrote:
We are constantly fed the narrative that the police are armed and active in the protection of the public. Are we not the public? Are the violations of our rights so easily and repeatedly acceptable? Are you paying attention? The United States of America is occupying Indigenous Land and when their occupation and ruination of our lands and waters is challenged they respond with unprecedented violence, with kidnapping our brothers and sisters protecting us and our territories. They are incarcerating our Warriors, our Women, our Youth. Today’s ceremony should never have been interrupted, no arrests should have been made and certainly the military machine should not have been called in in response to our prayers.
The post concluded with a call for the police to stand down and cease and desist.