Private security agents from Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners pepper-sprayed and sicced large dogs on Native people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline on Saturday (September 3).
In the chilling “Democracy Now” video below, agents clad in sunglasses can be seen leading dogs into a crowd of people at the construction site of the pipeline, which will run underneath the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. Protesters showed host Amy Goodman bite wounds, and at least one dog was filmed with blood on its snout. Some dabbed their faces with wet towels to clear their stinging eyes.
According to NPR, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department has stated that “a few hundred” protesters “stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles” and “became violent” within five minutes.
Hundreds of mostly Standing Rock Sioux people have been occupying the site of the pipeline that the Army Corps of Engineer approved in July for weeks. They say that the pipeline will destroy ancient burial sites and pollute Missouri River water. Among 150 tribes who have joined the Standing Rock Sioux in thier protest and occupation are eight from Washington state—theYakama Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Lummi Nation, Puyallup Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Hoh Tribe. In late August 30 protesters were arrested in Boone, Iowa. The Iowa leg of the pipeline is 22 percent-completed.
The Standing Rock Sioux have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing permits for the $3.8 billion pipeline. A judge from the U.S. District Court will decide if the construction will move forward on September 9.
American Indian Movement founder Clyde Bellecourt called the protests “fresh energy.” Actors Shailene Woodley, Rosario Dawson and Leonardo DiCaprio have provided support or shown solidarity with the protests. The United Nations has called on the United States to follow provisions from its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Some Black Lives Matter
For more information use the hashtags #RezpectOurWater, #NoDAPL and #NoDakotaAccess.