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#NoDAPL Live Blog: Police Use Water Cannons, ‘Flash Grenades’ Against Water Protectors 

Posted on Nov 21, 2016

   Police use what Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman described as a “flash grenade” against demonstrators in North Dakota on Sunday. (Donald Kaufman)

Editor’s note: Scroll down to see the live multimedia updates embedded in the Evrybit story at the bottom of this post.
9:57 a.m. PST Monday: The group, Organized Allies of Standing Rock, released a statement about Sunday night’s police confrontation with “peacefully assembled” “water protectors”:
Last night, hundreds of people, in below freezing weather, were doused with water cannons, hit with percussion grenades, sprayed with mace, hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, and suffered colonial violence yet again. Water protectors, for nearly a month, have been held off from removing a barricade put in place for the protection of the Oceti Sakowin, Sacred Stone, and Rosebud encampments as threats of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Morton County Sheriffs clearing out camp mounted. People attempted to peacefully remove the barricade and were attacked for doing so. An elder went into cardiac arrest on the frontline. People were trapped on a bridge and forced either breathe in tear gas so badly they vomited and couldn’t hold their bladders or trample each other, hundreds are experiencing hypothermia, all because we want to be free. 

The media is running “news” from last night with the Morton County Sheriff’s press releases as the only source, a complete failure to uphold the tenets of objective journalism. The Morton County Sheriff is saying they didn’t fire water cannons on anyone, that they were just “putting out fires”. Many, many live videos show the opposite occurring. We call on them to TELL THE TRUTH.
Secondly, we call on President Obama to create and sign an executive order that cancels the Dakota Access Pipeline like he did with the Keystone XL. We call on the President to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to no longer “wait and see” when they need to determine an “appropriate response” to Dakota Access drilling under the Missouri River without an easement permit, which they are. How much longer will one of the most allegedly progressive Presidents in history allow people to be brutalized under his watch?
We call on President Obama to not let Trump be the bad guy who handles this. We call on him to be the change he promised when he was campaigning to be President. We call on him to uphold his words of hope. 
9:36 a.m. PST Monday: Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman reports on the clash between police and the water protectors.
6:15 a.m. PST Monday: “They were attacked with water cannons,” said LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux tribe member and founder of the Sacred Stone camp, speaking to The Guardian about the police attack on the water protectors Sunday evening. “It is 23 degrees ... out there with mace, rubber bullets, pepper spray, etc. They are being trapped and attacked. Pray for my people.”
According to Jade Begay, a spokeswoman for the Indigenous Environmental Network, 167 people were injured and seven were taken to the hospital.
The Guardian quoted the Morton County Sheriff’s Department describing the incident as an “ongoing riot” and the protesters as “very aggressive.” A spokesman for the sheriff’s department said that law enforcement was spraying water because protesters were lighting fires on and around the bridge. Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman, who was at the scene, calls that portrayal a “lie.”
12:19 p.m. PST Thursday: Unicorn Riot has shared video footage of an arrest made in Bismarck, N.D., earlier Thursday:


12:01 p.m. PST Thursday: Demonstrations have now moved to the city of Mandan, N.D., home to the Morton County jail. Donald Kaufman reports that demonstrators are protesting the arrest and confinement of Red Fawn Fallis, a #NoDAPL activist arrested in late October.
Kaufman explains that Fallis’ supporters allege that she was unjustly charged with attempted murder after police arrested her.
“[Y]outh protesters said they were were devastated to find out a week later that local police had arrested Fallis and charged her with attempted murder, saying that she had pulled out a .38 revolver and fired three gunshots at police during another mass arrest incident,” The Guardian reports. “To some pipeline protesters, who described Fallis as a passionate activist dedicated to peaceful tactics, her detention is the latest sign that North Dakota police are aggressively targeting a growing movement and will go to great lengths to protect a powerful corporation threatening sacred tribal lands.”
Demonstrators in Mandan County today are demanding Red Fawn’s release. Kaufman shared live video footage of the unfolding events:

Scroll down to see more photos and videos of the demonstrations.
10:22 a.m. PST Thursday: Peaceful protesters gathered in Bismarck, N.D. early Thursday. Truthdig’s Donald Kaufman is following the demonstrations and sending live updates. According to Kaufman, three people have already been arrested “without provocation.”
“One tried to give the police officer a flower,” Kaufman says.
He also shared live video of the demonstrations on Truthdig’s Facebook page:

Scroll down to see more live updates embedded in the Evrybit story at the bottom of this page.
6:17 p.m. PST Wednesday: The Native Americans do not view the #NoDAPL movement as a protest but as an act of survival. It is the continuation of resistance to centuries of repression and oppression. Donald Kaufman wrote a firsthand account of what’s happening on the ground at Standing Rock.
2:04 p.m. PST Wednesday: As today’s demonstrations come to a close, take some time to learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s fight. Filmmaker Lucian Read’s latest short film, “Mni Wiconi: The Standing at Standing Rock,” premiered in October, and gives a glimpse into the struggle and importance of the tribe’s fight against the DAPL.
Watch the short film below:

12:02 p.m. PST Wednesday: Donald Kaufman reports that Wednesday’s action at the Bank of North Dakota has ended.
The protests will probably continue in the days ahead, and the #NoDAPL movement continues to receive national attention. For example, on Tuesday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made an appearance at one of the camps. Indian Country Today Media Network reports:
“What [Energy Transfer Partners] is doing is a real environmental crime,” said Kennedy, who serves as senior attorney and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit organization solely focused on the right to clean water.
Kennedy’s work protecting the environment spans decades, and his visit to Standing Rock and the Oceti Sakowin camp is a continuation of his efforts to help communities fight corporate polluters.
10:22 a.m. PST Wednesday: Peaceful protesters, determined to halt construction of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, rallied outside the Bank of North Dakota in Bismarck on Wednesday morning. The protesters chose the bank because, they allege, it funds treaty violations against the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The financial interests behind the pipeline have recently become the focus for many who oppose it—especially because President-elect Donald Trump reportedly has financial ties to the project.
Tuesday night, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a surprise appearance outside the White House, where #NoDAPL protesters were gathered. “So we say to President Obama, in any and every way you can, stop the pipeline,” Sanders told the crowd. “Tell the Army Corps of Engineers that we know—we don’t need any more studies to know—that in the midst of a great crisis, a global crisis with regard to climate change, every environmental study will tell you: Do not build this pipeline.”
Sanders also criticized Trump’s pro-fossil fuel position.
Be sure to check out the Evrybit story at the bottom of this post—Truthdig contributor Donald Kaufman is covering Wednesday’s demonstrations and providing live updates from North Dakota. Kaufman is also occasionally going live on our Facebook page with footage of Wednesday’s action:

11:34 a.m. PST Tuesday: The tension in North Dakota has been constant over the past several months, and Tuesday’s protests are not the first to occur in the area around the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Months of peaceful demonstrations have finally had an impact, however: Pipeline construction was placed on hold Monday.
The U.S. Department of the Army cited “historical injustices, environmental uncertainties and other factors” to explain why the DAPL construction was halted.
“We call on all water protectors, as we have from the beginning, to join our voices in prayer and to share our opposition to this pipeline peacefully,” Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement. “The whole world is watching and where they see prayerful, peaceful resistance, they join us.”
Despite the water protectors’ continuously peaceful protests, instances of violence continue to occur. Monday, reports surfaced of an armed white man driving through a peaceful prayer ceremony over the weekend. The following image was taken from the Instagram account of user colinnnnn:

Truthdig’s Donald Kaufman, who was in the North Dakota encampments over the weekend, said the man “tried to run over the crowd,” and added that there were “conflicting reports” regarding an injured woman.
Reuters reports that the man in question “was not identified,” and notes that the “circumstances of the injury were not clear.” However, it adds, North Dakota authorities are looking in to the alleged incident.
10:21 a.m. PST Tuesday: Protests erupted around the country Tuesday as part of a national call to action against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its allies also banded together to peacefully protest the proposed pipeline in the areas surrounding the construction site and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
According to website Unicorn Riot, the demonstrations began to unfold earlier today along Highway 10 in North Dakota. Police then began to make arrests after demonstrators were unable to clear off of the highway.
Truthdig contributor Donald Kaufman is currently covering the demonstrations and providing live updates from North Dakota. Follow the day’s action via the Evrybit story below:

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