It seems that the #NoDAPL protests have moved north from the area of the pipeline itself near the Standing Rock Reservation, where construction has been completed outside of the Lake Oahe crossing, to the Bismarck/Mandan area.
I don’t know if that’s because of plunging temperatures at night, or because with construction largely completed there are fewer targets for protesters to focus on down south, but this week protesters have wreaked havoc in the Bismarck/Mandan area.
On Tuesday they attempted to block railroad tracks with a burning truck. Yesterday protesters targeted the Bank of North Dakota. Today, according to a press release from the Bismarck Police Department (see below) about 130 protesters targeted a Wells Fargo Bank branch as well as the federal courthouse in Bismarck.
There were eight total arrests, including one incident which got pretty ugly when the protester allegedly began spitting on law enforcement officers, resisting arrest, and even tried to grab an officer’s weapon.
From the press release:
The final arrest occurred on the 100 block of North 4th Street. It started when the suspect tampered with some property outside a business in that area. When police confronted him to tell him he can’t be doing that, in an attempt to start a confrontation with law enforcement he motioned other people over to assist him. Police told him he was under arrest and told him to put his hands behind his back. He resisted arrest. Police took him to the ground to control him. He was kicking and spitting at officers so a spit sock was put on his head. He had to be carried to a squad car for transport because he wouldn’t walk on his own. When he was being put into the squad car, he grabbed hold of an officer’s holstered weapon and was yanking on it. Once that happened it became a deadly force situation and officers used the reasonable amount of force necessary to get him to let go.
Once in the squad car, the suspect repeatedly banged his head into the cage. As a result of his own actions he sustained some cuts to his face.
He was arrested for criminal mischief, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer/contact by bodily fluids, and attempting to disarm a police officer.
Also today the state Legislature made the decision to cancel the tribal and judicial addresses to lawmakers which are traditionally part of the kick off to each session. The Legislative Management committee which made the decision justified it by pointing to the unruly and unlawful behavior of the protesters. Their intent is to reduce the number of opportunities protesters will have to be disruptive come January.
Given how the protesters continue to behave themselves, with little or no condemnation from tribal leaders, it’s hard to blame them for the decision.
Here’s the press release:
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