According to a press release from the Morton Count Sheriff’s Department (see below) the final tally after yesterday’s #NoDAPL riot was 141 arrests, mostly for “conspiracy to endanger by fire/explosion, engaging in a riot and maintaining a public nuisance.”
By my unofficial count, that brings the total number of arrests since early August up to about 387.
There were two separate shooting incidents yesterday connected to the protests. “During the arrest of one woman, she pulled a weapon and fired three rounds at the police line,” the release states. “The woman was arrested.”
The second incident didn’t involved law enforcement. Earlier reports from state authorities described a motorist shot in the hand by protesters. That matter is under investigation.
Throwing rocks and other debris isn’t new for these protesters, who are described as “peaceful and prayerful” by their apologists, but fire and explosives are. From the release:
Protesters started numerous fires during the course of the day. Protesters set fires on Highway 1806, to three pieces of DAPL construction equipment, a bridge on CR 134, the backwater bridge (north of the main camp), and numerous vehicles. The amount of damage to the bridges is unknown at this time.
As the police line moved further south towards the backwater bridge, officers met resistance from protesters. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails (homemade explosives) at law enforcement.
Seven protesters used sleeping dragon devices to attach themselves to items. Three were attached to and under a vehicle, three were encased in concrete, and one released himself.
“As of 12:00 a.m. Friday morning, law enforcement is holding a line north of the backwater bridge,” the release states.
Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault sent out this statement in response to yesterday’s activities. He spends several paragraphs castigating law enforcement for “militarized” tactics and demanding federal intervention, and one paragraph at the end kinda/sorta condemning any violent activities the protesters were guilty of:
Militarized law enforcement agencies moved in on water protectors with tanks and riot gear today. We continue to pray for peace. We call on the state of North Dakota to oversee the actions of local law enforcement to, first and foremost, ensure everyone’s safety. The Department of Justice must send overseers immediately to ensure the protection of First Amendment rights and the safety of thousands here at Standing Rock. DOJ can no longer ignore our requests. If harm comes to any who come here to stand in solidarity with us, it is on their watch. They must step in and hold the state of North Dakota and Morton County accountable for their acts of violence against innocent, prayerful people.
The Obama administration has asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction until the review process has been completed, but DAPL has ignored these repeated requests. By deploying law enforcement to support DAPL construction, the State of North Dakota is collaborating with Energy Transfer Partners and escalating tensions.
We need our state and federal governments to bring justice and peace to our lands, not the force of armored vehicles.
We have repeatedly seen a disproportionate response from law enforcement to water protectors’ nonviolent exercise of their constitutional rights. Today we have witnessed people praying in peace, yet attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, sound and concussion cannons. We urge state and federal government agencies to give this tense situation their immediate and close attention.
We also call on the thousands of water protectors who stand in solidarity with us against DAPL to remain in peace and prayer. Any act of violence hurts our cause and is not welcome here. We invite all supporters to join us in prayer that, ultimately, the right decision—the moral decision—is made to protect our people, our sacred places, our land and our resources. We won’t step down from this fight. As peoples of this earth, we all need water. This is about our water, our rights, and our dignity as human beings.
Remember that law enforcement told the protesters on Wednesday that they could disperse peacefully from the illegal roadblock they set up on Highway 1806, and from the illegal camp they’d established on private land, but they refused. Yesterday, even as law enforcement approached the protesters, they were told that they could leave without fear of arrest.
They were greeted with thrown rocks and fire.
Yet somehow, in Archambault’s version if reality, that’s law enforcement committing “acts of violence against innocent, prayerful people.”
And you know what? Some people will believe him. Because that fits the narrative better than a bunch of angry, violent political extremists rioting.
Here’s the full release from Morton County:
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