In renewed and violent protests a group of what appears to be a couple dozen #NoDAPL activists attacked a police line near the construction zone for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The pipeline has been largely completed up to the crossing of the Lake Oahe reservoir, and preparations have been made to bore under that body of water, but things are on hold thanks to political interference from the Obama administration. The incident today involved protesters apparently trying to get to the drill pad which would bore the pipeline under the reservoir.
This live stream video shows protesters marching and beating drums while shouting obscenities and insults at law enforcement. They then cut down what appears to be a razor wire fence and attacked a line of police who were standing there with riot shields.
You can see the protesters begin to attack at about the 1:31:00 mark in the video:
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has asked the camped protesters to leave their illegal encampments on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, but so far they’ve largely resisted. The camps, now riddled with human waste and abandoned cars/equipment, have been described by Governor Doug Burgum as a “potential ecological disaster.”
“The amount of cleanup that needs to take place is enormous,” Burgum told Reuters. “We’ve got a potential ecological disaster if this land floods and all the debris flows downstream into tribal lands.”
Things have also been quieter at the protest camps since frigid weather and heavy snow arrived in the region, but as you can see from the video that cold weather has also given the protesters an advantage. When the camera swings behind the protest line you can see that the protesters were able to access this fence by crossing frozen water.
Last year protesters were largely held in check by that water with law enforcement blockading the Backwater Bridge.
I’ll update when we get an official report from law enforcement.