It was another day of rioting down at the #NoDAPL protests, once again along the Cantapeta Creek where law enforcement and activists clashed a few days ago.
Last month fires set by protesters during an illegal blockade of Highway 1806 damaged a bridge there which authorities have kept closed. Two large trucks set on fire near the bridge also remain in place, blocking the road.
Because of this, protesters have taken to trying to cross the creek just to the east of the bridge and north of the Seven Councils Camp which is on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. They want to get to the pipeline construction site which lays to the north. The Corps hasn’t acted to remove the trespass camps on their property, but they have asked North Dakota law enforcement in a letter to protect the lands around the pipeline construction.
In a map attached to that letter you can see the highway and the various camps. The blue line is the boundary of Corps property. The red area is where the Corps has requested law enforcement assistance.
Today’s events included protesters using fire to try and drive police off the hill, as well as mirrors for some reason.
UPDATE: I guess this explains the mirrors:
— Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm) November 7, 2016
Here’s a WDAZ report of today’s protests:
Lt. Iverson also provided me with this photo showing the burned area on the hill:
Protesters have repeatedly used fire and violence against North Dakota law enforcement while fighting to either get onto or remain on private and/or government land where they are not permitted to be. Yet it seems as though this gets glossed over in much of the national media coverage in favor of stories casting the law enforcement response to these violent and unlawful activities in a negative light.
Meanwhile #NoDAPL protesters – without a hint of irony – staged a rally in Mandan today during which they said they were forgiving the cops for their supposedly violent actions against protesters. The Mandan Police Chief’s response seems on point to me:
Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler slightly opened the front door to the sheriff’s department to say he had no intentions of coming out to participate in the forgiveness ceremony.
“They’ve thrown fire bottles at our police; that’s why I’m not coming out. This is peaceful, but they have used Molotov cocktails. This is their thing and we won’t interrupt. If they would keep it like this, we would have no problem,” Ziegler said before closing the door again.
It seems to me that if the protesters would stop blocking highways and trespassing and vandalizing there would be no real need for a law enforcement response at all. It’s the protesters who have chosen a path towards violence and crimes. The cops are just doing their jobs.
Here are some more photos from today’s riot: