Last night I wrote about yet another standoff between #NoDAPL protesters and law enforcement down along the Cantapeta Creek on Sunday, but there were actually four different protest incidents over the weekend which garnered a law enforcement response.
Here’s a summary of the four incidents from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department. Note that in addition to the standoff on the hillside, protesters also apparently tried to use a semi truck to move two burned out trucks blocking the Highway 1806 bridge. That bridge remains closed due to concerns that the fires set by protesters damaged it making it unsafe for traffic.
Sunday, November 6, 2016 DAPL Events
4 Protest Events
Mandan Police Department reported there were over 100 plus vehicles parked at the Mandan Legion Park for a protest march to the Morton County Law Enforcement Center. Over 200 protesters marched to the LE Center. The protest was over by noon with no major concerns and no arrests.
Morton County Law Enforcement reported that a semi-tractor (without a trailer) had backed onto the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806. It was thought the truck was going to remove the burned out trucks on the north side. Authorities advised the protester representatives not to move the trucks as they were state property as well as advised them the bridge was still ruled as unsafe. Protesters indicated they were there for interviews and photos. Approximately 50 protesters gathered around the semi-tractor and several were tampering with the security fencing. By 10:20 am the number of protesters on the bridge was estimated to be over 100. By 10:30 the majority of protesters had left the bridge and returned to the camps. 20 remained on the bridge. Approximately 11:15 the semi-truck backed up around 20 mph and was going to crash into the barricade but applied brakes at the last second. The truck then exited the bridge and headed south. Around 1:00 pm protesters gathered on the Backwater Bridge and approached the barricade while law enforcement was working on deploying additional jersey barriers at the blockade. The protesters are not complying with LE commands to move back so tear gas was deployed.
Law enforcement observed protesters were leaving the north camp and heading to Turtle Hill, which was the scene of an earlier protest where the US Army Corps of Engineers asked the Morton County Sheriff to clear the area as they were there illegally. Additional protesters showed up with kayaks and a boat. At 10:50 the kayaks and boat started to shuttle protesters to the other side. Within the next hour over 100 protesters were shuttled across and around 12:30 protesters began to climb the hill toward law enforcement officers. The only arrest was a kayak protesters ferrying people across the Cannonball River and was transported to the Morton County Correctional Center. He was arrested for criminal trespass, obstructing government function and preventing arrest . Protesters started a grass fire at 1:12 pm. The Mandan Rural Fire Department was called, however, law enforcement personnel with fire extinguishers were able to put out the fire. Law enforcement used pepper spray to prevent the protesters from advancing. By 1:30 pm most protesters had crossed back over the Cannonball River. By 4:00 pm all protesters activity had ceased.
Bismarck Police responded to Fairview Cemetery, 2929 E. Century Avenue, Bismarck for a report of 40 protesters congregating near the street. Some were wearing masks, carrying signs and shovels. A female with a megaphone was saying, “How would you like it is we dug up your ancestors in Morton County. Officers allowed them to voice their concerns while blocking traffic to prevent any accidents. After 45 minutes the protesters left but left behind six shovels left sticking straight up in the dirt. No arrests were made.
Morton County also sent along this video. Of the protest activities on what I guess is called Turtle Hill along Cantapeta Creek. In my post yesterday I pointed out that protesters had set fire to grass on the hillside below where law enforcement was standing, apparently in an effort to have the flames move the cops out of the way. You can see more of that in this video, including law enforcement moving down to put the flames out with fire extinguishers.
As the narrative above points out, the Morton County Rural Fire Department was initially called to put out the flames set by the protesters, but officers on the scene were ultimately able to handle it. Still, a dangerous situation.
This video also shows one protester making a really, really bad decision in trying to take a horse across the creek. Thankfully, it looks like both horse and rider made it back to shore unharmed.
Here are some photos of the day’s events also provided by Morton County: