On Thursday, scores of law enforcement officers from seven different states showed up with riot gear, armored vehicles, and military weaponry to clear away Standing Rock’s newest camp, the “1851 Treaty Camp.” The camp stands directly in the path of the Dakota Access pipeline. Tipis and sweat lodges were destroyed. Vehicles were set ablaze. More than 140 protesters were arrested.
More than 140 protesters were arrested.
The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.
Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, has maintained that its citizens and supporters are engaging in peaceful, nonviolent expressions of their opposition to the pipeline.
Tara Houska, national campaigns director for the Native environmental group Honor the Earth, and Thane Maxwell, an organizer with Honor the Earth, have been at the camp for months. They describe what is happening:
Law enforcement from at least six other states have been involved in the assaults in North Dakota. And Morton County’s sheriff claims the federal government’s refusal to provide manpower and financial assistance factored into the call for help from other states. Tell me about the law that allows this.
The troops from other states (Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Nebraska) are sent here through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which was designed for natural disaster situations. In 20 years of operation, EMAC has only been used twice for protest purposes…