Although the Federal court ruled for a delay in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on November 14, the police action against unarmed protestors gathered at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, continues to escalate with acts extreme force.
Most recently, on the evening of Sunday, November 20, as temperatures dipped down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit, law enforcement officials blasted hundreds of people with water cannons near Oceti Sakowin camp. Video can be seen at The Guardian.
Standing behind a barbed wire fence, militarized police dressed in riot gear also launch concussion grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas, injuring 300 people; 26 were taken to area hospitals, while 21 year-old New York resident Sophia Wilansky, who was air lifted to County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where she has been undergoing extensive surgery to save her arm from amputation after being hit by a grenade.
Since August 10 of this year, thousands of activists from across the United States have come together at Standing Rock to protest the construction of DAPL. Calling themselves “Water Protectors,” the activists are unarmed, using peaceful means of protest against the destruction of sacred lands and the environment. The response of the federal, state, and local governments have included a 12-day “No Fly Zone,” sound cannon blasts, tear gas and pepper spray, and hundreds of arrests on trumped up charges.
This Thanksgiving, we invite you to give real thanks to the people risking their lives to protect the water supply of 17 million Americans in four states. Here are some ways you can stand tall with Standing Rock.
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Photo: After a prayer march to Backwater Bridge, protesters are lead in a defiant cheer by an elder and descendant of Chief Sitting Bull (the gentleman in the white jacket) against North Dakota State Police, who have been permanently deployed on the north side of the bridge. This photo was taken on the south side of the Backwater Bridge, which has been blockaded by the police, and was the site of Sunday’s incident with the water cannon, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, mace, and tear gas assault. Photo © Matt Hamon