Protesters Arrested In Dakota Pipeline Riot

Armed soldiers, police face ongoing riots in North Dakota against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe over recent oil pipeline decisions.



Angry Native Americans of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Protest against the government’s installation of a 1,172 – mile long pipeline.

Peace is nowhere in site for Morton County, North Dakota as demonstrators fight to protect their rights, land and health. According to NBCNews, at least 117 protesters were arrested on Thursday following violent demonstrations. What began as a peaceful protest turned violent, leading to military helicopters and backup to help calm the riots.

A woman was reported to have taken out a .38 caliber revolver, narrowly missing many law enforcement members, as said by NBCNews. These reported actions were spurred after recent construction began on the Dakota Access pipeline, which intersects with Standing Rock native lands. CNN reports that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said the land belongs to them from from a treaty enacted in the 19th century. The pipeline’s original and current plan is to bring oil to South Dakota and Iowa, in over 1,172 miles of pipes. Senior Nick Clifton has Native American heritage and has profound opinions over the pipeline.

“It’s just wrong,” Clifton said. “How would you feel if someone was playing with the grave of someone you know? It’s just wrong.”

Protesters camped out for months near the site in peaceful protest until recently. Defending their lost land, many Native protesters on horseback headed towards police, throwing objects in attempt to fend off the constructors. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier of Morton County joined with law enforcement to begin removing the unlawful roadblocks on the county highway, and also discussed how actions needed to be taken as this was a public safety issue. Both sides continue to debate over who increased aggressive tactics first, leading to ongoing rivals. Junior Jordan Delara believes both groups are at fault.

“I think that the Native Americans have a write to be upset,” Delara said. “But the way they handled themselves violently is not right.”

According to NBC, protest camp coordinator Mekasi Horinek said that the protestors had no plans of leaving their encampment. This goes to show that there is a prevalent debate over what truly happened, as some say there were no violent actions portrayed. The group of about 200 protesters include mainly Native Americans, all of which still remain in the area are praying for their history to be left alone. Even celebrity Shailene Woodley has risen in support of prohibiting the pipeline, leading to her arrest on October 10th. Many are speculating the severity of the situation as the development of the oil pipeline would greatly benefit the economy, yet could devastatingly destroy historical burial grounds.

The standoff continues in North Dakota as a true battle of ancient Native American history is faced with corporate America, communicating how tensions are rising from what many consider injustice.