Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Liz Miller
Observer Staff Writer 

Armed Riot Police Arrest Pipeline Protesters, Journalists, and Medics

Facebook Blocks Livestream Broadcast of Arrests

 

September 16, 2016

Indigenous Network

Few images are available from the arrest site.

Tuesday, September 13. Unarmed Native American "Water Protectors" protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline were arrested today, along with journalists who were trying to cover the action, and two medics who were with the protestors. All roads to the site are now blocked off, and there has been a near blackout of media coverage.

Facebook commenters have said that their photo images of the arrest have been censored, and Unicorm Riot, which had been broadcasting live video, says that Facebook has blocked their link from livestream.com.

Very few images are now available of the action taking place, but those that have come out show large numbers of heavily armed law enforcement dressed in riot gear.

While construction has been halted on government-owned lands, Dakota Access, LLC, has continued to move forward on lands that are not under federal control, including those with sites of cultural significance.

Activists have chained themselves to bulldozers in an attempt to stop the destruction.

While local law enforcement has been reasonable considerate in dealing with protestors at Sacred Stone Camp for most of the last five months, the arrival of National Guard troops seems to have escalated the level of confrontation and potential violence.

The Water Protectors object to the pipeline because its route is planned to go under the Missouri River which is the only source of water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribal lands. It has now been determined that the line will also desecrate sacred sites and burial cairns.

Unicorn Riot reports that their livestream broadcast was blocked by Facebook.

Protests have been mounted across the country by citizens who object to Corps of Engineers fast-track approval of the pipeline. The approval process sidestepped consultation with the Tribe, and also certain environmental regulations as well as guidelines for historic preservation.

The Stand Rock Tribe is supported at the camp by representatives of Native tribes from across the continent as they try to prevent their lands from being destroyed in the name of profit. Indigenous groups from as far away as New Zealand have sent word of their support for the action.

In other states, farm owners have protested the use of eminent domain to require the sale of their land to Dakota Access. Some of that land has been in the same families for generations.

It is beginning to look like this pipeline is going through for the financial benefit of very few, but at a cultural cost to very many.

 

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