On Sunday, hundreds of protesters clashed with the police forces in what the authorities described as a riot. They are against the North Dakota oil pipeline which is under construction right now. According to them, it threatens not only drinkable water resources but also some very old and even sacred lands belonging to different tribes.
Around 400 protesters started fighting with the police on the Backwater Bridge. The authorities needed to fire tear gas on them in order to stop the riots from degenerating even more. In the same spot, another violent protest took place last month. The one on Sunday is the latest of a series of ongoing riots opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The scene was loud, full of screams and cars which were honking and was chaos everywhere.
The bridge has actually been closed since last month, when the latest riot saw two trucks catching fire along with police gear. Back then, the authorities also destroyed a protesters camp nearby. Now, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, the protesters were very aggressive and the police needed to stop them. They were also trying to set fires to different objects, in an attempt to stop the police forces from intervening. According to media reports, the police arrested at least one protester.
How it began
The violent clashes began after some protesters tried to move a truck from the bridge in order to cross it. The police arrived at the scene quickly and started firing tear-gas and sub-freezing temperature water on the demonstrators. Physicians and tribal healers with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council According said that the police should stop the use of water cannons on such a cold night. Numerous people could have been affected by hypothermia. They said that the threat in these conditions is “potentially lethal”. According to a protester, the police were also shooting rubber bullets at them. They even injured some people who were there.
But the authorities said that they only used water to stop them from advancing on the bridge and the fires from spreading.
Dakota Oil Pipeline
The protesters are saying that the construction of the Dakota Oil Pipeline will potentially destroy the environment and numerous Native American burial and prayer sites. Also, it may endanger some culturally important artifacts which can be found in the area. According to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the oil pipeline will affect the water supply. The oil pipeline might also affect the communities living nearby by contaminating their water with crude oil. And this is a very serious threat. The Dakota Oil Pipeline will be stretching through four states and will measure 1 172 miles.
Bernie Sanders is one of the important people who are strongly opposing the construction of this pipeline. Recently, he posted a message on Twitter saying that
“The president must protect the safety of Native Americans and their supporters who have gathered peacefully to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
The Dakota Oil Pipeline is a project worth $3.7-billion. It will supposedly be the safest way to transport oil without using trucks or trains.
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