National Guard Activated Against Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

A line of protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota head to a unity rally on the west steps of the State Capitol late Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver.

A line of protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota head to a unity rally on the west steps of the State Capitol late Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver.

North Dakota — Previously peaceful protests at the construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline have officially been militarized. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has called on the state’s National Guard to reinforce law enforcement at the construction site where Native American protesters are currently blocking further development.

Over the weekend, peaceful protests turned violent after security guards from G4S, a British mercenary group, unleashed dogs on the demonstrators, provoking a confrontation the media spun as violently aggressive on the part of those protesting. The scuffle ensued after construction workers allegedly destroyed sacred Native American burial sites. However, video from the scene tells a different story — one of provocation from proponents of pipeline security.

The activation of the National Guard is likely a backup measure as the pipeline company and protesters await a court decision that could give pipeline construction a green light, possibly causing further confrontation between law enforcement, mercenaries, and protesters. The National Guard has a long history of violently crushing civil unrest in the United States.

UPDATE 9/8: National Guard troops have already been spotted operating a checkpoint near the protest site. (images below)

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