Published November 2, 2016
CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA—Water protectors attempting to pray for sacred sites being desecrated by the Dakota Access Pipeline this morning were met again with extreme force by law enforcement. Overnight, a makeshift bridge was built to connect the northern edge of the Oceti Sakowin camp to land where the Dakota Access Pipeline is currently continuing construction on unceded treaty land north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. With permission by the Army Corps of Engineers, law enforcement destroyed the bridge intended for elders to cross the Cantapeta Creek safely to pray for the disturbed sacred sites.
During the confrontation dozens of unarmed protectors were pepper sprayed by law enforcement while wading towards the shoreline in nearly sub-zero temperatures. Reports from the frontline indicate that law enforcement also fired several rounds of rubber bullets, one of them hitting CNN Reporter Erin Schrode. Camp leadership instructed women and children remaining in camp to head south towards the Sicangu Camp, away from police gunfire.
Reports within the Oceti Sakowin Camp indicate that an infiltrator from the Dakota Access Pipeline was reported and may have been attempting to create disorder among the protectors. Camp security placed camps under lock-down, causing another condition of confusion and anxiety among those in and outside of camp.
Many of the returned items confiscated from last Thursday’s violent encroachment by law enforcement were returned dumped on the ground near camps. Items such as eagle feathers, pipes, and other sacred items were found not only with number written on them like many of those arrested last Thursday, but were reported to have had fresh paint splattered on their entirety as well as mice droppings. Chief Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe, blessed each item as they were identified and returned to their owners.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission also publicly reported that the Dakota Access Pipeline may be fined for not reporting artifacts along the route of the pipeline. Dakota Access waited at least 10 days to notify the Public Service Commission, which is a violation of the state permit that authorizes construction.
“I was very upset when I found out about the company not reporting their findings along the route of the pipeline,” said Public Service Commission Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak.
The Commission discussed the matter and the possibility of finding Dakota Access during its meeting at the State Capital today at 10 AM; details will soon follow.
Tomorrow as many as 500 members of clergy are anticipated to conduct a prayer walk near the protest site, if allowed, and leaders and protectors continue to ask for those who are able to join them in prayer at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
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