Human Rights

Police Use Tear Gas Against 400 Dakota Access Pipeline Activists

The confrontation occurred three days after North Dakota's governor issued a statement asking for law enforcement's assistance.

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured. 

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment where the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff's Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck. 

Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline developer, has refused to reroute the pipeline and insists that the pipeline has not disturbed any sites sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux. But the tribe and their allies also fear that, as with many pipeline projects across the nation, a disastrous leak is inevitable. 

Protesters received aid at the Cannon Ball gym after being doused with tear gas according to Tara Houska, an organizer with Honor the Earth, one of the groups participating in the action.

"Further delays simply prolong the risks to public safety, prolong the hardships endured by area residents and increase costs incurred by the state of North Dakota and Morton County," North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said in a statement in which he asked law enforcement for assistance in handling protests. 

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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