STANDING ROCK SIOUX NATION, N.D. — Livestreamed video from the Dakota Access Pipeline Tuesday showed indigenous men and women being arrested by heavily armed law enforcement.
Nearly 100 officers in riot gear from the local and state law enforcement detachments arrived at the construction site where land defenders attached themselves to bulldozers and diggers after they learned construction workers continued to install pipe in an area nearby the camps.
Journalists for independent media source Unicorn Riot distributed the livestream video, showing that despite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to halt construction — pipeline was being installed underground as of Tuesday morning.
Unicorn Riot’s journalist stated in the video land defenders had loaded assault rifles aimed at them by police.
“I’m unarmed!” shouted one land defender while being arrested. In the clip that man tells journalists at the scene loaded guns were pointed at him, calling the action “cowardly” on behalf of police.
Sacred Stone Camp reported Tuesday night via their Facebook page 22 people were arrested by police and are being held at the Morton County jail.
The arrests came on September 13th, a national day of action to oppose DAPL with events scheduled around the world.
Journalists for Unicorn Riot also claimed state and local police forces shared pro-pipeline propaganda posters on their official social media accounts, increasing the spirit of tension and hostility.
Police blocked road access to the area where arrests were being made and threatened to arrest journalists on site as well.
Over the weekend Morton County police issued an arrest warrant for one journalist, Amy Goodman, whose comprehensive coverage through Democracy Now! captured attack dogs being unleashed on land defenders by private security.
An additional warrant was issued for Cody Hall, media spokesperson for Red Warrior Camp, just one of the established opposition camps at the pipeline.
Hall was arrested by police while driving a vehicle on a road near one of the camps.
Both Hall and Goodman have been arrested with Criminal Trespass.
Lawyers for land defenders at Standing Rock issued a statement about the arrest warrants for media relations.
“After Amy Goodman, anchor and reporter for Democracy Now!, reported from the sacred site of the Standing Rock Sioux where Dakota Access pipeline “security forces” were caught on camera unleashing canines and mace against water protectors, including a pregnant woman and children, the State of North Dakota issued a warrant and a criminal complaint against her for criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanour, carrying a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine or both.
“Mariel Nanasi, part of the legal team representing people at the encampment, stated “The State of North Dakota has begun to issue warrants and complaints against persons exercising their first and fourth amendment rights. Amy Goodman is being charged with criminal trespass because she was reporting and filming the destruction by the Dakota Access pipeline of the Sioux’s sacred sites and people’s response. When the security forces unleashed dogs and mace on unarmed civilians the Democracy Now! report went viral and was viewed by more than 4 million people all over the world.
“The State of North Dakota continues to escalate their harassment of people, including reporters, and to intimidate them from participating in peaceful protest and the defense of their land and water.”
The Governor of North Dakota upped the stakes at the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations Thursday calling in the National Guard.
Governor Jack Dalrymple called a press conference Thursday afternoon to make the announcement.
A spokesperson for the National Guard confirmed approximately 100 armed guardsmen will be deployed to the opposition camps.
The Governor said the request for the national guards presence is “in the interest of public safety.”
Officials for the National Guard said up to 4100 Guardsmen were ready to be called into the demonstrations if needed.
Federal officials for the Department of the Army and Deparment of the Interior along with the Department of Justice issued a statement Friday they would not permit pipeline construction to proceed on federal land until a full review of the previous approval is done.
The announcement was celebrated by Standing Rock officials, who received word Friday afternoon a US District Judge did not rule in the tribe’s favour for an injunction to stop construction.
Tribal Chairman David Archambault said he was pleased tribes from the area were invited to negotiate with the federal government on further infrastructure projects.
Demonstrators along the pipeline said given DAPL’s destruction of sacred sites revealed to them just one week ago, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe feels areas along the construction route may still be at risk, and have decided to remain on site.