A large gathering of an estimated 400 of Water Protectors protesting the Dakota Access pipeline took place last night. The evening began peacefully with large prayer gatherings taking place and bonfires set for warmth and cooking but things turned violent after protesters attempted to remove a bridge blockade. The protesters say that the vehicles blocking the bridge needed to be removed from the road because it’s a huge public safety risk and is also putting enormous pressure on the Standing Rock Sioux community and the people who live in the area. However once protesters began to try to remove the vehicles from the road the police opened fire on them from behind the barricades.
Rubber bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas, and even flash grenades were fired at the unarmed peaceful protesters. And, despite temperatures being in the low 20’s, police also fired water cannons at the protesters. More than 160 people were injured in the attack with at least 7 people being hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia. An activist from New York, 21 year old Sophia Wilansky, had to have her arm amputated after being shot by a concussion grenade. This use of force by the police in Standing Rock was unwarranted and inhumane. We must do all we can to speak up to the injustices happening in Standing Rock. We cannot remain silent, silence is consent.
Below is video from the assault on the Water Protectors last night by the police where you can see the water cannons being used on the protesters and hear rubber bullets being fired into the crowd.