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83 People Arrested, Maced in North Dakota

Above: Water protectors march against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Saturday, October 22, 2016. (Photo Reuters)

CNN reported that the protests continued on Sunday:

Demonstrations continued on Sunday, leading to the closure of Highway 1806. Hundreds of people gathered on the road, blocking it with rocks, hay bales and other items, making it unsafe for law enforcement to reopen the highway, said Preskey of the sheriff’s department
At least one person was arrested for trespassing as the situation escalated, Preskey said.
Law enforcement shot a drone in the same area after it flew at a law enforcement helicopter “in a threatening manner,” Kirchmeier said.
The helicopter was assisting surveillance of protests near Highway 1806. A sheriff on board said “the drone came after us,” making the pilot and passengers fear for their lives.
The drone was flying directly above officers in violation of Federal Aviation Administration rules, Kirchmeier said. bout 11 a.m. law enforcement fired on the device, which was then landed by the drone operator.
NoDAPL protester attached himself to construction equipment on October 22, 2016. Source CNN.
NoDAPL protester attached himself to construction equipment on October 22, 2016. Source CNN.
They also report the protesters using more aggressive tactics:
The protesters “engaged in escalated unlawful tactics and behavior,” such as using bicycle locks and makeshift handcuffs to attach themselves to construction equipment and vehicles, the department said. Some cut holes in doors and put their arms through them covered in concrete casts, fusing their arms to the door.

NoDAPL protesters face off with police 10-22-16

Saturday’s arrests follow reports of escalating police abuse at the protest sites, including beatings and unnecessary strip-searches of those arrested

More than 80 people were arrested in North Dakota on Saturday, as police armed with pepper spray descended on a protest near the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction site.

The 83 water protectors were hit with charges ranging from rioting to criminal trespass, according to the Morton County sheriff’s department. The Bismarck Tribune reported:

Kellie Berns, a protester who hung back behind a fence at the scene, said she received reports of people being pepper-sprayed and thrown to the ground and described law enforcement as being more aggressive than in past incidents. She said protesters were encircled by police as they walked onto the site.

“People came back very distressed,” she said of those who returned to the fence following the demonstration. “The pipeline is getting a lot closer, so the stakes are getting higher.”

Protests against DAPL have been ongoing for months, as the Standing Rock Sioux, along with other tribes and environmental activists, say the $3.8 billion, 1,100-mile pipeline threatens their access to clean water and violates Native American treaty rights.

Last week, riot charges against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman were dismissed after she turned herself in to North Dakota police. An arrest warrant was issued after Goodman’s crew videotaped a private security team hired by the pipeline company assaulting peaceful protesters with attack dogs and pepper spray. Meanwhile, documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg faces up to 45 years in prison for reporting on the protests.

“This string of arrests constitutes nothing less than a war on journalism and a victory for fossil fuel interests that have banked on the pipeline,” Food and Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter said last week.

Saturday’s arrests follow reports of escalating police abuse at the protest sites, including beatings and unnecessary strip-searches of those arrested.

On Twitter, Ojibwe activist and attorney Tara Houska wrote: “Journalists, attorneys, indigenous protectors arrested & maced while demonstrating today. Whose interest is North Dakota protecting?”

Construction on the pipeline is continuing despite a request from the federal government to put a halt on activity so that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can properly consider objections.

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