Video Evidence: Water protectors recovered explosive canisters thrown by police.
Reports from Standing Rock: Concussion grenades, hypothermia & the fight for clean water
“There are no words to describe the pain of watching my daughter cry”
By Rose Aguilar –
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal member JoBeth Brownotter still hears the screams from the front line where she was tear-gassed and sprayed with cold water in freezing temperatures. “I am getting sick. Hypothermia is no joke. My lungs and ribs hurt from coughing and I’m wheezing like crazy,” she told me over messenger. “Despite all that I am going through, I will continue to stand tall in prayer.”
On Sunday, Brownotter took part in her third action against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which would transport 570,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois.Water protectors are concerned about the pipeline crossing the Missouri River, which provides drinking water to 18 million people and is the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s main source. This is the first time she’s ever been involved in a political action.
A few months ago, while she was recovering from foot surgery at home, she watched as people from miles away traveled to Standing Rock to join the growing movement and express solidarity. “I knew I had to be there,” she said. “So I left home to stand with my people. At that point, I started another chapter in my life.”
On Sunday, hundreds of Native Americans and their non-native allies gathered on a bridge just north of the Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannonball, North Dakota to remove burnt vehicles and a police barricade that has been blocking traffic on Highway 1806 and protecting pipeline construction since October 27.
Rob Keller, spokesman with the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, informed me via email that the blockade and law enforcement presence will be at the bridge for “as long as protestors are not peaceful.” Keller also confirmed that new concrete barriers have since been put in place to keep “protesters away from the law enforcement line.”
The Army National Guard monitors a northern barrier on Highway 1806. The bridge just north of the main camp, which was the site of Sunday’s action, serves as the southern barrier. In essence, the pipeline is being protected with police and military vehicles so construction can continue. Anyone who wants to oppose it no longer has access.