War Has Broken Out in North Dakota

A water defender stands in defiance of a fully militarized North Dakota law enforcement battalion at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction project. (photo: COUNTERCURRENTNEWS)

The situation in North Dakota at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline has degenerated into what can now only fairly be described as a war zone.

The escalating assaults on unarmed protesters by heavily armed, fully militarized police units have transformed the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site into a battlefield.

Scores of people have been injured and medics are struggling to evacuate the injured to area medical facilities for treatment. The scene is one of constant clashes and assaults by North Dakota military police attempting to drive Native American protesters away from the pipeline construction site.

A flashpoint on the Backwater Bridge was the scene of an intense six-hour engagement between “Water Defender” protesters and Morton County, North Dakota, sheriff’s personnel. Using military tactics, law enforcement unleashed barrage after barrage of military grade tear gas, rubber bullets, water sprayed from high-pressure hoses in below freezing temperatures, and concussion grenades. According to the ACLU, “News reports confirm more than 300 people have been injured.”

 The worst injury reported occurred as a result of a concussion grenade thrown by police directly striking a 21-year-old protester from New York. Sophia Wilansky suffered severe damage to her arm when the grenade detonated in close proximity. The injury caused a compound fracture and extensive damage to muscle, nerve, and bone, resulting certainly in a lifelong disability. Details of the Wilansky incident have gone viral on Twitter.

Randi Retweeted
Standing Rock: injured protester’s father says police account is ‘bogus nonsense’ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/23/standing-rock-dakota-access-pipeline-sophia-wilansky-injury?CMP=share_btn_tw  Water protector may lose her arm
Photo published for Officials pin blame for Standing Rock protester's arm injury on demonstrators

Officials pin blame for Standing Rock protester’s arm injury

With hostilities and injuries mounting, ‘president’ Obama is taking a disturbingly hands-off approach.  In an interview with NowThis News on November 2nd, Obama appeared detached from the severity of the conflict playing out in North Dakota, saying at the time, “We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks.”

Indeed, in several more weeks he will no longer be ‘president’. So it is entirely possible that he intends to take no further action and hand the situation off to President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. Leaving behind a raging conflict and … a fitting legacy to his indefensible and disaster-prone energy policy.

It’s not clear what Obama’s interest in seeing this pipeline built is, or what kind of commitments he has made regarding its completion, but as a brutal conflict unfolds on American soil he remains eerily silent. (How about his is one of those ‘invested’ in the coming profits to be had from it along with former Gov Rick Perry and rumored Donald Trump.)

What deepens the concern in this conflict is that it hearkens back to the darkest days of America’s past. The sight of white men with weapons attacking Native Americans defending sacred lands is a return to America’s genocide, and Native America’s holocaust.

The oil wars are not “over there” any longer. They are here, and the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation is the first great battlefield. It is that and a resumption of America’s Indian wars.

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

About David Robinson

David Robinson is an Author and Journalist living in the mid-coast area of Maine. He is a Graduate and Alumni of the Brunswick Police Academy. He served as a JUROR seated on the Cumberland County, Maine, Grand Jury for the first four month session of 2014. Publisher Robinson served 3 months of a 4 month sentence for Conspiracy to defraud the United States, at the FCI Berlin minimum security Satellite Camp in Berlin New Hampshire, as retaliation after he and a friend sued the IRS, unsuccessfully, for Unfair Trade Practices, under Title 15 of the US Code. http://tinyurl.com/hm8gdls http://tinyurl.com/gwdyaps.
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