In the last two days living at standing Rock has been a matter of life and death. Police have deployed all measures possible against Standing Rock protesters. What was the cause of Standing Rocks chaos? The protest is against multi-billion dollar pipeline (Dakota Access oil pipeline) which people believe that will negatively affect water supplier in the area. The demonstration has been off and on for months.
Violence Erupts at Standing Rock
On Sunday 20/11/2016 violence erupted at standing Rock, wherein the protesters set two vehicles and a bridge on fire. The protesters were estimated to be about 400 in number. The police used several means to stop the ongoing demonstration. According to Donna Hushka (a spokeswoman for the sheriffs department) the police had to use the water cannon to control the protesters. Not only did the law enforcement use water cannon but they also used rubber bullets and teargas. The demonstration was reported to be going on Monday morning. Here is a video of some of the violence that has broken out at Standing Rock.
The demonstration left more than 150 protesters and one police injured. According to one of the Doctors, the protesters affected were soaked by water in low temperatures (about 23 degrees). The protesters were first dispersed with tear gas then soaked down with freezing cold water. It was reported that approximately 200-300 people were admitted to a hospital on late Sunday night for treatment. Seven people were admitted to a hospital for serious injuries. Among the patients with serious injuries were two elders who suffered cardiac arrest.
Causes of the Violence
According to protesters the recent clashes started when they tried to remove a roadblock on a bridge that was blocking the route to the city of Bismark. The people had negotiated with the law enforcement earlier on but it took them several weeks to fulfill their promise. The roadblock posed as a threat to the people accessing the protest camp.
The Water Supply and the Pipeline
Thousands of people are against the 1,170-mile oil pipeline, pointing out that it will threaten the main source of pure water. The contractors behind that project have come out to express their thoughts. The Energy Transfer Partners (the contractors behind the project) have pointed out that it will take all necessary measures to make sure the water source (Missouri River) is not affected.
The Appeal to President Obama
The elders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe called on President Obama to stop the pipeline construction as early as possible to prevent more violence. The tribe leaders said that they were disappointed with the law enforcement and the methods they used against the protesters. At the beginning of this month President Obama addressed Standing Rock people, whereby he said that they will wait for several more weeks and decide the best solution to the situation.