Justin Glawe of the Daily Beast reports on the latest developments from the Standing Rock Native American Reservation in Sioux County, North Dakota, following last weekend’s violent confrontations between protesters and police officers guarding the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) through the region. During several hours of clashes law enforcement officers, some dressed in paramilitary garb, fired rubber bullets, concussion grenades, CS gas canisters and a water cannon at crowds gathered on the nearby Backwater Bridge in Morton County, leaving dozens injured. The river-crossing lies to the north-west of the main protest camp, Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Oth or the Sacred Stone, in the Cannon Ball area.
“Police at Standing Rock said it was too dangerous to move burned-out vehicles from a bridge there on Nov. 20, leaving it to protesters like Vanessa Dundon to get rid of the wrecks so emergency vehicles could get through in the case anyone needed medical treatment.
That’s when police opened fire, according to a lawsuit filed by Dundon on Monday in federal court. The protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline were choked by tear gas and struck by rubber bullets and bean bags, the lawsuit states. In sub-freezing temperatures, police soaked protesters with a water cannon over and over again. After being struck by the tear gas canister, Dundon was shot in the leg with a rubber bullet before being pulled from the bridge by other protesters. In a triage tent, paramedics stopped the bleeding from her eye before taking her to a Bismarck emergency room where she received stitches. Within a few days, she was told it was likely that her retina was detached, and she may not see out of her right eye again, according to the lawsuit.
Dundon may never regain vision in her right eye after being struck in the face with a tear gas canister that day.”
Meanwhile there is growing speculation about a number of “improvised bombs” allegedly discovered by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department in the wake of the riotous events at the Backwater Bridge. Photos of the homemade devices were posted on the force’s Facebook Page before they were deleted in response to queries about their authenticity from a number of journalists visiting the region. Activists and commentators are calling foul and demanding further information from state authorities.
More background details from the Young Turks below.