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On 27 October. police attacked Native American water protectors in Standing Rock, North Dakota, after they had moved their encampment to be directly in the path of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction.
The attack follows arrests of nearly 130 on 22-23 October who were charged with crimes including aggravated assault, participating in a riot and resisting arrest. Protectors set up barricades with cars and old tires to try and stop officials from moving in. The state’s protection of a private pipeline and dismissal of the Lakota people’s treaty rights recalls the way officials were more concerned about the destruction of a gas station than human lives following the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Among those calling for support of the Standing Rock water protectors are Palestinian rights supporters and several trade unions, including the Communications Workers of America and National Nurses United. Legally, the pipeline should not be built underneath the Missouri river while an environmental report is still being written, but the pipeline’s backers want to do as much construction as they can before winter begins and temperatures become too frigid for building.