Last night police and other law enforcement officials scattered pipeline protesters in North Dakota. The police used water cannons to disperse the demonstrators despite freezing temperatures and one woman's arm was so badly injured it may be amputated. Why are they there and how has it come to this?
Here is a description from the National Catholic Reporter:
The demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline began in April, and nd has since brought more than 200 Native American tribes together, in what has been called the largest such gathering in modern times. Support has also come from other corners, including numerous environmental organizations, to the Oceti Sakowin camp near the mouth of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers.
The Standing Rock Sioux have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the pipeline will cross land viewed as sacred, including burial sites, and is protected by existing treaties, and also pose a threat to the tribe's primary water source. The proposed path would take the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe and the Missouri River a half mile upstream of the tribe's reservation boundary. The tribe and supports have noted an earlier route had the pipeline passing near Bismarck, but was rejected early in the planning to protect municipal water supplies. If completed, the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline would carry daily as much as 570,000 barrels of crude oil from western North Dakota to Illinois,