Cannon Ball, ND – Water protectors attempting to clear two damaged military trucks from Highway 1806 were met with a militarized response by law enforcement working to ensure the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sunday evening. Police used tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and more crowd control munitions.
By midnight of November 20th, injuries to over 160 people were reported, as medics also confirmed that a 13-year-old girl was shot in the face by law enforcement, two people suffered cardiac arrests, at least one person is in critical condition, and many contusions and damage to hands from rubber bullets. Many people were also experiencing hypothermia from the water cannons and have lung and eye irritation from tear gas and mace.
Unicorn Riot reported live on and off through the night as the standoff lasted over six hours.
TheFreeThoughtProject.com provided the following report on the attack:
Witnesses on the scene say police are employing tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, mace, LRAD sound cannons, and other weapons, as they moved to encircle the crowd trapped on the bridge — and at the mercy of merciless police.
Police began this assault on the captive group amid a total media blackout — a single Facebook Live video filmed by Kevin Gilbertt is the only live feed of events unfolding, as the already spotty internet availability has also been cut by law enforcement repeatedly during similar clashes.
Gilbertt filmed from atop a nearby hill — using the only spot with reliable internet in the area.
As Gilbertt repeatedly noted, it was the water protectors who snuffed several fires which erupted after police fired tear gas cannons. While the activists worked quickly to put out the fires, police ignored their efforts and proceeded to inundate them in below freezing temperatures.
According to Gilbertt and other witnesses, those trapped on the bridge had no means to escape the barrage of rubber bullets, water, LRAD sound cannons, tear gas, and mace. Concerned individuals not originally part of the standoff attempted to deliver blankets to the doused victims of sporadic water cannon fire — but they, too, were caught in the enclosed space.
In live video, the sound of rubber bullets being shot occasionally punctuate the obviously chaotic and desperate situation. According to Gilbertt, water protectors cannot leave the bridge without trampling each other — and thus have been forced to inhale the noxious fumes.
According to a witness Gilbertt interviewed under the condition of anonymity, water protectors arrived earlier in the day to clear the burned out law enforcement vehicles from the roadway — but police ignored the act and began escalating violence.
Indigenous Environmental Network published a video report with a medic who stated that at least four people were hit by rubber bullets, with three hit in the face and neck.
— IndigenousEnviroNet (@IENearth) November 21, 2016