Dakota Access Harms Protestors with Dogs and Mace

Is any private business activity worth attacking opponents of one’s work with trucks, dogs, and mace? Dakota Access thinks its pipeline is worth doing physical harm to human beings:

Construction workers jumped into their trucks, and Frejo says they started to use the vehicles like weapons, going through the crowd erratically and coming very close to hitting some.

“Within minutes, a lot more trucks showed up,” Yellow Bird said. “And then the dogs came.”

Approximately eight dog handlers, hired by Dakota Access, led the barking and snarling dogs right up to the front line.

“The women joined arms, and we started saying ‘Water is life!’ A dog came up and bit my leg, and right after that a man came up to us and maced the whole front line,” Young Bear said.

Young Bear and at least five others suffered injuries from dog bites, and approximately 30 others suffered temporary blindness after receiving a chemical spray to the face and eyes. A horse owned by a Native American water defender also suffered bite wounds from the dogs.

“They let one dog off his leash and ran loose into the crowd,” Frejo said. “That’s when people started protecting themselves against the dog. The guy that let his dog go came into the crowd to retrieve him and started swinging on everybody. He hit some young boys, and they defended themselves” [Sarah Sunshine Manning, “‘And Then the Dogs Came’: Dakota Access Gets Violent, Destroys Graves, Sacred Sites,” Indian County Today, 2016.09.04].

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now gets the violence on video. The video includes blood and foul language:

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier blames the protestors, saying the situation Saturday “was more like a riot than a protest.”

Yes, protestors crossed the fence. Call it trespassing. Is violence by a corporation a proportional and proper response? Is shipping oil worth drawing blood?

Update 09:51 CDT: Tim Mentz explains that Dakota Access carried out this violence against protestors on land owned by one David Meyer. Dakota Access holds an easement, but does not own the land itself. Mentz, a cultural resource expert, explains that the site Dakota Access bulldozed is a rare tribal archaeological treasure with stone rings, some now disrupted by Saturday’s dig.

Oglala Lakota College’s KOLC-TV channel offers interviews with many more Native people explaining why the Dakota Access pipeline poses such a threat to Native life and to the water we all need.

36 Responses to Dakota Access Harms Protestors with Dogs and Mace

  1. We should all be objecting to this slow motion disaster we could avoid. The Dakota Access will cross the Missouri River in a couple of places as well as the rivers that drain into the river at a huge cost. The costs will even go further when this thing leaks and leak it will into the river. Why not take the money and build a system of refineries in addition to the one that already exists in North Dakota? https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gJU9_Dt6Oz8JrcnjrcTk8mOo1bk&hl=en_US They could then capture the natural gas they are releasing into the air as burn off so that this limited resource could be used to its fullest. Petroleum products have a place, but these are being abused by the corporations that control them to keep the prices for their record profits and that of their shareholders. The whole core of capitalism is at its finest corrupted display of what is the stagnating chasm between the wealth and the people. Subsidized profits by the oil companies at the expense of the environment and the people are the core of this hazard. The tremendous waste of resources is astounding.

  2. No tasers or bean bag rounds fired into he crowd? What a bunch of wimps! (Sarcasm mode disengaged) This is how you escalate a situation, not solve a problem. I think these folks have been watching too many Hollywood films. Let his dog go???? With no specific target???? What the hell kind of K9 handler does that! Evidently, some rent-a-handler that couldn’t make in the REAL K9 world!

  3. Paul Seamans

    Almost any flowing river will have evidence of habitation by the Indian people. This is even more so in a place like where the Cannonball River meets the Missouri River. The Indian people know from oral tradition that this area was used in the past by the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara people. People that traditionally lived along the river.

    Well, a native archeologist just recently did a cultural resource survey of two miles of the route after being invited in by a landowner. Dakota Access had previously done their own survey and had found nothing of significance. The North Dakota Historical Society concurred. If usually takes a trained tribal member to know what to look for. This native archeologist found evidence of 27 burials, 16 stone prayer circles, and 19 effigies. This information was made public on Friday and a court order was applied for to stop construction on this two mile stretch.

    On Saturday Dakota Access moved their bulldozers forward from a couple miles down the route. They skipped doing the other sections of the route and moved to this two miles section to strip off the top soil. This was done on Labor Day weekend. Were other Dakota Access workers on the job on this day or just on this two mile section?

    About 300 people were out on a prayer walk when they saw what was happening with the bulldozers. The protest was spontaneous when they saw that their ancestors burial grounds were being dozed. This protest was not planned.

    The security firm that had the dog handlers there was the worldwide firm called G4S. The same firm with experience in places like Iraq. It has over 600,000 employees.

    Unfortunately the news media makes it look like the protestors stormed the site with no provocation. They were protecting sacred ground. The truth will come out.

  4. mike from iowa

    Dakota Access had previously done their own survey and had found nothing of significance.
    Ft Knox is in Kentucky. What were they looking for? Sounds like this outfit is being run by students of Ollie North and William Casey.

  5. Thanks, Paul! Very interesting!

  6. BTW, didn’t Steven Segal make this movie?? ;-)

  7. What is the proper way to handle a situation like this? The company has an easement to work on this property, and the protesters entered the easement land for the specific purpose of disrupting said work. Were the rent-a-cops on defense or offense on the easement property? If someone entered my property to disrupt me from working on it, would I be on defense or offense to sic my dog on them? Is it proper for the protesters to protest on one side of the fence but not the other? Is it proper for the rent-a-cops to engage protesters on one side of the fence but not the other? Can protesters do whatever they want? Can rent-a-cops do whatever they want?

    In the video it looks to me like some arrests are in order, and I’m not just talking about people on one side of the skirmish.

  8. mike from iowa

    One wonders about DAP. Last week they were supposedly digging on Corp of Engineer land w/o permission. This week they apparently accelerated a dig on sacred tribal land before a judgment from the courts. Why?

    My best guess is they figure once the damage is done, the courts will allow them to continue defacing sacred lands and trespassing as they see fit. Time is of the essence when profits are at stake. Nothing appears to be sacred anymore, except korporate profit. Maybe Native Americans should make korporate headquarters the site of their next sacred place. Use eminent domain and see how Wall Street likes it.

  9. I wonder if the nomads who built a fire pit 1,000 years ago had any idea that someday that circle of rocks they placed for a campfire then moved on and forgot about would be considered sacred by someone? They would probably get a good laugh out of that.

  10. Paul mentions G4S.

    G4S employed Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, for nine years. The Atlantic says that G4S is the world’s largest private security firm. According to Vanity Fair, G4S is the third-largest private employer in the world, behind Walmart and Taiwanese manufacturer FoxConn. G4S is three times larger than the British military.

  11. Ror, the law recognizes differences in your rights as at your own private residence and your rights in public workplaces or on other people’s land as a private contractor, doesn’t it? I agree the protestors can easily be charged with trespassing, but do we have statutes allowing the physical assault carried out by the private security contractors?

  12. Paul Seamans

    Mr. Rorschach, the same thing may be said about the colonial Jamestown site or sites occupied by visiting Vikings yet we don’t knowingly bulldoze those sites.

    The route dozed by DAPL on Saturday included burial sites that were just recently identified. Watch Cory’s update video by Tim Mentz if you are interested.

  13. Also of interest is the fact that the access was original set to be built close to Bismark, North Dakota. That was changed due to proximity of leaks into the water supply. Only Indian land know is deemed to be so second place that they will go back to agression to get their way. The flooding of the river for dams benefits us all, but mainly it displaced Native people for the benefit of white interests like ag and tourism. This pipeline endangers them now as well.

  14. mike from iowa

    Rohr-I’m guessing those nomads probably shared a thought or two about those who came and went before themselves. Unless you are a totally un-inquisitive, non-feeling person, you’d probabaly felt the same.

  15. This will get worse before it gets better!

    I have heard reports of security personal being lynched. I have also heard that some of the dogs were also injured.

    So far no firearms, in any form, are being used on either side, and that is good thing. However, this isn’t going to hold forever. Someone is going to get shot, someone is going to die unless this situation is resolved soon.

    Dakota Access has only a limited time permits, basically saying they need to get the work done this year.

    Right now I have more questions than answers.

  16. No one has been lynched

  17. The dogs are doing the harming to both horse and human and it is disgusting to think they have been brought into the picture to escalate it

  18. mike from iowa

    Security personnel being lynched? I didn’t know North Dakota had any trees. Did see one un-leashed dog that should have had the bejeezus kicked out of him going after horses. Really surprised no protestors clubbed the damn thing to death.

  19. As the dogs came from somewhere else, they should now be quarantined for rabies tests

  20. Patricia Shiery

    Cory, I wanted to say thank you for posting this story and as always being concise and accurate with your information. However, the Army Corp of Engineers recently admitted that there is no easement. http://countercurrentnews.com/2016/08/army-corps-engineers-confirms-no-written-easement-dakota-access-pipeline-construction-corps-property/
    Additionally, I wanted to thank everyone that has made comments here for staying respectable in what they have said. Many other blogs and social media sites allow people that lack the proper education and understanding of not only the Native people, their customs, traditions and past experiences to say idiotic things, ie “the people who wrote the treaties are now dead, why are the Indians still complaining about it? get over it.” The protest at Standing Rock over DAPL is multifaceted. Yes, in a sense it is about treaty violations, but these are violations that have a long history of constant and blatant violation, it is about breaking laws, it is about protecting water, it is about the rights of ALL people not just Native American people. The DAPL will affect both native and Non-native economically, environmentally and our health. I just urge everyone to do the research before speaking from emotion to find an understanding of what this is about in its entirety. DAPL is in panic mode, they will do all they can to protect their money. They will do all they can to make it look as if the protest is a riot when it’s not. They will lie to make themselves look good and put themselves in the position of victim to inflame the public. Evil is as evil does!

  21. Kai Bosworth

    lynched?!? do you know what that word means?!?! ugh.

  22. Which right-wing propaganda outlet is pushing the false story about security people being lynched, MC? Please let us know who, besides you, is spreading these rumors.

    I certainly don’t blame anyone for defending themselves or their horses from vicious dog attacks. If the dogs were harmed, I blame the handlers who turned them loose to bite people and horses. And yes, it needs to be determined whether all of those dogs have had their shots.

  23. Mr. Seamans, If any graves were bulldozed I certainly hope that any exposed bones will be located and properly handled. I start out from the position that archaeologists who surveyed the route acted in good faith. However, it is always possible that things were missed. It is also possible that the Native Americans who looked from outside the right-of-way into the right-of-way and believe that from a distance they saw 27 graves may be mistaken. I would like the truth of the matter to be reported one way or the other.

  24. mike from iowa

    Results – North Dakota
    Literature Review
    The Class I Literature Review determined that 33 archaeological sites are mapped within a mile
    radius of the USFWS wetland and grassland easements. These sites consist of 19 historic or
    prehistoric artifact scatters, 3 historic farmsteads, and 11 site leads (historic mines or quarries)
    that have not been formally assessed to determine NRHP eligibility. Of these sites, only four
    (32MNx334, 32MN1339, 32MN1340, and 32MNx929) are mapped within the Project survey
    corridor, and all of these sites were recommended as unevaluated pending additional survey
    Field Surveys
    A Class II/III cultural resources inventory of the USFWS wetland and grassland easements in
    Mountrail and Williams Counties, North Dakota was conducted between August of 2014 and
    April of 2015. The surveys resulted in the revisit of four previously recorded sites. Of these
    sites, no evidence of site 32MN334 was encountered. The other three resources (32MN0929,
    32MN1339 and 32MN1340) are stone features that are unevaluated for listing in the National
    Register of Historic Places. The field surveys verified the boundaries of these three sites within
    the survey corridor, and the Project workspace was subsequently modified to avoid impacts to
    these sites. To ensure the protection of these sites, exclusionary fencing will be placed along the
    outer workspace boundary, and an Environmental Inspector (EI) will monitor construction
    activities to ensure that no impacts occur to these features. No additional cultural resources were
    encountered during the field efforts, and no further work is recommended for the USFWS
    wetland and grassland easements traversed by the Project in North Dakota (Table 6-2).
    Table 6-2
    Archaeological Sites Revisited in North Dakota
    Site No. County MP Site Type Cultural Affiliation Preliminary NRHP
    Archaeological Sites
    32MNx334 Mountrail 8.0 Artifact scatter Unknown – no evidence
    of site encountered Not eligible
    32MN929 Mountrail 7.6 Stone features
    (cairns) Unknown
    Unevaluated –
    avoided by
    modification to
    project workspace
    32MN1339 Mountrail 7.6 Prehistoric stone
    feature Unknown
    Unevaluated –
    outside Project
    32MN1340 Mountrail 7.6 Prehistoric stone
    feature Unknown
    Unevaluated –
    outside Project

  25. mike from iowa

    I would like to know who did the site surveys for DAPL. Doesn’t really say.

  26. Paul Seamans

    mike from Iowa, I don’t know who exactly did the surveys for DAPL. I do know that for the KXL, from reports of landowner friends, that the survey was a hurried up affair. The people doing the survey were in no way affiliated with the South Dakota tribes and did not know what to look for. Unless you have connections with the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation you will not know what to look for as regards cultural sites. TransCanada only did cultural surveys on what they considered to be likely sites. This amounted to only about a third of the route. I did not see them surveying in my area. I could have missed them but I was looking for them and I notice these things (tire tracks in grass and such).

    The sad thing is that the PUC has never given much importance to protecting cultural resources and is willing to accept whatever these pipeline companies tell them.

  27. mike from iowa

    Thanks, Paul. I figure they would hire people sympathetic to their cause to produce the results they want. Color me really cynical.

  28. Paul Seamans

    mike, a couple of years ago I attended an NRC hearing in Rapid City on the Powertech uranium permit in the Black Hills. One subject discussed was cultural resource surveys. On the stand was a professor from Sioux Falls Augustana who performed a cultural resource survey of the site. A well respected man. Opposition lawyers got him to admit that as a non-native that he probably missed significant sites as he did not have the training and the knowledge that someone growing up as a Lakota/Dakota/Nakota who became an archeologist would have.

  29. pretty big reasons to support Henery Red Cloud in his bid against the republicans for the 3 member board of the PUC.

  30. Some crazy stuff happened on this Action. Why were not police there? WTF? The construction was accelerated on purpose. The sheriff knew this was going to happen. Letting private security challenge several hundred protesters? With big mean dogs? This company should have done press on the archeological reports rather than send a wannabe army out on the freakin prairie. Then start bulldozing while knowing there were new legal filings done Friday. Geez. Go to court not bring bulldozers and dogs. The judge is going to hold a hearing tomorrow and I’m sure the “poor innocent company” will claim being the victim.

    The sheriff, governor, lieutenant governor have all condemned the people opposing this pipeline. In derogatory terms for sure.

    This looked like the South 60 years ago people. Now many more
    Supporters are going to go to Cannonball.

    Seeing the videos I’m amazed nobody was seriously hurt. Wow.

    The Department of Justice needs to make a statement. And send mediation. Now.

  31. A huge energy corporation hires a huge “security” corporation to put down a peaceful protest against their questionable appropriation of lands and vicious, deadly attack animals are loosed upon unarmed people. No authorized law enforcement involved. How in the hell is this not the leading item in every news media across the nation? In the land of the free, this is obscene.

  32. Paul Seamans

    Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC was in camp on Friday, maybe some of Saturday. Don’t know if he had any camera’s at the Saturday protest. He surely will have a report real soon. Thank God for internet postings and people like Cory or we wouldn’t know anything about this story.

  33. MC, your statement about alleged lynchings is irresponsible and unsubstantiated. If anyone had been killed along the pipeline route, the news would be all over that story. Frosting the false allegation of murder, you suggest that security dogs’ lives are more important than protestors’ lives. Not cool.

    Even if Dakota Access is on a timeline, is their violent response to protestors justified?

  34. barry freed

    The dog had blood in its mouth because he bit his tongue. The puncture wound on the right side is from a canine tooth and plainly visible.

  35. The man with the puncture wound is from a self inflicted canine bite that happened while he was waving to his girl friend. The dog that attacked the man on the horse, was clearly an innocent bystander that happened to be encouraged to go inspect the horse to see if they could be friends. The bulldozers that destroyed the graves, were not being controlled by humans and somehow ran amok with a computer malfunction. The workers themselves, were really not there as it was a holiday weekend called Labor Day in honor of workers. The Natives and interested parties, are clearly wrong about wanting to protect their lands and the waters we all depend on. For some unknown reason, South Dakotan’s want their water to have a sheen on it so it reflects the dismal cloud covering we all will experience when the gloom sets in on what has been altered and destroyed. Natives and those that care, want to avoid this at all costs.