Despite repeated calls from lawmakers and law enforcement officials to conduct their opposition peacefully, the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protest continues to display repeated acts of lawlessness.
As Standing Rock Fact Checker has noted repeatedly, local ranchers and community members have become increasingly fearful of the protest and its impact spilling over into their communities. This weekend, their fears were validated once again as more than 30 head of cattle went missing.
According to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, “one case involves a dead saddle horse, four dead cows and more than 30 head of missing cattle. The other involves three dead bison. In both cases, some animals appear to have been butchered.” The animals were only from the ranches near the Standing Rock protest camp.
This development came on the heels of protestors publically stating their supply concerns going into the winter months. Nantinki Young, who manages all seven of the protest camp’s kitchens said that her biggest challenge is “making sure that we get enough food distributed,” and that they are “starting to run out of meat.”
Doug Hillie, a local North Dakota rancher, called the developments “disturbing” in an interview with 1090 KTGO-AM. According to Hillie, “it’s just one more step in the harassment…the people hate anybody who don’t agree with their cause, and they’re out to make life miserable for anybody who is not on their side of the fence.”
However, Hillie said what’s more upsetting is that despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the camp, “most of the food pantries have been stripped.” According to Hillie, for “the people who really truly need [food] in the Bismarck-Mandan area, their pickings are pretty slim right now.”
Hillie also has concerns that that the Standing Rock Sioux “brought in these people and have lost control of the camp.” Hillie is referring to the egregious, and increasing, disparity between out of state protestors and their North Dakota counterparts.
As Standing Rock Fact Checker has frequently highlighted, this escalation could’ve been easily avoided if federal law enforcement provided the appropriate assistance to the belabored sheriff’s departments on the scene. There has been more than enough evidence and provocation, but federal officials still maintain their distance and, in doing so, validate illegal actions.