Again, protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline have shown their proclivity for violent and illegal protesting. In yet another attempt to occupy private land, protestors spent hours in a tense standoff with law enforcement that was eventually ended with law enforcement using non-lethal means of crowd dispersion.
Despite what many outlets are reporting, protestors had lit several fires, threw and shot rocks at law enforcement, and were occupying a bridge that was deemed closed due to the damage sustained from a previous protest. Any justification that protestors use for their actions is innately discredited by their goal of illegally occupying private property.
Many protestors are criticizing the use of the fire hoses, but non-lethal means are necessary in order to protect ongoing work activity and to ensure safety of those working and citizens in the area. Protestors started several fires and law enforcement and emergency service officials responded accordingly.
Law enforcement officials and expert observers prophetically noted their concerns about the ongoing protest just this past week. Retired Army Gen. James “Spider” Marks, who toured the area last week said that as someone who “spent a good portion of [his] adult life in Iraq…the similarities are stark.” The Morton County Sheriff’s Department also released a statement which can be found below.
Although law enforcement are doing their best to keep the peace, the inaction of the federal government to uphold the rule of law they swore to protect has allowed, yet again, a dangerous situation to unfold. As a reminder, this is President Obama “letting it play out.”