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Militarized police injure 167 people at Dakota Pipeline using water cannons, flash bang grenades and tear gas

Standing Rock Sioux

(NaturalNews) As protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) ramp up, police may be getting more militarized and aggressive in their attempts to disperse picketing crowds.

The Waking Times reports that some 167 people at the ongoing protests against the DAPL on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation were injured in recent days by militarized police who essentially assaulted a bridge occupied by peaceful demonstrators – a crowd that included men, women, children and older persons.

Even though temperatures were well below freezing, police used a water cannon to disperse the crowd. But, according to a video of the chaotic scene, police also used flash-bang grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets and the LRAD acoustic weapon.

Among the injured, reports The Free Thought Project, was a 13-year-old girl who was reportedly struck in the face by a projectile, and three tribal elders who were seriously injured in the melee. In all, reports from the scene indicated that at least seven people required hospitalization.

Violence, injuries and near-death

Medics on the scene had to perform CPR on one tribal elder who slipped into cardiac arrest. Native News Online reports that the elder remains hospitalized and is in critical condition.

The confrontation with police took place near Cannon Ball, N.D., at the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806, reports said.

Emergency medical personnel from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes attended to the injured, wet and freezing demonstrators who had been staying at the Oceti Sakowin Camp and in a nearby gymnasium. Scores suffered hypothermia, blunt force trauma and open wounds from non-lethal projectiles, as well as contamination from tear gas, according to reports.

A joint statement from the Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor the Earth and Sacred Stone Camp regarding the incident, noted that hundreds of "water protectors" – another term for those protesting the construction of the pipeline out of fears that future leaks will contaminate local water sources – were injured when law enforcement personnel "blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures" November 20.

The statement said that demonstrators came under assault as they used a semi-truck to remove burned out vehicles that police had linked to concrete barriers some weeks ago to block traffic on Highway 1806.

"Water protectors' efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit," the statement said, adding that flares fired by police started a few grass fires that were "ignored" by water cannon operators and extinguished by demonstrators.

Most corporate media avoiding coverage of what is happening at Standing Rock

In addition, police allegedly downed three drones that were reportedly being used by the media, while targeting some journalists with less lethal rounds, the statement claimed.

"National Lawyers Guild legal observers on the frontlines have confirmed that multiple people were unconscious and bleeding after being shot in the head with rubber bullets," the statement noted.

Many who have either witnessed events as participants, or who are otherwise somehow involved in the demonstrations, have also noted a particular lack of interest by the establishment media – the same group that is now ridiculously claiming that alternative media sites like Natural News are nothing but puppets for the Russian government – in what is taking place at Standing Rock reservation.

The Waking Times did report that a few news agencies – Fox News, The New York Times, ABC News and a few others – briefly mentioned or covered the protests, but coverage was conspicuously absent from other major media including CNN, CBS News and MSNBC, among others.

And even then, the Waking Times noted, "their coverage is nothing compared to the work of independent journalists ... ."






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