By Lynda Mapes
27 October 2016
(Seattle Times) – Here’s what’s happening:
- Seattle Times environment reporter Lynda Mapes and Times photographer Alan Berner are on the ground through the end of the week to report on protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Bismarck, N.D.
- Hundreds of protesters have joined the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in their effort to block construction of the pipeline they say threatens water supplies and sacred sites.
- American Indian tribes in Washington state on Tuesday called on President Obama to overhaul the way the federal government consults with tribes on fossil-fuel export and other projects. Also on Tuesday, the Obama administration asked for the second time that Energy Transfer Partners stand down on the Dakota Access Pipeline, to no avail.
- Read our primer on what’s going on with the oil pipeline. And here’s what we’re reading about the project and the region’s history. Here’s what happened on Wednesday.
Update, 2:32 p.m. (Pacific Time):
Alfred Kills His Horse, 27, of the Lakota Nation, said he was standing on the front lines and was shot by a bean bag from a shotgun.
“The water is everything to us. I don’t understand why this chaos is coming to us. We all drink water,” he said. “I don’t want the violence. I don’t want to get shot. We don’t know any other way. We have been fighting the U.S. government for hundreds of years.”
Update, 2:09 p.m. (Pacific Time):
Protesters on horseback are galloping toward the front-line of the demonstration, wearing gas masks.
“They started advancing on our lines,” said Daniel Yellow Fat, Standing Rock Sioux tribal councilman. “They opened up a big gash on a man.”
Update, 1:58 p.m.:
Police are advancing with armored-personnel vehicle and ATVs. Campers are surrounded and outnumbered. Seven empty buses are en route while police move in.
Some protesters have locked themselves onto a pickup truck.
“You will be pepper sprayed if you do not get off of the pickup,” an officer said through a megaphone.
Update, 1:42 p.m.:
Police continue to work to clear the protesters’ camp on land owned by the Dakota Access Pipeline developer.
Update, 12:46 p.m.:
Police continue to push demonstrators south down the highway toward the protesters’ main camp about a half mile away. The front-line camp is owned by pipeline developers. Opponents began moving the camp there in the path of construction last weekend.
The first arrest on Thursday was made there as police encircle the camp, moving closer and closer, foot by foot.
“We need as much people as possible. They started spraying (pepper spray). They are pushing tents down,” said Devin Blackcloud, a Standing Rock tribal member. “No one is budging. There are 150, 200 people willing to be arrested.”
Some campers are running. Police pursued. [more]