Oceti Sakowin, ND – Since last Thursday’s standoff with police, which ended in nearly 150 arrests, the global community responded with a massive outcry of support. In recent days, organized solidarity events have taken place around the world, demonstrating support everywhere from Vancouver, B.C. to Taiwan.
12 people were arrested in San Francisco on Monday after blocking the entrance to the headquarters of Citibank, one of the primary financiers of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
That same day, seven people were arrested in Salt Lake City for blockading a Wells Fargo location, demanding the bank cancel their investment in the pipeline.
Several support events also took place in Canada. On Friday night, indigenous people from the Kahnawake Mohawk nation blockaded a high-traffic commuter highway bridge leading to Montreal.
The anarchist news site It’s Going Down received an anonymous report of a #NoDAPL solidarity action that took place on Saturday in Ontario:
“…several TD Bank ATMs were smashed with hammer and chisel and tagged “NO DAPL” in Kingston, Ontario. As of Monday, all machines at the downtown branch remain out of service and guarded by private security…This was a small gesture of solidarity with water protectors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, as TD Bank is a key financial backer of the project.“
Solidarity messages were also sent to the water protectors at Standing Rock from New Zealand by the island’s indigenous Maori people.
On Tuesday morning, a protest in New York City in support of Standing Rock disrupted the morning commute at Grand Central Station.
The #NoDAPL supporters in New York City also interrupted business hours at Bank of America and JP Morgan locations, both of whom provide funding for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Over the weekend, an online trend began of people “checking in” to Standing Rock on Facebook, in an attempt to confuse police attempts to determine who is at the pipeline resistance camps. While the effectiveness of this method has been questioned, it has unquestionably grown into a large show of support for water protectors, forcing #NoDAPL to become a trending topic on Facebook. As of Monday, over a million people had checked in to Standing Rock on Facebook.
The Morton County Sheriff issued a statement on Facebook claiming that they were “not monitoring Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location for that matter. These rumors/claims are completely false.”
Unicorn Riot has no direct information regarding whether Morton County officials monitor Facebook check-ins as part of their intelligence gathering operations against water protectors.
We imagine that such a method would be unnecessary given that the camps already seem to be under 24/7 visual, aerial, and photo/video surveillance, most likely including the use of advanced facial recognition and thermal imaging technology. However, based on previous reporting, we can confirm that Morton County does monitor social media for intelligence gathering purposes.
Standoff Continues Near DAPL Construction in North Dakota
Despite the frigid temperature over the weekend and the looming threat of bodily injury by police, the Oceti Sakowin camp saw a surge of hundreds more allies joining those gathered near the Standing Rock reservation.
Among these allies were coalitions standing formally in support of the pipeline resistance efforts. Groups included labor unions from Madison, Wisconsin and Labor for Palestine, both of whom have urged the AFL-CIO to reverse their support of the pipeline.
The camp was also joined by John Bolenbough, former Enbridge oil spill clean-up employee turned whistle-blower. Bolenbough, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, claims his community was devastated by the tar sands industry. He is actively campaigning to expose oil spill cover-ups by Enbridge and is working on a film to spread his message.
The Guardian, AP, NY Daily News, and Mother Jones, among many other news teams, also sent reporters who have seen the attempt by Morton County Sheriff’s Department and DAPL security to silence this story by targeting and arresting journalists.
Amnesty International and the United Nations deployed human rights observers over the weekend to monitor treatment of water protectors who have been arrested and jailed.
On Saturday, a large crowd of water protectors marched onto the Highway 1806 bridge which was the site of a confrontation between warriors & North Dakota armed forces on Thursday night.
Grand Chief Edward John of the International Indian Treaty Council and Roberto Borrero arrived on behalf of the UN on Sunday and immediately began to take testimony from women who were arrested en masse on Thursday.
Many of the women experienced human rights violations such as being denied access to diabetic medications and other urgent medical needs.
In the days since the brutal, militarized assault which pushed water protectors off the Oceti Sakowin treaty land camp, police have established a hard zone around the area in which DAPL construction is now taking place (an area we have been told contains many sacred sites). We have been told that DAPL construction is less than two miles away from the Missouri river.
Police and military forces deployed by North Dakota to protect DAPL assets are now within a mile of the main resistance camp.
The water protectors assembled at Standing Rock insist they will continue to resist construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and most show no sign of intending to leave.
Unicorn Riot was told that on Monday evening, a group of water protectors swam across the river to confront DAPL security, who were present on the other side of the river with floodlights, razor wire, and pepper spray.
No arrests took place as a result of the swim.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol reported that later Monday night at the state capitol grounds in Bismarck,
a “decent amount” of motor oil was poured on the sidewalk, limestone walls and windows at about 9:32 p.m. around the entrance of the legislative wing on the west side of the complex. –Forum News Service
A sign was also left at the scene which read “You can’t drink oil.”
Early Tuesday afternoon, a group of water protectors paddled canoes through the floodplains on US Army Corps of Engineers land to attempt to observe DAPL construction. A video posted to Twitter by journalist Alex Rubinstein shows armed men (possibly North Dakota law enforcement or National Guard) threatening people with arrest on Army Corps land, which is believed to be outside their jurisdiction. The men threatening water protectors with arrest claimed to have a “document” indicating permission from the Army Corps to conduct arrests on Army Corps property. This document was not shown to anyone and Unicorn Riot is currently attempting to contact the Army Corps of Engineers to confirm or deny this claim.
Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information surrounding the ongoing struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Some writing for this article contributed by Andrea D.
To support our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:
Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle #NoDAPL from early summer 2016 to present:
March – May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the “Toxic Tour,” Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple’s email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People’s Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp