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(6,335 posts)
Thu Nov 3, 2016, 12:41 PM Nov 2016

Police Fire Rubber Bullets as Pipeline Protesters Try to Protect Burial Site [View all]

Source: NBC News

STANDING ROCK, North Dakota — Police in riot gear shot rubber bullets and used pepper spray on demonstrators — who call themselves water protectors — on the shoreline of the Cantapeta Creek, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation here on Wednesday.

After a few relatively peaceful days at the campground where thousands have gathered to demonstrate against a controversial North Dakota oil pipeline, demonstrators put out calls on social media to "make your way to the river" for a "river action," but to do so "in prayer."

In a Facebook Live stream, Cempoalli Twenny, who says he is at Standing Rock to protect the water, said, "The pipeline is getting really close to the river now, so it'

Demonstrators on the shoreline prayed, played drums, sang, and waded into the river towards the base of the hill where armed police stood.

It was a "100 percent peaceful protest," according to activist Erin Schrode, who was shot in the lower back with a rubber bullet while standing on the shoreline opposite police. Schrode had joined others from the camp in solidarity as they prayed on the shoreline.

A confrontation erupted after law enforcement dismantled a wooden bridge that demonstrators constructed to access the sacred site.

Related: At Dakota Pipeline, Protesters Questions of Surveillance and 'Jamming' Linger

"I was shot in point blank range," said Schrode, who says she is shaken but physically will recover. "Another water protector was also shot at twice at point blank range, but the rubber bullet hit the water, and not him."

In a press release, the Morton County Sheriff's Department said it used "less-than-lethal ammunition to control the situation" when a man threw bottles at officers on the police line and when another charged the police line. "Officers also deployed pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the group of protesters who came across the water and camp at officers," the release said.

Even as law enforcement warned protesters to leave the area and return to their camp, demonstrators could be heard yelling back at police.

A person pours a pepper spray antidote into a protester's eyes during a protest against the building of a pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannonball, North Dakota, U.S. November 2, 2016. STEPHANIE KEITH / Reuters
"There was absolutely no provocation of any kind," said film director Josh Fox, who was also on scene. "The police pepper sprayed people sitting in the water."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/dakota-pipeline-protests/police-fire-rubber-bullets-pipeline-protesters-seek-protect-burial-site-n677051

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