After blocking a construction yard where construction equipment is kept for the Dakota Access oil pipeline, hundreds of protesters dispersed without arrests being made. According to Rob Keller Morton County sheriff's spokesman, the large crowd of approximately 500 protesters left the site after linking arms to block its entrance near the rural town of Mandan. The protest meant that workers had to leave the area.
However, Reuters has reported that local authorities are currently investigating another incident. Pipeline protesters have claimed that a woman was struck by a man who drove a truck over her feet and fired shots into the air.
There have been many videos and images posted online. They show a man in a vehicle holding a handgun and yelling obscenities while driving through a crowd of protesters. However, the man was not identified.
While the event and the lady’s injury are unclear at present, one video shows the man striking a woman while she hangs off the truck's side-view mirror. Protesters have commented stating that a woman's hand had been smashed, requiring three stitches on her finger and her feet had been run over. The woman could not immediately be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman Energy Transfer Partners – the company leading the construction of the pipeline – stated that the man with the gun "is not associated with the pipeline project in any way."
"It is my understanding he lives in the area and was just trying to get where he needed to go and felt threatened," Granado said in an email.
The Morton County sheriff's department is now looking into the events, Keller noted.
The 1200 mile Dakota Access pipeline is almost complete. However, once small section has been halted due to extensive, global protests that have come as a result of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other protesters fearing that the pipeline could affect local water supply and disturb tribal sacred cultural sites.
Protests begun in April this year and have continued through spring, summer, and fall, with winter coming. While stopping the pipeline’s construction is the long-term goal of the group, the short-term goal is dealing with the winter. Temporary structures are being built at the camp and chopping firewood is constant.
“Challenges are definitely the weather and the wind. It’s going to get cold soon, so it’s kind of hard to organise a lot of people,” said Anika Salguero.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/14112016/shots-fired-at-dakota-access-protest/