Native American tribal leaders are disappointed that the US District Court's denial of a temporary restraining order to halt construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota is putting more sacred places at risk of desecration. Because of this, protesters have put their safety at risk in an attempt to stop further drenching.
It's been an intense week near the proposed site of Dakota Access pipeline.
Protestor Sophie Watos from Minnesota says, “It was sickening that they would use dogs against peaceful protesters and mace people.”
The confrontations involved a pregnant woman and children who were bitten in the exchange. Many also suffered from the after-effects of what appeared to be pepper spray.
Protestor Quiltman from Oregon “Sieging dogs on our people, that was cold blooded! But I guess it was to be expected. Our people have always got the short end. But we can handle it.”
If completed, the pipeline would transport up to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day across the country to Illinois. The local tribes fear it may contaminate its drinking water and sacred lands.
Watos says, “The lawyer said today it doesn't look good, so it sounds like it's gonna keep going, keep building your pipeline. So, I want to make sure I'm still here so I can defend our land.”
Their struggle has captured the attention and support of outsiders.
Supporter Roy Tom from Ontario says, “Things going on in Canada with the pipeline coming through Canora eventually and I just wanted to support the people here, the community and learn from them.”
A federal judge is set to make a ruling on an injunction filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction.