North Dakota Pipeline Protests Escalating, Hundreds Injured

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According to a medic officials and police on site, around 170 demonstrators have been injured while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Seven people have been hospitalized for severe head injuries after altercations with the police. Three out of those seven are reportedly grand elders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

“There’s been no signs of violence on the side of the [water] protectors. We’ve seen some folks being injured…it really does feel like a war zone, and it doesn’t feel like we’re in America in 2016,” a protester told Indigenous Rising Media, deeming the overall situation “very scary.”

North Dakota police continue to use tactics such as tear gas, rubber bullets, mace, and water cannons against the masses of demonstrators protesting the pipeline at the Oceti Sakowin camp. “The options are endure the tear gas or trample each other,” videographer Kevin Gilbertt said in reference to police blockading protesters on a bridge at Highway 1806.  “People are being hit with water cannons in freezing cold weather.”

While Gilbertt and others try reassure the protests are peaceful and subdued, Morton County officials describe the protesters as “very aggressive,” claiming they have attempted to start multiple fires at the scene. The mainstream media has run with these reports. However, Gilbertt has been live streaming the event and he says the fires were not set by the protesters.  He says he has the video to prove it.  According to Gilbertt he says the authorities shot tear gas at the protesters.  The tear gas landed in the grass and ignited the fire.  The protesters quickly stomped it out.  During this time, the authorities used a water cannon to spray protesters instead of assisting in putting out the fire.

Considering the danger of the escalating situations around the site, paramedics from Standing Rock EMT continue to remain at the scene as the protesting ensues.

Videos of the chaos from last night can be viewed below. At the very bottom is a live feed from the site.  If the live feed stops it’s because Gilbertt has shut off for time being.

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