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posted by on Wednesday November 23 2016, @03:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the as-not-seen-on-tv dept.

Authorities used rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas, and water cannons against unarmed protesters near the Dakota Access oil pipeline in 26°F (-3°C) temperatures over the weekend.

Indian Country Today reports

"We have seen four gunshot wounds, three of them to the face and head", said Leland Brenholt, a volunteer medic.

[...]400 protesters, or "water protectors", attempted to dismantle a police-enforced barricade on State Highway 1806.

[...]"Water protectors are done with the military-style barricades. We are done with the floodlights and the armored military trucks. We are are done with it!" declared organizer, Dallas Goldtooth in a mid-evening Facebook post.

Their action was met with the same militarized response that the Morton County Sheriff's Department has demonstrated on protesters for weeks: the use of armored trucks, less-than-lethal ammunition, tear-gas, mace, and on this below-freezing night, water cannons.

[...]Reports from a coalition of advocacy groups near Standing Rock report hundreds of water protectors were receiving treatment for contamination by tear gas, hypothermia, and blunt traumas as a result of rubber bullets. One person, an elder, was reportedly revived after suffering cardiac arrest, organizers said.

"As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions," read a statement from the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

A more measured take is available from the AP.

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  • (Score: 2) by iamjacksusername on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:00PM

    by iamjacksusername (1479) on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:00PM (#431919)

    Sometimes that works, sometimes it does not. The point is, you do not want to the be the one who "took one for the team" when that kind of resistance does not work. It's about being able to protect yourself; you cannot protect yourself from inside a jail cell or under a boot.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:28PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:28PM (#431946)

    You pussies seem to be a bit confused on the whole issue of 'civil disobedience' here. The whole point is that you are so convinced that you are right that you are willing to break the law, accept the consequences and hope the public see this moral conviction and eventually come to agree with you.

    1. You can't actually beat the government at the violence game.

    2. You WILL get the shit beat out of you if you try.

    3. You can win, but only if your cause is truly just AND the decisonmakers are basically just. Don't make the mistake that just because that in Western style governments the people rule in theory that they always do in fact. Especially in the short term.

    The implications of these realities should be simple enough to grasp, especially with history as a guide.

    MLK and Gandhi succeeded because they judged their situations rightly and they, along with their followers, were willing to pay the price required. They understood that the demands they were making were just, that most Americana (MLK) and Brits (Gandhi) would eventually see the violence, ask why people were willing to stand there and take it and eventually come to the right conclusion. They also understood that this understanding would likely take a while, and then take longer to work its way up to the policymakers. They understood the price they would have to pay and they paid it. This is why they are remembered as heroes.

    Now lets look at these protesters. They are not even claiming to be non-violent protesters. They destroy things, they set fires, they intentionally get into fights with law enforcement. They act like they can win at the violence game; dumb move. Then they whine when they get beat up, when that should pretty much be the reason they are there. Dumb.

    So now lets examine their cause and see if it us just, the sort of incandescent righteousness that can win in a non-violent resistance movement. This pipeline project is nearly completed. It first went through years of environmental impact study, permitting and other government red tape. These protesters have an inside track at EPA and an administration very friendly to their cause, and still they couldn't get this project killed. So they are resorting to violence when they lost a political process tilted very heavily in their favor. The claim of a risk doesn't stand up to scrutiny when we consider the 2.4 million miles of existing energy pipeline already in the ground with far fewer incidents per unit of energy / mile transported when compared to any other alternative.

    Summary: Their cause is not just and their tactics are poorly thought out.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:57PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday November 23 2016, @05:57PM (#431975)

      Dang! You almost made me agree with you...
      So I have to nitpick:

      > The claim of a risk doesn't stand up to scrutiny when we consider the 2.4 million miles of existing energy pipeline already in the ground with far fewer
      > incidents per unit of energy / mile transported when compared to any other alternative.

      I'm calling NIMBY. It doesn't matter if 99.99% of the pipelines were magically clean. What matters is that when a leak happens in my back yard, I'm 100% fucked. Nobody cares much unless it's also got explosions or a sad-looking endangered bird. Even then, it's years and years of paperwork, studies and counterclaims, lawsuits between companies, to get a shitty check which won't cover the destruction of the quality of life, nor moving to a place that won't poison the kids long-term.
      Throw in the fact that Indians get the short end of the stick more often than not, and you know why they get pissed.

      But I agree that taking on the militarized US cops while hoping not to get hurt isn't the smartest move.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by J053 on Wednesday November 23 2016, @11:38PM

      by J053 (3532) <> on Wednesday November 23 2016, @11:38PM (#432202) Homepage
      There's also the issue that the DAPL was originally planned for a route north of Bismarck, but the residents objected due to fears that their water supply might be contaminated, so it was moved. Of course, the residents of Bismarck who were complaining were not Native Americans, so...