In a spate of protester violence over the weekend, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their environmentalist allies again launched an assault on law enforcement in Morton County in an attempt to illegally occupy private property resulting in a confrontation with police.
Protesters are now mainly located on land south of the Cannon Ball River, but have erected barricades to prevent law enforcement from crossing a bridge over the Backwater which leads to the main protest camps. From there they amassed in an attempt to reach the site where Dakota Access construction equipment and workers are located.
This recent action sadly does not come as a surprise. The fires set by protesters this weekend to inhibit law enforcement activities are not new images.
In light of this rapidly deteriorating security situation the MAIN Coalition is incredulous at the lack of federal response from Washington, who has until today refused aid to North Dakota law enforcement. By delaying the issuance of the necessary easement for Dakota Access to cross Lake Oahe, despite a finding of No Significant Impact by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal government has created an environment where protest escalation and further violence is allowed to flourish. At this late stage, despite a small influx of Customs and Border Patrol agents, without the issuance of an easement, we fear that we can only expect more of the same.