North Dakota police are dousing anti-pipeline protesters with water in sub-freezing weather

Police in North Dakota douse protesters with water cannon
(Image credit: Twitter/@IENearth)

On Sunday night, law enforcement officers in North Dakota clashed with Standing Rock Sioux protesters and their allies in the fight to block the Dakota Access pipeline near the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806 outside Cannon Ball. The Morton County Sheriff's Office said that about 400 protesters pushed aside a burned-out truck blocking the bridge on Sunday evening, and a line of police then formed to block the protesters from crossing. Video posted by medics on the scene appeared to show police shooting water cannons and tear gas at protesters, with temperatures below freezing.

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Self-identified medics also say some of the protesters have been wounded with rubber bullets, and one organizer said the Cannon Ball gym has been opened to treated people hit with water or tear gas in the sub-freezing night. The Standing Rock Sioux and environmental advocates say the 1,200-mile pipeline could contaminate water that the Native Americans rely on for drinking water, as well as endanger sites that are sacred to the tribe. On Friday, Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the pipeline, said the company is unwilling to reroute the conduit to address protesters' concerns.

The Backwater Bridge is near where the protesters were forcibly removed from Energy Transfer Partners–owned land in October.

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