Hundreds of police with heavy military gear have moved Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from their campsite on private land in North Dakota. The long-brewing conflict stems from concerns by the local tribes and protesters over the construction of a $3.7bil oil pipeline.
Hidden behind masks, police in riot gear came face-to-face with Dakota Pipeline protesters.
Standing Rock Sioux member Frank Bull Head says, “We are sick and tired of being pushed on, the government doesn't have to answer to nobody, but they forgot about our treaties.”
Earlier this week, protesters, also known as protectors of water, used hay bales and buses to block access near the pipeline's path.
“Enough is enough, it's our turn to put a blockade up if they want to do that to us. It's kind of like a chess game so that's why they're doing this.”
Morton County Sheriff's office deployed officers to remove the roadblock over the weekend after claims the protesters escalated unlawful behavior. Reports say at least 120 people were taken into custody for participating in a demonstration.
Photographer Peter Pawlowski says, “They have this aggressor coming after them with no consideration of culture no consideration of legal law, and to see that as my protector of my nationality is shameful.”
The conflict has been brewing for months. Protesters say the construction of the pipeline will threaten the environment and desecrate Native American burial sites.
“Those armored vehicles up there, they're are watching, helicopters. I don't know what the outcome is going to be but I know it isn't going to be good for us, but we are still going to fight.”
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier expressed outrage at reported violations of his people's civil liberties and is asking for the United Nations to send troops to protect his people.