Just days after private security for the Dakota Access Pipeline used dogs on indigenous activists, two activists have now locked themselves to excavation equipment at two work sites on the proposed path of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Standing Rock Sioux tribal members and activists from more than 90 other tribes have been peacefully camping near the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for months. But on Saturday—the same day the tribe announced that construction crews had dug up burial sites in the pipeline path—private security with dogs and pepper spray clashed with a group of activists. Tribal spokesman Steve Sitting Bear told CBS News that six people had been bitten by the dogs, including a child, and 30 people had been maced. The Morton County Sheriff's Office said four security guards and two dogs were injured.
Now, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II is calling for an investigation into security guards' use of force.
As of noon today, state troopers were blocking the roadway to the sites where activists say they shut down work. At least eight riders from the Crow Creek Reservation stood in front of one of the locked activists—a woman from Pine Ridge known as Mama Jules—on horseback. An activist in a mask told the onlooking crowd that the action was meant to show solidarity with missing and murdered indigenous women.
"We also think of our sisters who are in prison and our sisters with cancer," the speaker said. "We deserve to live."
When another speaker asked the crowd of activists that had gathered around the stalled equipment who they were there for, Christinia Eala, a 70-year-old Sicunga Lakota grandmother, shouted, "my grandchildren!"
Eala's voice choked with emotion when she spoke about her grandchildren—of which there are 13. "They're so scared that the water's all going to be polluted, and I don't know what kind of world they're going to inherit," Eala said. "And it frightens me."
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka also showed up on-site today to express solidarity with the action.