Bismarck-Mandan, ND – On Thursday morning, a convoy of water protectors drove from the main Oceti Sakowin encampment to hold demonstrations in the nearby Bismarck-Mandan area.
The caravan first arrived in Mandan, to demonstrate outside a Wells Fargo bank branch demanding Wells Fargo withdraw its financial support for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Before the water protectors arrived, there were already dozens of law enforcement officers in riot gear guarding the Wells Fargo. Agencies present included Bismarck Police, Mandan Police, Fargo Police, Morton County Sheriff and Cass County Sheriff. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney appeared to be in command of the multi-jurisdictional force throughout the day’s events.
— Ruth Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) November 17, 2016
As soon as the march of water protectors approached Wells Fargo from the sidewalk, police quickly grabbed and arrested one man who was heading up the front of the march.
A few minutes after the first arrest, deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department grabbed another man down the street and immediately began dragging him across the ground, slamming him to the pavement, and striking him with their fists and feet.
Witnesses told Unicorn Riot that the man was placed under arrest after attempting to hand Sheriff’s deputies a flower that he had picked.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) November 17, 2016
Cass County Sheriff’s deputies continued to brutalize the man, punching, kicking and kneeing him, after moving him near a squad car across the street. The man was heard screaming that his shoulder had been dislocated, and also yelled that he was a military veteran who was having a panic attack.
Cass County Sheriff’s deputies who were restraining and beating the man were repeatedly heard saying “stop resisting” and “stop reaching for my gun.” Sheriff’s deputies and police officers worked to obstruct the view of the beating by creating a visual barrier with their bodies, as well as threatening all eyewitnesses present at the scene with arrest.
A bleeding wound on his head was visible as well as blood splattered on the ground. At some point during the incident, a transparent hood was placed over the man’s head.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney was present for this entire incident. When asked if the hood placed on the man’s head was a form of “hooding“, considered to be a form of torture under international law, Sheriff Laney stated that the bag on the man’s head was a “valid spit hood.”
Unicorn Riot captured some of the arrest and the beating by Cass County Sheriff’s deputies on our livestream:
After demonstrating outside the Wells Fargo location, the crowd of water protectors marched a few blocks to rally outside a Federal courthouse, demanding that President Obama take immediate action to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed.
The crowd then returned to their vehicles, caravaned across the river to Mandan, and proceeded to march, circling the Morton County Correctional Center, where the Morton County Sheriff is headquartered.
The crowd chanted to demand the release of Red Fawn Fallis, a water protector who is facing charges of attempted murder after authorities claimed she fired shots at law enforcement while she was being arrested during the October 27 raid on the Oceti Sakowin 1851 treaty land encampment.
Many water protectors have stated that they believe the charges are fabrications intended to frame Red Fawn Fallis and that North Dakota authorities are targeting her because they believe she is a leader. Many inconsistencies have been pointed out in the Morton County Sheriff’s narrative regarding the allegations against Red Fawn Fallis – such as Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier announcing that no shots were fired on the day of the raid, then later claiming that Fallis fired three shots at officers.
All our livestreamed video from Thursday’s #NoDAPL events in Bismarck-Mandan can be seen below:
Later on Thursday, Norwegian bank DNB announced that it was selling its assets in Energy Transfer Partners. The decision was reportedly made in response to petitions with over 120,000 signatures delivered by Greenpeace and other groups. Greenpeace responded to DNB’s decision in a press release:
November 17, 2016
Largest bank in Norway sells its assets in Dakota Access pipeline
Washington, DC – The largest bank in Norway, DNB, has announced that it has sold its assets in the Dakota Access pipeline.
The news follows the delivery of 120,000 signatures from Greenpeace Norway and others to DNB urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances for the project. DNB recently indicated that it is reconsidering the loan it provided, which amounts to 10 percent of the total funding.
In response to the news, Greenpeace Norway Sustainable Finance Campaigner Martin Norman said:
“It is great that DNB has sold its assets in the disputed pipeline, and it is a clear signal that it is important that people speak out when injustice is committed. We now expect DNB to also terminate its loans for the project immediately.”
“There should be a clause in the lending agreement that deals with human rights violations, and DNB should use it to get its money back and end all involvement in the Dakota Access pipeline. If they don’t have such a clause they must accept they have a bad contract and take the loss.”
Greenpeace USA spokesperson Lilian Molina said:
“The writing’s on the wall for the Dakota Access pipeline. People power is winning. The news that DNB has sold its assets and is considering terminating its loans is a victory for the water protectors who are fighting to stop this disaster of a project. All financial institutions with a stake in the pipeline must quickly realize that financing this project is toxic. It would be smart for them to get out ahead of the growing movement of customers looking to divest from banks that finance the destruction of our planet and ignore Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Citigroup, TD Securities, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and the other banks backing this project should see this as a sign to get on the right side of history.”
Unicorn Riot will continue to provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information surrounding the ongoing struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
To support our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:
Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle #NoDAPL from early summer 2016 to present:
March – May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the “Toxic Tour,” Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple’s email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People’s Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, “No More Stolen Sisters” Demonstration Blockades DAPL Man Camp; 25+ Arrests
- November 16, Despite Army Corps Statement, DAPL Moves Horizontal Drill to Missouri River Crossing