Native Americans Protesting Pipeline Attacked By “Goon Squad” Using Dogs And Pepper Spray

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

Attack Dogs, Native American Blood

In a shameful and terrible scene reminiscent of police attacks against civil rights advocates and union busting of the 1920’s, the Dakota Access pipeline company dispatched its “goon squad” which unleashed attack dogs and pepper spray, injuring several Native American protesters. What began as a peaceful protest deteriorated into a new and shameful moment in today’s America, symbolized quite fittingly with images of Native Americans’ blood in the teeth of Corporate America’s attack dogs.


The latest outrage against Native Americans reportedly occurred on Saturday when the Dakota Access Pipeline Company attacked protesters opposed to construction of the $3.8 billion dollar pipeline linking North Dakota’s Bakken Oilfield to Illinois.

Democracy Now! provided on the ground footage of the confrontation that injured several and shows to many a telling picture of how Dakota Access (a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners) approaches those who object to its corporate interests.

The demonstration began with a gathering of perhaps a hundred or more demonstrators advocating their opposition to the pipeline, standing at a road adjacent to a line of bulldozers clearing earth for future construction. Many of those in attendance expressed their surprise at how suddenly construction began, considering the pending legal challenges facing the project. The firm hired security guards and even went so far as to have a helicopter circling the vicinity.

energy-transfer-logoWhen a few of the demonstrators crossed over a barbed wire fence, members of the construction team/security contacted them. Then matters took a turn for the worse.

A few men in hard hats began talking to some who crossed over but, as shown in the below video, one of the construction workers threw a demonstrator to the ground–sparking a confrontation.

Later, the bulldozers pulled back but the company’s “security team” called in reinforcements armed with attack dogs and pepper spray to intimidate and push back the demonstrators. This led to many being bitten and sprayed. One person reported the dogs were so out of control, that even some of the construction workers were bitten.


In the end, the Native American demonstrators succeeded in stopping the construction efforts but paid a price with their own blood. That’s apparently how Dakota Access, LLC seems in my view seems an acceptable way of punishing anyone seeking to protect water quality and livelihoods who stands in their way.

What’s next Dakota Access, rubber bullets and water cannon?

police-dog-attacks-manThe very use of attack dogs against demonstrators shocks many, returning us shamefully to the worst days of the civil rights movement in the United States. Although then it was local governments letting slip the attack dogs, today in this case it is corporations.

Congress should take note of this outrage and forestall any further use of attack dogs against demonstrators through legislation, that is obvious. But in the present I believe executive action by the presidency is necessary to halt operations on this pipeline to protect the public from goon squads such as this. In fact, I suspect there is good cause to investigate and possibly charge Dakota Access for crimes committed against these demonstrators. The civil case is obvious. The company not only allegedly injured these people, but recklessly exposed them to blood-borne pathogens by allowing their dogs to bite multiple individuals.

The opposition to this pipeline among Native Americans and others resulted in what is described to be the largest Native American convergence in more than a century, as reported by

By Darren Smith


Democracy Now! (Photo credit included)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

35 thoughts on “Native Americans Protesting Pipeline Attacked By “Goon Squad” Using Dogs And Pepper Spray”

  1. Traditional hard-line tactics (dogs, sheriff, pepper spray) v. traditional hardline tactics (mass drama, whining, lying, trespassing, flinging of poo and M-80s).
    Hard to know who to believe, the environmental-government establishment or the corporate-government establishment. All I know is that the cost for this festival will be passed along to us, the consumers. Yay.

  2. Update today:

    Judge James E. Boarsberge took action on Monday — despite it being a federal holiday — and ordered the parties to report to a hearing on Tuesday. It will take place at 3pm in Courtroom 19 of the federal courthouse in Washington D.C., the same place where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe asked for the preliminary injunction less than two weeks ago.

    Additionally, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which has been allowed to intervene in the case, filed its own emergency request for a temporary restraining order. It cites the tactics used against the #NoDAPL resisters, about 100 of whom were involved in the confrontation on Saturday.

  3. No, Congress should not take any sort of knee jerk reaction in response to a political stunt by bunch of left wing environmental zealots. They destroyed the property owner’s fencing and then trespassed on the property to prevent the property from being developed.

    We know it’s a stunt because Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! left their high rent studio in the tony Chelsea district of Manhattan to broadcast it. They love nature so much they loaded their audio and video equipment on a carbon spewing jumbo jet and flew half way across the country to record the conspirators violating the rights of the property owner.

    The security force should not have allowed the dogs to bite the conspirators. But enacting some law about restricting how a property owner can protect his property in response to a stunt will only legitimize the wrongful acts of the conspirators.

    Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! and the other agitators need to be held liable for conspiring to commit property damage and to compensate the property owner for the economic losses suffered when the conspirators violated his economic liberty and shut down the project.

    1. Scott, it is interesting that you see this as a matter of people damaging private property. In the many court cases concerning this and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, it precisely the complaint of landowners that they have had their private lands confiscated by a private corporation. Eminant domain claims were used against private landowners to take their property. Their property was simply confiscated to benefit Kelcey Warren and ETP.

      A deeper issue is laid out by the protesters. They are not performing a stunt. They have been protesting for a long time, long before Democracy Now ever came by. Being bitten by dogs, facing down beatings and being pepper sprayed while being under surveillance is an act of resistance which takes great courage. No one would do those things as a stunt. I can guarantee that Kelcey Warren’s goons will be back, up armoured and ready to do much worse than what we saw today.

      The protesters are saying that the earth, the land, the air are common to all people and other life. “Water is life”. They have a different vision than that of capitalists. Just as capitalists have their own ideas (ideas which we seldom challenge because we have grown up in a capitalist system), these protesters are articulating a very different vision of life.

      In this video, Chris Hedges attempts to explain what happens when capitalism runs amok as it has done now in our nation. I agree that Democracy Now has its own issues. i believe they are a propaganda organ of the state built for liberal leaning individuals. However, in the video of the protesters they are showing what happened. In the video I am linking you to, there are ideas being presented. Every person must assess what they see and hear for themselves.

    2. We need more CNN if not Fox News, not Democracy Now! More talk about socks, not stuff that might upset Pleasantville’s pleasantness. Thanks, Scott.

      I would agree the protesters shouldn’t have trespassed, if that’s what they did, but I don’t know that attack dogs as a response to trespass is legal either. Wha’d’ya think, Scott? What are the damages for trespass compared to being bitten by dogs, Scott?

  4. Jill

    A kindred spirit. You are on the money. The biggest problem with alternative energy is that the status quo controls the grid and distribution of energy. A valid problem is the unreliability of alternative energy and the problem of storing it. Fossil fuels and nuclear can be stored and turned on, off, up, or down at will.

    The existing grid in the US is a patchwork of systems that have been added and adjusted for over a hundred years. This grid loses up to 15% of the energy it transports due simply to the inefficiencies of age and convoluted routing. Alternative energy tapping into this mess is next to impossible, when you add the status quo and monopoly of the existing user/controllers.

    There are solutions but without a strong centralized government program the system will continue along with the same old, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” attitude that is destroying America. One solution is to develop hydrogen fueled cars and dedicate solar and wind to the manufacture of the hydrogen needed to run these vehicles. This solves the alternative energy storage problem. Another solution is to require utility companies to incorporate, where possible, an ever increasing percentage of alternative energy. When one looks at the hundreds of square miles of warehouse roof tops, the hundreds of square miles of school roof tops, and the hundreds of square miles of other roof tops found in the southern belt that uses a seasonally high amount of energy for air conditioning, it is impossible to understand why the existing utility companies are not incorporating these hundreds of square miles for the use of solar panels that can augment the basic fuel supplied energy needs during forty to sixty percent of the year in those areas. There is money to be made for these utility companies, if they do it right.

    Dedicated electric charging stations, dedicated hydrogen fueling stations, and peak energy use offset by solar would reduce our use of fossil fuels by more than is needed. The problem is the oligarchs, the status quo, the politicians that are bought and paid for. Unfortunately as long as gas is cheap and big screen TVs are cheap, the masses will be happy. That’s what happened to Rome, free corn and lots of entertainment. Before the French Revolution those in charge made sure that the peasants had lots of cheap wine and tobacco. It was the intelligencia, the newly educated, informed, and aware that gave the world the American and French Revolutions. Then the enlightenment was the transfer of ideas through books. Now it is the internet. Somehow the populace has to become more enlightened. The present destruction of the Republican rear view mirror party is a good thing.

Comments are closed.