Last week, a series of peaceful protests against the Dakota Access pipeline ended in the arrests of over 140 demonstrators. North Dakota law enforcement used rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound cannons and rubber bullets on the self-named “water protectors,” causing Amnesty International to send in a delegation of “human rights observers” to keep an eye on the tense situation.

Evidence of the mistreatment of the peaceful demonstrators continues to emerge in the days since Thursday’s intense confrontation. Shocking new video footage shows what appears to be a private security contractor wielding an AR-15 rifle, and members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have since stated that the man attempted to enter one of the main encampments.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! spoke with Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, to discuss the video footage and the escalating aggression by North Dakota law enforcement. According to the water protectors, the man in question had official ties to the DAPL. “Inside the man’s truck they found a DAPL security ID card and insurance papers listing his vehicle as insured by DAPL,” Democracy Now! states.

“It was a very terrifying moment for a lot of us watching, I mean, to see this man pulling an assault rifle at our water protectors,” Goldtooth explains. “I think that he’s a security contractor that has been hired by Dakota Access to guard its equipment, from what I believe, or at least to protect, you know, the workers or whatever it may be.”

Watch the full discussion below:

In addition to the possible infiltration by a private security guard, a brush fire began Saturday night near the main encampment. The water protectors allege that the fire was intentionally set by Dakota Access pipeline forces. Goodman asked Goldtooth about the mysterious fire and the broader forces of repression working against the demonstrators.

“Right now, we’re in a dire situation,” Goldtooth explains. “[T]his movement is not founded out of hate for the police officers or for the workers themselves, but out of love for the land and for all of us as human beings.”

Watch the interview below:

—Posted by Emma Niles

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.