Filmmaker Arrested, Protesters Injured as Dakota Access Tensions Mount
Tensions continued to mount in concentric circles around the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Carolina, with the arrest of an award-winning filmmaker and an incident in Reno, Nevada where a driver rammed his pickup truck into a crowd of protesters, injuring five.
But the protest camp continues to grow, with participants digging in for a long, cold North Dakota winter.
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In Walhalla, ND Tuesday, filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, producer of Josh Fox’s new documentary How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, was arrested while filming activists who temporarily shut down a pipeline carrying tar sands/oil sands crude from Canada to the U.S.
“Deia was not part of the group and did not participate in the action, only filmed it,” Fox writes. “Her film footage was confiscated and she is currently being held in jail.”
“Journalism is not a crime, it is a responsibility,” Fox adds. But “arrests of journalists, filmmakers, and others witnessing and reporting on citizen protests against fossil fuel infrastructure amid climate change is part of a worrisome, growing pattern.” He notes that Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, and actress Shailene Woodley have both been arrested in connection with Dakota Access protests.
On Monday evening, meanwhile, “an 18-year-old male driver plowed his pickup into a crowd of about 40 Native American protestors in Reno following an angry exchange of words,” EcoWatch reports. “One woman was hospitalized. Quanah Brighten, executive director of United Native Americans Inc., called it a hate crime.”
Kitty Colbert, 59, of Carson City, Nevada, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while four others were treated for minor injuries at the scene. “He could have killed me,” Colbert said in a video of the incident.
And in Cannon Ball, ND, “ranchers are arming themselves before they climb onto tractors or see to their livestock. Surveillance helicopters buzz low through the prairie skies. Native Americans fighting to prevent an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation are handing out thick blankets and coats and are building maple-pole shelters that can withstand North Dakota’s bitter winter,” the New York Times reports.
“This is where we are, and where we’re staying,” said Retha Henderson, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe from Myrtle Beach who hitchhiked to the Sacred Stone Camp to be a part of the protest. “We’re not giving up.”
While winter is coming, the Times says new supporters are arriving, as well. “A group of Comanche teenagers and their parents drove to a camp from Oklahoma over the weekend to march up a rural highway to land that the pipeline would cross,” the paper states. “A group of 400 Indigenous grandmothers is making plans to come. In South Dakota, people are raising money for 1,000 Oglala Lakota Sioux children to travel to the camps.”
“Something bigger than us is happening here,” noted Standing Rock Sioux tribal historian LaDonna Brave Bull, who helped found the first protest camp in April.