The most accurate picture of the Dakota Access showdown is on social media.
On Thursday, police and soldiers armed with militarized gear bore down on a large group of people opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline in Cannonball, North Dakota. They arrested 141 people.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department announced it would be “taking steps to remove the illegal roadblocks and protesters trespassing on private property near Highway 1806.” On Sunday, the people who call themselves “water protectors” proclaimed their right to occupy that property, calling it “unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.”
According to on-the-ground reporting, the sheriff’s department’s dispersal “steps” included mace and tasers.
As the scene unfolded, Native Americans and reporters took to Twitter and Facebook Live to document it. Some videos attracted more than 29,000 viewers at certain points. As protectors put their bodies on the line, the internet decried mounting injustices.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the action was “well-handled from start to finish.”