Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Security guards confront Indigneous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Security guards confront Indigneous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters With Dogs and Mace

Democracy Now! provides video and photos of a private security team pushing dogs to bite Native American protesters

Nadia Prupis

The ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests were hit with violence on Saturday, as private security forces reportedly hired by the pipeline builders descended on the Native American activists with pepper spray and dogs that bit and threatened the protesters.

Democracy Now!, which was on the ground at the time, posted several photographs and video of the attack:

In the video, security forces can be seen pushing the dogs to charge at protesters, while others raise cans of pepper spray at the crowds. One man shows a deep bite mark on his arm to the camera, stating, "I was walking, he threw the dog at me, straight, without any warning." A security guard on the scene shakes his head at the man, smiling.

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman also separately confronts a woman on the security force, stating, "Ma'am, your dog just bit that protester. Are you telling the dogs to bite the protesters?" The woman refuses to answer.

The tense standoff ends as the security team eventually pulls their dogs away from the crowds and drives away.

According to Indigenous activist Martie Simmons, the ordeal saw six protectors, including one pregnant woman, attacked. The dogs also reportedly bit the guards that brought them in. Standing Rock Sioux tribe spokesperson Steve Sitting Bear also told the Associated Press that a young child had been bitten, and 30 people were pepper sprayed.

Tribal officials also said Saturday that construction crews destroyed Indigenous burial and cultural sites on private land in North Dakota.

"This demolition is devastating," Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II said in a statement. "These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground."

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux and dozens of other tribes from the U.S. and Canada have resisted the construction of the proposed four-state pipeline that, if completed, would transport about 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota to Illinois.

A federal judge is expected to rule by September 9 whether construction on the pipeline must be stopped.

In response to the attack, Red Warrior Camp released a statement which read, "Red Warrior Camp remains nonviolent and unarmed....we ask that supporters keep focus on the fact that this corporation feels justified in using this level of force against unarmed and nonviolent water protectors and the state is allowing it!"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·


US to Offer 'Condolence Payments' to Relatives of 10 Civilians Killed in Drone Strike

The Pentagon statement follows a call for President Joe Biden to "show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all U.S. lethal operations."

Andrea Germanos ·


New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo