Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Reports emerged Tuesday that the National Guard had sent two surface-to-air missile launchers to a "critical work site" for the controversial pipeline, which water protectors said appeared to be guarding a drill pad. (Photo: Facebook/Daily Beast)

DAPL Tensions Heat Up as National Guard Deploys 'Observational' Missile Launchers

Meanwhile, the pipeline's parent company seeks to block the full environmental review ordered by corps last year

Nadia Prupis

The National Guard has deployed missile launchers to a "critical" Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) site, while the pipeline's parent company seeks to quash an environmental review of the project—two developments that hint at the possibility of renewed tensions between DAPL's opponents and state authorities.

Reports emerged Tuesday that the National Guard had sent two surface-to-air missile launchers to a "critical work site" for the controversial pipeline, which water protectors said appeared to be guarding a drill pad. National Guard spokesman William Prokopyk told the Daily Beast the missiles were not armed and had no authorization to be, with the Morton County Sheriff's Department adding in a Facebook statement that they were "strictly for observation of ungoverned encampments to help protect private property and maintain public safety."

Still, the presence of military weapons is likely to increase tensions between authorities and the Standing Rock Sioux, who have camped out at the North Dakota construction sites for months to prevent the pipeline from being completed. At least three people were arrested and tear-gassed earlier this week during a prayer walk at the proposed Missouri River drill site near Cannon Ball.

Law enforcement and private security teams have been lambasted for their violent crackdowns on the peaceful protesters, including using attack dogs and impact munitions.

The Beast's David Axe noted:

The Avenger is foremost a weapon of war. It combines a Humvee truck chassis with a rotating turret that can be armed with eight Stinger missiles and a .50-caliber machine gun. The North Dakota Army National Guard's 1st battalion, 188th Air Defense Regiment—which has companies in Bismark, Fargo and Grand Forks—operates Avengers.

Meanwhile, the company behind the project, the Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), has reportedly asked a federal judge to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from launching a full environmental review of the pipeline's crossing of a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune reports:

ETP wants any further study put on hold until Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., rules on whether ETP already has the necessary permission to lay pipe under Lake Oahe—the reservoir that's the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

ETP wants to block further study so that the decision on the permitting, which is likely weeks away, will be "free from the risk that its ruling will be frustrated or thwarted by new governmental actions." The corps did not immediately respond to ETP's request.

The effort comes after a significant victory for the Standing Rock Sioux, when the corps in December denied ETP a construction permit until a full review could be carried out.

Water protectors have been urging supporters to lobby the corps to conduct a full review before President-elect Donald Trump, who has officially come out in favor of the pipeline, takes office.

Reuters reported in December that Trump's advisers may push to privatize Indigenous lands for easier access to oil and gas reserves.

Chase Iron Eyes, a Native American activist and attorney, tweeted in response to the news, "Until DAPL is gone. Until the blockade & most militarized corp law enf since Occupy, Ferguson & Wounded Knee is gone, we will stand & fight."

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

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo