Riot police confront demonstrators over the Dakota Access Pipeline. (image: The Intercept, 10/25/16)
While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage.
One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.
Hafiz reports that after a morning of prayer, Standing Rock activists
were attacked by police forces who used pepper spray and beat protesters with batons…. Dozens of officers, backed by military trucks, police vans, machine guns and nonlethal weapons, violently approached the group without warning.
As the demonstrators attempted to leave, the police began beating and detaining them. Several Native American women leading the march were targeted, dragged out of the crowd and arrested. One man was body-slammed to the ground, while another woman broke her ankle running from the police. The military and police trucks followed the protesters, as nearly a hundred officers corralled them into a circle. Among the arrested were journalists—including Hafiz—a pregnant 17-year-old and a 78-year-old woman.
Once jailed, Hafiz and others were refused phone calls and received no food or water for eight hours. Women were strip-searched, two women fainted from low blood sugar and another had her medication taken away.
On her release, Hafiz was told, “Your camera is being held as evidence in a crime.”
That crime, of course, would be journalism. And it’s hard to believe law enforcement would feel so cavalier about treating it that way if more reporters were actually committing it.