Cannon Ball, North Dakota- On Wednesday, November 2, law enforcement desecrated the burial grounds of Alma Parkin and Matilda Galpin, the indigenous women who once owned the Cannonball Ranch. As water protectors held a water ceremony, snipers shot at them from armored vehicles parked around the tree marking the graves.

Photo by Rob Wilson

Water protectors building a makeshift bridge across the Cannonball River were met by riot police firing less-than-lethal munitions at point blank range and indiscriminately blasting OC Spray on peaceful unarmed people. The bridge was torn down per the orders received by Morton County from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Morton County police then unleashed pepper spray and tear gas on water protectors standing in the river with their hands in the air.

A teenage boy was shot in the back by a rubber bullet at point blank range, causing him to cough up blood. He was examined on site by Dr. Jesse Lopez who confirmed that the young man did not go to the hospital. In addition to the young man, two additional people were shot at and hit with rubber bullets.  Over 100 were injured in total and the camp’s medical facilities were overwhelmed.

Photo supplied by Indigenous Environmental Network

According to reports, protectors began falling back from the shoreline in a “domino effect” and medics laid tarps across the grass to treat the wounded whose entire bodies were covered in pepper spray. Many people worked to haul protectors by boat back to the south side of theriver to receive treatment for mild hypothermia and chemical burns.

Photo by Rob Wilson

Police continue to monitor throughout the nights. High powered flood lights have been posted all along the hills surrounding DAPL’s drill pad where they intend to drill under the Missouri River. The pad has been fortified with concrete walls and razor wire as the company works around the clock.

Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council, “Members of our youth council were again among the first to be wounded while in the water today, trying to rescue their relatives from being hurt. I spent an hour washing pepper spray from their hair and faces. They asked me, ‘When will this end?’ I had no answer.”

Linda Black Elk, Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council, “As I used milk of magnesia to treat pepper spray victims, I looked towards the river the sight that met my eyes was horrific. Rows upon rows of white armored militarized police were firing indiscriminately into the water at brown people who were swimming, risking hypothermia, and rowing kayaks and canoes to protect the water and stop a pipeline.”

LaDonna Bravebull Allard, Sacred Stone Camp, “They parked their armored cars on the graves of Matilda Gaplin, Eagle That Looks At Woman, and her are her daughters Louisa DeGrey Van Solen and Alma Parkins who once owned the Cannon Ball Ranch. Next to her is her husband Charles Parkins, and 11 babies. These are famous people for us here in Indian country. Matilda was the only woman to sign the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Louisa was the first school teacher on Standing Rock. I am deeply hurt to see the desecration of their graves.”

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