Violence Erupts at Pipeline Protest

Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline has come to a halt as demonstrations turn violent over the holiday weekend. 

Related: Dalrymple at Odds with Sioux Tribe Over Pipeline

What had been peaceful protests in the small town of Cannonball Dakota turned ugly after the pipeline company allegedly used bulldozers to destroy sacred tribal sites. Things escalated with guards using pepper spray and dogs to curb the situation.

Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear told CBS news that six people had been bitten by dogs, including children. The oil company accused protesters of escalating the situation by breaking through a fence an attacking workers.

On Tuesday, U.S. Judge James Boasberg granted part of a temporary restraining order effectively halted work for the time being. 

Demonstrators are concerned about the environmental impact of the pipeline, including contamination of the Missouri River, which is the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Tribal leaders are also upset that the pipeline will disturb sacred burial grounds. 

I confronted the man that pepper sprayed me and I said, ‘Did you know you just pepper sprayed a pregnant woman?.’ In the native culture, the pregnant women are held sacred, so to do that against our women and to a woman that is pregnant, that should tell you what kind of character they have. I am a mother. I am protecting another mother. I am fighting for another mother and her children and that’s mother earth.
— Trisha Etringer to

When complete, the 1,172 mile pipeline willconnect the Bakken and Three Forks production area to Illinois and will transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude per day.