Dallas, TX (TFC) – People from multiple nations, and supporters, gathered in front of the headquarters of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) on September 24, 2016, to bring the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline to the front door of Kelcy Warren, the CEO of ETP, as he brought the pipeline to the front door of the Standing Rock Nation.
Meanwhile, 1,100 miles north of Dallas near Cannon Ball, ND, police dressed in riot gear surrounded the protectors of the sacred lands, and the North Dakota National Guard was activated via a directive from Governor Jack Dalrymple on September 8, 2016. The act of activating the NG was alluded to in an August 19, 2016 executive order, though not stated outright.
In North Dakota, speakers can be heard telling people, or rather the police, that “We are unarmed. We are peaceful. We have every right to be here.”
Back in Dallas, the second round against what Standing Rock supporters call “the head of the snake”, the three mile walk begins to the affluent neighborhood in which Kelcy Warren lives. The crowd handlers from Dallas Police Department were herding the group, ordering people to stay on the grass, off the road, to stay on one side of the street. As the group nears the house of the CEO, a reminder order is issued that protesting with signs is an act forbidden by Dallas City Code, although the code was not offered up by police at the time.
Dallas City Code Sec. 31-34 part b states: “A person commits an offense if he pickets within the city on any public street, sidewalk, alley, or other public property within 200 feet of the property line of the premises of a residence when the picketing is directed or focused at that particular residence or any of its occupants.”
The walkers passed silently by the front of Warren’s sprawling estate, some with their fists in the air and others with peace signs; all in mourning for damage done to sacred lands. Vigilant eyes scanned the grounds of the residence for any sign that the CEO was paying attention to what was happening outside of his house.
Despite the peaceful nature of the gatherings in both Texas and North Dakota, police remained on high alert. In Texas, marked and unmarked police vehicles followed the crowd of walkers or were otherwise placed at various intervals along the route of the walk. In North Dakota, helicopters and ground vehicles, including at least one armored vehicle which had – according to reports by protectors in the area – been equipped with a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD); a piece of equipment used to give announcements or to disperse crowds using high frequency tones which are designed to cause pain. Further inspection of a video from the ground in North Dakota revealed that the vehicle could possibly be a BearCat, and the dish-like device on top to not be an LRAD, but a hatch, which is armored and is used for additional fire support from the top of the vehicle. Although the possibility of the police or National Guard having an LRAD equipped vehicle has definitely not been ruled out.
The standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline is far from over in either location. Protectors in North Dakota are making preparations for winter camp, amid increasing police presence and shows of aggression from the same, including drawing weapons on protectors gathered by a field. People in Texas who are standing in solidarity with Standing Rock are also standing against the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, another Energy Transfer Partners project happening in the central part of West Texas, which leads into Mexico.