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Sinn Féin TD criticises police crackdown at Native American protest

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has demanded that the construction of a pipeline through its land is stopped.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

SINN FÉIN TD Séan Crowe has hit out at what he described as “brutal tactics” used by the police against Native Americans at a US protest.

The party’s Foreign Affairs spokesman said he was shocked by the actions of police as people protested against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has led protests against the construction which they say threatens their water supply and heritage.

Former US Vice President Al Gore and Hollywood actors Murk Ruffalo and Shailene Woodley have all criticised the proposals in recent weeks.

Crowe said: “Last month, I sent a solidarity message to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are protesting against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Oil Pipeline Protests Horseback riders make their way through an encampment near North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Source: AP/Press Association Images

“Like many others, I’m extremely concerned for the welfare of these protesters as armed police have moved in to disperse the activists. There are widespread allegations of police brutality and film footage from the scene is damning. I completely condemn the use of rubber bullets by the police.

“I want to echo the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe criticism of law enforcement’s militarised response to the protest camp.

Violence

Police in the US said they had arrested 117 people and confirmed two instances of gunshots in the latest flare of tensions over a controversial oil pipeline project.

One person was shot in the hand after being “run off the road by protestors,” said the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Another protester was arrested after firing three shots at police. No injuries were reported.

 

Oil Pipeline Protest Protests have escalated in recent weeks. Source: Jacquelyn Martin/PA

Law enforcement reported incidents of Molotov cocktails being thrown at officers and fires being set.

The chaos began erupting in late on Thursday morning when police started moving in to break up protest encampments on public roads and on private land.

With reporting by AFP

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