Early yesterday, activist and journalist Erin Schrode was shot with a rubber bullet by police at the Standing Rock protests in Cannon Ball, North Dakota whilst interviewing a peaceful protester live on camera for Fusion.
She said, “I was standing innocently onshore, not making any aggressive gestures, never exchanging a single word with the police who fired at my lower back from their boat.”
Watch as Erin was shot live on camera. Warning: the contents of the video are graphic.
Erin is one of thousands of supporters from across the country who have joined the protests to block the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). DAPL is a $3.7 billion oil pipeline that would cross through sacred lands of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and threaten the water supply from the Missouri River.
Local law enforcement and supporting agencies have formed a militarised police force armed with riot gear, tear gas, rubber bullets, tasers and large tanks. More than 400 arrests have been made since the start of the protest. President Obama has been derided for not doing enough to aid the situation.
Standing Rock has gained international attention for the clashes between the police forces and protesters, dubbed as Water Protectors, with the police being accused of human rights violations for mistreating their jailed protesters.
Erin expressed, "I do not wish to divert focus away from the bravery of the Water Protectors, from the power of nonviolent direct action, from the people fighting for their lives and for our futures – but I want you to witness the indiscriminate use of excessive force firsthand."
Erin spoke at the 2016 One Young World Environment Expert Event in Tuscon, Arizona.
Anna Hohag, a native of the Paiute tribe, also spoke at the Environment Expert Event and addressed how the diversion of her tribe’s water systems damaged their ecosystem and led to devastating effects.