Watch CBS News

Standing Rock Supporters Protest In Downtown Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Nearly 150 people have been arrested for protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Law enforcement officers have fired bean bags and used pepper spray to clear people from private land.

Video of the clashes between police and protesters have spread across social media. It helped inspire a rally here in the Twin Cities this afternoon.

Just after 1:00 p.m. Friday, dozens of South High School students left class and took light rail downtown. There they met with about 200 other protesters.

Protesters say the 1,200-mile pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois, is too close to the Standing Rock reservation. The biggest concern for organizer Mesha Camp, is that the pipeline break could affect the water supply for millions of people.

"My brothers, my auntie -- I've been to Standing Rock. My babies have been to Standing Rock. We believe in the fight for clean water," Camp said.

According to protest organizers, the 2:30 p.m. protest is to create awareness that the sheriff's office has sent and is sending resources and deputies to Standing Rock to use them "against our brothers and sisters fighting for our sacred water."

"I'm kind of angry that they are arresting us and shooting rubber bullets at us for just trying to protect our water," South student Edward Roberts said.

The protest, which was planned for the sheriff's office, moved to the Minneapolis City Hall.

Later, the protesters moved inside City Hall.

In statement earlier this week, the sheriff's office said: "These Minnesota peace officers will assist in maintaining the public's safety, preserve the peace and protect the constitutional rights of protesters."

"There are young children the same age as my daughter being maced and fired upon by rubber bullets," Camp said. "I want to know how that's protecting people."

The sheriff's office faced backlash after images posted to social media Sunday showed Hennepin County bringing resources into the "Lakota Territory near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation."

The pictures, which many found controversial, prompted a petition on Honor The Earth's website calling for the withdrawal of Hennepin County forces from Standing Rock.

dakota pipeline protest minneapolis
(credit: CBS)

"Hennepin County Sheriff's Department Special Operations units have been deployed to Standing rock to join in the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations to protect the water," the petition said.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has since responded, saying its office and others in Minnesota are responding to a request made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Read the entire statement below.

At the request of the State of North Dakota, and as approved by the State of Minnesota, on Sunday, Minnesota Sheriff's...

Posted by Hennepin County Sheriff's Office on Monday, October 24, 2016

So far, the online petition has garnered nearly 4,000 signatures.

dakota pipeline protest minneapolis
(credit: CBS)

Standing Rock Sioux want construction of the pipeline -- worth $3.8 billion -- halted. They say it could taint water supply as well as encroach on tribal burial sites. The protests supporting the tribe and its mission have been going on for months.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.