Oil Pipeline: Father of injured pipeline protester says she may lose arm

Oil Pipeline: Father of injured pipeline protester says she may lose arm

Activists, who call themselves "water protectors", identified the injured woman as Sophia Wilansky and said she had traveled to North Dakota from NY several weeks ago to participate in the demonstrations.

Wayne Wilansky said his daughter was injured in the left forearm, "taking most of the undersurface of her left arm with it".

"Even though she's lying there with her arm pretty much blown off she's focused on the fact that it's not about her, it's about what we're doing to our country and what we're doing to our native people", he said.

Protesters say the Dakota Access Pipeline will threaten the environment and destroy Native American burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts.

Graphic images of the wounds sustained by the woman, identified by protesters as NY resident Sophia Wilansky, circulated on social media after law-enforcement officers turned water cannons on protesters near a bridge where the pipeline is planned.

A medical fund for Wilansky set up on the GoFundMe page quickly gained traction, and had raised more than $145,000 prior to noon on Tuesday. The tribe is opposed because they say the pipeline would interrupt sacred lands and could contaminate their drinking water if it ruptures.

An organizer with an advocacy coalition called the Indigenous Environmental Network said unarmed protesters gathered to try to cross a bridge and remove a barricade of burned cars Sunday, as the sheriff's office reportedly said they would clean it up and had yet to do so.

Sunday evening tensions escalated between police and protesters against construction of the dakota access pipeline.

Protesters allege that Wilansky was injured by a police concussion grenade used for crowd control.

Organizers of the group calling themselves "Veterans Stand for Standing Rock" are urging other veterans to join them in forming what they are describing as a "peaceful, unarmed militia" at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation for three days, beginning on December 4.

Wayne Wilansky did not indicate whether his daughter would pursue specific legal action against North Dakota officials, but did say the "shrapnel" had been saved as evidence. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said officers reported an explosion in the area, but said they only used pepper spray and water hoses.

Former military officer and political activist Wes Clark Jr.is planning a large and well-coordinated deployment of veterans to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in its tracks. Wilansky said that Federal Bureau of Investigation officers had visited the hospital and collected his daughter's clothing on Tuesday. When the largely imported protesters continued to block highways and damage construction equipment, officials took to using water cannons to disburse them and clear a path.

Fong says state costs have reached more than $11.8 million.

The $3.8 billion pipeline to carry North Dakota oil to a shipping point in IL is largely complete outside of a stretch under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

"The protest Saturday came one day after the tribe filed court papers saying it found several sites of "significant cultural and historic value" along the path of the proposed pipeline".

Wayne Wilansky said police appear to be employing violence as a way to discourage others from joining the protest.



Other news