Tension flared anew on the Dakota Access pipeline as protesters in North Dakota tried to push past a long-blocked bridge on a state highway, only to be turned back by a line of law enforcement using a water cannon and what appeared to be tear gas, the AP reports. Sunday's skirmishes began around 6pm after protesters removed a burned-out truck on what's known as the Backwater Bridge, not far from the encampment where they've been for weeks as they demonstrate against the pipeline. Police estimated 400 protesters sought to cross the bridge on state Highway 1806. A live-stream early Monday showed a continued standoff, with large lights illuminating smoke wafting across the scene.
The Morton County Sheriff's Department said in a statement that law enforcement officers "had rocks thrown at them, burning logs and rocks shot from slingshots," and that one officer had been hit on the head by a thrown rock. At least one person was arrested. Protesters said a gym in Cannon Ball was opened to aid demonstrators who were soaked on a night the temperature dipped into the low 20s or were hit with tear gas. Rema Loeb, an 83-year-old protester from Massachusetts, says he was forced to retreat from the bridge because he feared being doused with water on the freezing night. Others, he said, needed medical treatment after being hit with tear gas. "It's been just horrible," he said.