A 21 year old Bronx woman went to North Dakota to join hundreds of protesters and Native Americans fighting to save their land from environmental disaster as greed is pushing to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Sophia Wilansky was hit with a concussion grenade and rubber bullets when law enforcement agents decided to attack over 400 protesters with water cannons in freezing temperatures claiming they were starting fires and throwing fuel canisters.
Donna Hushka, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, confirmed to journalist Jenni Monet that law enforcement had used water as “crowd control” against the protesters, who had also started multiple fires around the barricade. Fire trucks at the scene doused those fires and the land around them to prevent them from spreading, she wrote.
Jade Begay, a spokeswoman for the Indigenous Environmental Network, told The Guardian that two bonfires were lit by activists for warmth and cooking, but that any others were started by weapons from law enforcement.
Her father, Wayne Wilansky, told the Daily News, “In America. She’s hit with a grenade. She’s not in Iraq or Afghanistan … And they’re trying to kill her.”
A medical Gofundme campaign was opened yesterday for Sophia and in 21 hours has raised over $225,000.
Sophia, you’re in our thoughts.