After a night of chaotic clashes with police on the front lines in a months-long protest, Native American activists complained about the force wielded to drive protesters from the path of a pipeline they contend will desecrate tribal lands and put their lone source of drinking water at risk.

 A handout photo from the Morton County Sheriff's Department shows protesters and law enforcement personnel during a demonstration against the North Dakota oil pipeline project Thursday. (Morton County Sheriff's Department / EPA) via LA Times

A handout photo from the Morton County Sheriff's Department shows protesters and law enforcement personnel during a demonstration against the North Dakota oil pipeline project Thursday. (Morton County Sheriff's Department / EPA) via LA Times

Protesters said that those arrested in the confrontation had numbers written on their arms and were housed in what appeared to be dog kennels, without bedding or furniture. Others said advancing officers sprayed mace and pelted them with rubber bullets.

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