Dakota Access Pipeline protesters burn structures as deadline looms
Feb 23 2017
Prompted by an unusually warm winter, on February 2 North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued an emergency order for the protestors to leave their campsites on the banks of the Cannonball River by 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The months-long protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline project has seriously hurt the revenues of a casino operated by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe - the tribe that initiated the protests as a portion of the DAPL will pass through its territory.
Army Captain Ryan Hignight said the protesters tried to extend the deadline to delay their departure, but the request was denied because, he noted, the Corps of Engineers is focused on people's safety and on the environment.
She took some of the cedar used in that ceremony with her back to the protest camp, where she burned it as she readied to leave for the last time.
"I urge all remaining individuals to immediately vacate the area known as the "Oceti Sakowin camp site" so that cleanup work can be completed before the area is inundated with floodwater", state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement.
Activists are concerned that the pipeline, which will carry oil from North Dakota through the Dakotas and Iowa to IL, will threaten the environment and sacred sites. Many paid a heavy price, with more than 700 arrested since last August, including Castle, who is fighting a felony charge of inciting a riot.
"People are being very mindful, trying very hard to stay in prayer, stay positive", Nestor Silva, of California, said. Melting snows could flood the area and contaminate nearby rivers if debris and human waste at the camp aren't hauled away, the officials have said.
At least one person was injured Wednesday after protesters set fire to a handful of wooden structures at the makeshift campsite.
"One of the biggest environmental threats to the Missouri is the camp itself", Burgum said.
"There are certainly those that are planning to stay", Herr said.
Dakota Access pipeline protesters are ceremonially burning some of their living structures ahead of the closure of a longstanding camp in North Dakota.
Archambault said Monday he continues to ask that there be no forced removal of remaining campers.
The Corps and the governor say they would rather there were no arrests. But law enforcement officials say they expect some protesters won't leave without being arrested.