Final Protesters Removed From Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp
Feb 27 2017
They were charged with physical obstruction of a government function, a Class A misdemeanor.
Law enforcement tells us they had intel there could be violence hiding in the camp or on hillsides. Authorities said about 20 fires were set and a 7-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were taken to hospitals to be treated for burns.
Some protesters were helping with cleanup efforts.
Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday when authorities closed the camp on Army Corps of Engineers land in advance of spring flooding, but several dozen refused to go. "It's our desire that people leave voluntarily".
"It's waking people up", she said in front of a friend's yurt where she has been staying. The services will be available through 5 p.m. Thursday.
Burgum has said those remaining at the camp can still leave without facing charges. "We have to leave our second home", he said.
"This isn't going to be over today; we all knew that", Iverson said Wednesday afternoon.
Energy Transfer Partners says in court documents that it has finished drilling under Lake Oahe in North Dakota and will soon be laying pipe under the Missouri River reservoir. "As long as there's a fight to be had here, I'm willing to stay and work and be a part of it. Cause the people that have been arrested, that fight isn't over with". The state offered transportation to the Bismarck center to anyone who wanted it.
As officers cleared a section of camp, backhoes and other heavy equipment began demolishing structures and clearing debris.
National Guard soldiers and dozens of officers entered the camp shortly before midday Thursday, shortly after police said Corps officials had met with camp leaders.
Construction on DAPL was temporarily paused in September 2016 after President Barack Obama ordered a construction halt, but resumed after newly inaugurated President Donald Trump issued an executive order permitting the construction of the DAPL, along with another controversial pipeline project, Keystone XL.
"I'd like to give Trump a bottle of oil and make him drink it", Sun Bear said.
The 1,170-mile (1,885 km) line, built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, will move crude from the shale oilfields of North Dakota to IL en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where many USA refineries are located.
Even as the pipeline completion date nears, many at the camp were still hopeful construction could be stopped through the courts.
"The camps will continue", she said.
In mid-February a United States federal judge rejected a last-ditch legal challenge to the controversial project from the Cheyenne and Standing Rock Sioux tribes. The next court hearing is scheduled for February 28. And hundreds of protesters remain in the area.
Law enforcement says they want to avoid conflict. Opponents believe the pipeline will harm the environment.
Law enforcement proceeded cautiously before entering the camp, first assessing the situation through surveillance and monitoring social media feeds.
Sen. John Hoeven, who joined Burgum and other officials at the news conference, said law enforcement has shown "incredible restraint" in hard circumstances. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux. "I couldn't sit in an office while people are being harassed".
Madeline Merritt of Los Angeles was among volunteers helping to clean the camp this week. A motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.