Thursday, February 23, 2017
Get Over It, Pipeline Protesters Lost!
LOL: Police Arresting Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Who Won’t Leave
Photo by Stephen Yang/Getty Image
100 protesters left voluntarily, but there were still between 25 to 50 protesters remaining in the Oceti Sakowin camp site; if they refuse to leave they will also be arrested. Oceti Sakowin was the camp closest to where the Dakota pipeline will plunge underneath the Missouri River. 10,000 people were gathered at the camp at one point. Protesters burned wooden structures at the camp before they left.
The Chicago Tribune reported, “Eighteen National Guardsmen and dozens of law officers entered the camp from two directions shortly before midday Thursday, along with several law enforcement and military vehicles. A helicopter and airplane flew overhead.”
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum stated, "Anybody that's there is trespassing, so anybody that's there is breaking the law. Anyone who obstructs our ability to do cleanup will be subject to arrest. You know that our big ask for tomorrow is anyone remaining in the camp, we want to make sure that they know they have an opportunity to voluntarily leave. Take your belongings, remove anything that may be culturally significant and we'll help you get on your way if you need to do that."
North Dakota Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tom Iverson said that the protesters were given two extra hours to leave on Wednesday; he added that law enforcement officials were approached by "agitators" who approached the law enforcement line "provoking them." North Dakota officials even offered to bus protesters to a travel assistance center, where they could stay and be fed.
The Seattle Times reported, “Police also had a SWAT vehicle on hand Thursday in case of what Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson described as a worst-case “SWAT scenario” — an armed person barricading themselves in a structure in the camp.”
Iverson stated, "We knew this day was going to come.”