Dakota Access Pipeline showdown: Police moving in as protesters set highway barrier on fire (Updates)

Update: The Associated Press has published some video of the showdown between police and protesters:

Update: Arrests are taking place and police are dismantling the barricade set up by protesters. Some protesters are chaining themselves to vehicles:


Protesters may be losing ground but are determined to get some PR-ready images out of it. These are from Bill McKibben of 350.org:

[End Update]

Police have started to remove protesters who set up a camp in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The camp is located on private land and this week the pipeline’s developer warned the protesters they must either leave or face arrest and prosecution.

Protesters had set up a makeshift barrier composed of hay, wood and tires across the highway. Police arrived in force Thursday morning and created a line of cops which slowly advanced toward the barrier. From the Seattle Times:


A police officer shouted over a megaphone, over and over, that protesters should take their personal belongings and leave: “Walk to the main camp; 0pen the road block. We will not hurt you. You need to come out with your hands raised. Come onto the road. Do not go into the field. Do not approach us with horses. Do not approach us with vehicles.”

Protesters were told they could retreat to the main protest camp on public land but responded by setting the barrier on fire, creating a cloud of black smoke between them and police. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department posted a message on their Facebook page along with images apparently grabbed from a live stream video:

Authorities have repeatedly told protesters they are “free to go”, asking them to move to the south camp. Protesters have set tires on Highway 1806 on fire. Law enforcement are telling protesters to move so they can put the fire out. A Long Range Acoustic device which sends a high-pitch warning tone. It is used to control and disperse the crowd of protesters.


Also today, arrest warrants were issued for two protesters who threatened journalists and trapped them in their car until police arrived:


Authorities say the Oct. 18 attack on the journalists involved protesters taking a reporter’s microphone, blocking a vehicle in which the journalists locked themselves, and shaking and hitting the vehicle. Law officers eventually rescued the journalists after they called 911.

That incident involved Phelim McAleer and Magdalena Segieda, creators of the documentary film FrackNation. They published video of the incident online last week:

I’ll update this post later in the day as the story develops.

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Jazz Shaw 5:01 PM on December 04, 2023