Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested

Morton County, ND – Early Friday morning, a group of water protectors left the main Oceti Sakowin encampment and drove in a caravan to a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site on Highway 6 south of Mandan.

This site was the location of a previous lockdown action which stopped pipeline work for six hours on August 31. Construction was thought to have been completed at this site, as no machines had been active in the area for weeks. However, the morning of November 11, DAPL crews were again working at the site, which was quickly noticed by water protectors who arrived to stop them.

Some DAPL private security and a few Sheriff’s vehicles were present early on, observing the demonstration and talking amongst themselves.

A group of those who had gathered on the side of the road decided to hold a prayer walk onto the easement to join those who had already gathered around, on top of, and inside DAPL construction machines.

A low flying helicopter continually circled over the construction site.

With the majority of North Dakota military and police forces deployed in the militarized zone around the former Oceti Sakowin 1851 treaty camp, law enforcement did not arrive in numbers until about an hour later. Unicorn Riot reporters witnessed two arrests as police pushed people to clear the area next to Highway 6.

As the police pushed the crowd south on Highway 6, it became apparent that the air had been let out of the tires on several sheriff and police vehicles.

Law enforcement changing a flat tire on Highway 6. Image credit: KFYRTV
Law enforcement changing a flat tire on Highway 6. Image credit: KFYRTV

Later in the afternoon, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department posted on Facebook that 33 people had been arrested. They also posted an image that suggests construction equipment had been damaged during the day’s events.

Image credit: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Image credit: Morton County Sheriff’s Department

As these events were unfolding on the ground in North Dakota, news emerged that inside sources had tipped off reporters at Politico that the Obama administration will likely approve the final remaining easement permits for DAPL to drill under the Missouri River within the next few days, possibly as early as Monday. The Obama administration denied these claims, saying “the process is ongoing and no decisions have been made.

The anti-DAPL action coalition Mississippi Stand has repeatedly halted pipeline construction in Iowa in recent weeks. Around 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, several individuals climbed inside a section of pipeline at a DAPL site in Iowa and remained inside until extracted by law enforcement and pipeline security the next evening.

Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information surrounding the ongoing struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle #NoDAPL from early summer 2016 to present:

March – May 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

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