Local law enforcement officers have arrested some people who chose not to evacuate federal land near part of the Dakota Access Pipeline north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Most protesters had left earlier. At dusk, police moved back, and said they would not enter the camp at that time.
The governor of North Dakota had set Wednesday as the
for the largest protest camp, which is on a flat area north of the Cannonball River. He cited flooding concerns.
Protesters supporting members of the Standing Rock Sioux, many of whom believe the pipeline’s route under a section of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe will endanger drinking water, have been living on the land for six months or more. They have erected shelters and organized supply systems for food and water, even as winter brought freezing temperatures and feet of snow.
As the 3 p.m. ET deadline approached, some demonstrators prayed while others took down some shelters and set fire to things they were not carrying out. Rain falling on law enforcement and demonstrators turned to fat snowflakes.
“It looks like a trash pile. But it’s getting picked up and every spot is starting to look better and better as we work together,” Dotty Agard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe told Amy Sisk of Inside Energy while sorting through abandoned goods.
“One man used a four-wheeler to help get a car out of the deep mud, and another person rode a snowmobile through the dirt,” The New York Times reported from the area. “Some semipermanent structures had been burned, apparently an effort to demolish them ahead of the deadline. A fire burned, black smoke rising in the cold air, while some people roamed the area.”