#NoDAPL protesters dig in amid fears of law enforcement raid
MORTON COUNTY — With teepees, tents and outdoor kitchens, protesters are digging in at a new camp directly atop the Dakota Access Pipeline route in Morton County.
Responding to what they see as an “imminent threat” that the pipeline will cross the Missouri River, about 200 people have staked out on land purchased by Dakota Access last month and are trying to reclaim it through reference to an 1851 treaty with the Lakota and Dakota tribes.
Law enforcement is calling the new encampment illegal but has not made a move to clear people from the land. Meanwhile, protesters are stating a claim of eminent domain.
Joye Braun, a protest organizer, who recently moved from the Sacred Stone camp to the new northern camp, said the assertion of eminent domain is justified by the danger the pipeline could pose to the water supply and sacred sites she said are nearby.
“When they do (eminent domain) for a utility, they say it is for the betterment of the people,” said Braun, indicating the pipeline “is not for the betterment of the people, not only our people, but the 18 million downriver.”