(CANNON BALL, N.D.) — Some of the last remnants of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp went up in flames Wednesday as opponents of the project set fire to makeshift wooden housing as part of a leaving ceremony ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land.
The camp has been home to demonstrators for six months as they tried to thwart construction of the pipeline. Many of the protesters planned to go peacefully, but authorities were prepared to arrest others who said they would defy the deadline in a final show of dissent.
About 150 people marched arm-in-arm out of the camp, singing and playing drums as they walked down a highway. It was not clear where they were headed. One man carried an American flag hung upside-down.
Others departed the soggy camp earlier in the day. Authorities sent buses to take protesters to Bismarck, where they were offered fresh clothing, bus fare home and food and hotel vouchers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set a 2 p.m. Wednesday deadline for the camp to be cleared, citing the threat of spring flooding.
At the height of the protests, the site known as Oceti Sakowin hosted thousands of people, though its population dwindled to just a couple of hundred as the pipeline battle moved into the courts.
The camp is on federal land in North Dakota between the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the pipeline route that is being finished by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. When complete, the project will carry oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.
Some of the remaining protesters were focused on moving off federal land and away from the flood plain into other camps, said Phyllis Young, one of the camp leaders.
“The camps will continue,” she said. “Freedom is in our DNA, and we have no choice but to continue the struggle.”
To celebrate the June 17th Blu-ray and DVD release of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ryan Ziegelbauer and his team of eight model builders – all die-hard fans of Wes Anderson – constructed the Hotel entirely of Lego bricks.
They spent 575 hours building and designing the replica of the exquisite hotel. To construct the model, more than 50,000 certified Lego bricks from collectors and wholesalers were sourced from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Germany, Italy and 14 different states in the U.S.
“The end of the Tokio Hotel#FIA U.S. Tour. Thank you @billkaulitz ,@tomkaulitz @Georglisting and@Gustavschafer for an amazing journey 💜. Love you guys. To all of our new fans and friends: We loved meeting all of you and look forward to seeing you all on tour again soon 💜💀 stay in touch. Huge thank you to an amazing crew and team for making this incredible production possible.
Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign diplomats gathered at President-elect Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, DC to “to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.” The tour included a look at the hotel’s $20,000 a night “town house” suite. The Post also quoted some of the diplomats saying they intended to stay at the hotel in order to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president.
“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’” said one diplomat from an Asian nation. “Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’”
The incoming president, in other words, is actively soliciting business from agents of foreign governments. Many of these agents, in turn, said that they will accept the president-elect’s offer to do business because they want to win favor with the new leader of the United States.
In an exclusive exchange with ThinkProgress, Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who previously served as chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush, says that Trump’s efforts to do business with these diplomats is at odds with a provision of the Constitution intended to prevent foreign states from effectively buying influence with federal officials.
The Constitution’s “Emoluments Clause,” provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under” the United States “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
The diplomats’ efforts in seek Trump’s favor by staying in his hotel “looks like a gift,” Painter told ThinkProgress in an email, and thus is the very kind of favor the Constitution seeks to prevent.