Civil unrest in the Midwest

William Yardley/Los Angeles Times

Protests continue against the Dakota Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies. Statements made by some of the protestors confirms that they will continue to protest the construction of the pipeline into the harsh winter of North Dakota in order to continue to take a stand for their cause.

Already protesters have faced being forced by authorities to leave private property after being asked and told to leave their camping grounds for another campsite off the property belonging to Energy Transfer Partners.

The response was that an army of police departments from the surrounding states came to the scene to force protesters off the private property.

The protesters reported that the officials were using extreme force to remove and arrest people who refused to leave–resorting to using rubber bullets, pepper spray, and other means of force to subdue the people.

Morton County Sheriff's Office/TNS

Morton County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

Protesters were said by authorities to have been using force themselves in their resistance to comply. There were reports of the protestors throwing rocks, logs, at officials as well as rioting.

Three vehicles were reported to have been set on fire by protesters, two of which were equipment owned by Energy Transfer Partners.  More arrests were made when protesters blocked off a bridge by setting fire to signs and cardboard to prevent authorities from getting any closer to the site.

The Standing Rock Sioux feel it is their right to protest the pipeline as they claim that it will endanger their water source and is violating sacred tribal land and burial lands that belong to the Sioux. The pipeline is set to be put under the Missouri river and cut through four states, running from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and into existing pipelines in Illinois.

The land the Sioux are claiming to be sacred are not actually apart of the Reservation, but the Sioux insist that the government didn’t approach the Sioux appropriately during the permitting stage of the project.

Since the temporary halt the Obama Administration put on the pipeline in September, construction has continued on the Dakota Pipeline, authorities have made over 400 arrests and protesters are still standing their ground, determined to stop the construction of the pipe all together as opposed to just having the pipeline rerouted.

Morton County Sheriff's Office/TNS

Morton County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

The pipeline continues to be worked on now, reaching close to being 80 percent completed while protestors continue to push their cause. Since September, the Obama administration hasn’t made any more efforts to stop the pipeline, although President Obama sent his thoughts on the side of protesters.

The people seem ready for state and local governments to make a final decision on whether the pipeline violated any laws while the issues are taken to court.

Construction on the pipeline will still continue, however, even while charges are pending in court. We will have to wait and see what happens next as the winter starts to close in on protesters determined to stand their ground.

Lindsey Huff

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