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BISMARCK, N.D. Developers of a $3.8 billion, four-state oil pipeline halted construction Tuesday while law enforcement and tribal leaders in North Dakota met to discuss a resolution to a protest of the project.
Hundreds of protesters from three tribes and their allies stopped construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for the second day in a row Wednesday, but law enforcement and private security are now preparing to amp up their presence.
The Standing Rock, Rosebud and Lower Brule Lakota tribes have been resisting the pipeline since it was approved by the U.S. Senate in January and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in July, building sacred camps on the pipeline’s proposed path to pray, hold ceremonies on horseback and push back workers and police protecting the construction…
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says he met with tribal leaders to “negotiate peace” to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Dakota Access filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday against protesters. Dakota Access’ complaint alleges protesters are putting the safety of workers and law enforcement at risk.
The sheriff says 28 protesters have been arrested since last week for interfering with the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline that’s designed to carry North Dakota crude to Illinois.
“You give them an inch, they take a mile,” said Olowan Sara Martinez of the American Indian Movement in a Facebook video. Many of the protesters have broadcast their messages on social media in an open call to other tribes to join in. “It’s in our history. We don’t wanna give them an inch. We don’t wanna give them a mile.”
Morton County deployed police, highway patrol and G4S personnel to dispel the gathering, reportedly bringing tear gas because of rumors that the protests were violent. The Indigenous Environmental Network said that all actions were peaceful and that participants were trained in nonviolent direct action tactics.
Jennifer Baker, a lawyer for the Yankton Sioux tribe, told teleSUR in July that authorities are trying to break up the solidarity between tribes as a divide and conquer tactic.
Kirchmeier says the peace talks will be ongoing. He says construction is slated to resume Wednesday. Police have arrested 28 since last week, and a local resident wrote on Facebook that G4S is planning to provide backup security this weekend and that “it’s supposed to get bad this weekend.” G4S did not respond to requests from teleSUR for confirmation.