141 Arrests as Police Clear Protesters from Dakota Access Pipeline
The standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is heating up as protesters say they are far from letting a $3.7 billion construction project that would bring oil across four states continue on.
The unrest has been rising over the months-long protests that landed actress Shailene Woodley in jail, but on Oct. 27, tensions boiled over when police showed up in armor and Humvees to remove them from the site, arresting 141 people in the process.
Authorities said that the majority of those arrested were charged with trespassing on private property.
Both the police and the protesters have been criticized for their aggressive tactics during the protests. Police have deployed bean bags, pepper spray and unleashed a high-pitched siren as they tried to disperse the crowd. Protesters lit debris on fire and threw Molotov cocktails.
Two people were arrested for allegedly firing gunshots, one near officers and another near a bridge north of the protesters’ main camp.
By nightfall, police had cleared the area and pushed protesters to the site of a previous encampment. The law enforcement vehicles lingered that night as trucks towed burned cars from the site.
The DAPL project had been protested since the beginning. Those who are opposed to the project say that it threatens the environment and will destroy Native American burial sites, prayer sites and artifacts.
Supporters of the DAPL call it an economic boom that will create jobs and make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil.