Speed Reads

dakota access pipeline protests

Facing evacuation order, Dakota Access pipeline protesters split on leaving, standing their ground

Dakota Access pipeline activists are just hours away from a Wednesday afternoon deadline to leave the camp they have held since last summer, The New York Times reports. "We prefer to handle this in a more diplomatic, understanding way," Morton County sheriff's spokeswoman Maxine Herr told ABC, not ruling out the possibility of massive arrests.

"Some of them are definitely going to stay," protester Chase Iron Eyes told The New York Times on Tuesday. "Some people are going to stand in prayer. Others may try to engage others in civil disobedience, but nobody's armed and nobody's going to aggress the cops or do anything that would cause harm." Iron Eyes added that he would leave at the imposed deadline.

The protesters have spent months fighting back against the construction of the pipeline, which passes through sacred Standing Rock Sioux lands as well as beneath the tribe's water supply. The protesters tasted brief victory late last year when the Army Corps, under former President Barack Obama, said it would review the environmental impact of the pipeline, but President Trump ordered the study to be dropped and construction to resume.

"There's obviously despair," protester Ellie Davis told CNN affiliate KFYR-TV in Bismarck. "There is like a deep sadness. ... This was beautiful what was built here."