Protesters, including hundreds of Native Americans supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, caused work to stop this week on the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, a Keystone XL pipeline rival.
About 28 people, including tribal chairman Dave Archambault, have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, The Bismarck Tribune reported. At least 500 to 600 protesters are involved, with many from about 25 or 30 tribes arriving by busloads to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Protesters object to the pipeline's crossing of the Missouri River near the reservation boundary, fearing it could rupture and contaminate water and disrupt sacred historic sites, the Tribune said.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said work was stopped Monday after protesters surrounded machinery at the site. Law enforcement, as well as tribal and state officials, were discussing how to manage the protest.
“Basically, what we talked about at the meeting was how to de-escalate tensions between the pipeline workers and the protesters, and us, I guess. One option is to give them more land and more comfort, room for tents, water, a dumpster, that kind of thing,” Kirchmeier said, according to the Tribune.
The $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, Indian Country Today reported.
The pipeline is planned to run within a half-mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, and tribal officials say it will disturb burial grounds and sacred sites.
"We don't want this black snake within our Treaty boundaries," Archambault said, according to Indian Country Today. "We need to stop this pipeline that threatens our water. We have said repeatedly we don’t want it here. We want the Army Corps to honor the same rights and protections that were afforded to others, rights we were never afforded when it comes to our territories. We demand the pipeline be stopped and kept off our Treaty boundaries."
Also known as the Bakken Pipeline, the 1,172-mile project is just seven miles shorter than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which was scrapped after protests and a presidential review, Mother Jones reported.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.