For nearly a year we’ve seen the words “keystone pipeline” and the hashtag #NoDAPL trend on and off across social media. We’ve seen peaceful Dakota Access Pipeline protesters overcome hurdle after hurdle, while being hosed and aggressively handled by law enforcement.
On Thursday, in what some consider was a major blow to the movement, authorities cleared the Oceti Sakowin camp in southern North Dakota, near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. This site has been a core station for many protesters since last April.
The deadline to clear the camp was Wednesday at 2 p.m. According CNN. 10 arrests were made yesterday, though several stragglers remained in the encampment today. The Army Corps of Engineers gave those who chose to stay behind one final chance to pack up and leave by 2 p.m. This order was enforced due to seasonal flooding, which is expected to overcome the area within days. There were no major incidents or injuries reported.
While many protesters left the symbolic site peacefully, some defied the order and remained behind. According to the North Dakota Joint Information Centre, roughly 23 people were arrested Thursday morning and a couple dozen were arrested as the cleanup got underway.
According to MSN 220 officers and 18 National Guardsmen swept through the camp in full riot gear. The sweep took over three-and-a-half hours.
“At 2:09 pm, Oceti Sakowin protest camp was completely cleared by law enforcement!” tweeted Morton County Sherif department.
The main protest encampment was packed with tents, many of which were frozen to the ground at the location, which has now become a quagmire.