Nearly a dozen activists were arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline encampment following Wednesday afternoon’s evacuation deadline. About 150 people left the camp voluntarily prior to the deadline, according to news reports. Law enforcement authorities estimate that less than 100 tribal protesters remain at the base camp located on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Tribal leaders say the number of remaining protesters is greater than 300.
Fires are burning as demonstrators ignite the wooden structures and tents erected at the camp.
Last week, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an emergency evacuation order confirming the February 22 deadline previously set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Cleanup crews are expected to enter the encampment on Thursday morning.
“We won,” said Vanessa Red Bull, a protester who spent months at the encampment. “We slowed that pipeline down months and months and months. We cost them who knows how much money. And we slowed them down.”
“This has been a multilayered event that has brought attention to glaring issues,” she added.
OK Energy Today has detailed numerous stories for the past year since tensions mounted over the proposed 1,172-mile pipeline expected to transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. In a show of solidarity, demonstrators flooded the site this summer after the Standing Rock Sioux filed a complaint alleging the proper protocol was not followed for granting the pipeline permits.