Questioning North Dakota Media Coverage of the #NoDAPL Movement

Protesters prepare to evacuate the main opposition camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Most water protectors voluntarily left the camp ahead of a Wednesday deadline.

Early Thursday, officials entered the closed Oceti Sakowin camp after the arrest of 10 people following Wednesday's deadline. Anyone who obstructs those efforts will be subject to arrest, Burgum said.

After construction was halted by the Obama administration, which ordered an expanded review, construction on the pipeline resumed February 9, less than 24 hours after the Trump administration granted a final easement allowing for completion of a segment that would pass under a dammed section of the Missouri River called Lake Oahe.

The standoff marked the culmination of one of the nation's largest and longest environmental protests, which at its peak drew thousands of activists who said the project would threaten the water supply and sacred sites of the North Dakota tribe.

North Dakota officials had strongly encouraged the remaining protesters to leave the camp.

Gov. Burgum issued an executive order for a mandatory evacuation of the DAPL protest site because "unseasonably warm temperatures have accelerated the melt of heavy snowpack and significantly increase the threat of ice jams and overland flooding".

Some protesters set fire to teepees and other structures before they left the camp. Others vowed to stay put.

A boy aged seven and a girl, 17, are being treated for burns following two explosions resulting from the fires.

On what was truly a miserable day, the Oceti Sakowin protest camp crept into the history books.

"I feel as though now is the time to stand our ground", said Alethea Phillips, 17, a demonstrator from MI who has spent three months at the camp.

"You can't arrest a movement".

Officers checked structures and began arresting people, putting them in vans to take to jail.

Hundreds of campers are still occupying the land to protest completion of the Dakota Access pipeline beneath Lake Oahe. They also argued that tribal leaders weren't properly consulted about the project and were concerned that the pipeline would damage cultural sites on their land. While the pipeline is almost complete, over 100 tribal nations stand with Standing Rock in denouncing the evacuation. Roughly 300 demonstrators had remained until this week.

About 150 protesters marched arm-and-arm out of the campsite Wednesday before a 2 p.m. deadline, according to the Associated Press.

Local authorities and private security have faced off with protesters in confrontations that have become violent at times.

"It would raise the alarm and panic and not promote a peaceful process today", Lafferty said. For those who wanted it, they were offered personal kits, health assessments, a food voucher, a night's stay at a hotel, a taxi voucher to the bus terminal and free bus fare for a trip home, wherever that might be.

A federal judge has rejected a request by two Native American tribes for an emergency order blocking the pipeline.

  • Zachary Reyes