Protesters and media around North Dakota’s Standing Rock Indian Reservation are being arrested in a attempt to clear the area for construction.
After months of legal filings and appeals, Trump signed an executive order to restart construction for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline last week. The oil pipeline will run through four states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois) and is said to be 87 percent completed.
Against the wishes of several indigenous communities and environmental activists, Trump moved forward on the deal that would violate eminent domain and create irreparable damage to natural resources.
According to the Associated Press, around 75 people remained past the Wednesday (Feb 22) deadline to end protests as law enforcement brought five vans to the scene. Roughly 10 were arrested, although Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol told the AP police would not proceed further on Wednesday evening.
In defiance, new camp grounds on private land are opening up. And pressure is also coming from investors who are divesting from 17 banks financing the construction.
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“We are concerned that if DAPL’s projected route moves forward, the result will almost certainly be an escalation of conflict and unrest as well as possible contamination of the water supply,” these investors, who have a combined $653 billion in managed assets, said in a statement.
“We understand that the banks providing the project finance have contractual obligations to DAPL, but the extreme controversy tied to the project warrants their urgent action.”
Adding, “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has repeatedly stated that they do not oppose energy independence, and would be amenable to a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline that avoids their treaty territory. We call on the banks to address or support the Tribe’s request for a reroute and utilize their influence as a project lender to reach a peaceful solution that is acceptable to all parties, including the Tribe.”