Dozens arrested in 2 states in Dakota Access pipeline protests
30 arrested in Iowa, 8 arrested in North Dakota
Thirty activists protesting the Dakota Access pipeline were arrested in Boone, Iowa, on Wednesday, while chanting, "This is what democracy looks like," according to the Des Moines Register. The activists are demonstrating against the construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline.
The protesters attempted to form a human chain and block four entrances to the construction site in Boone. A representative for the contractor for Dakota Access, Precision Pipeline, asked the protesters to leave. Authorities repeatedly told the demonstrators they could leave without being taken into custody. All of those arrested were people who refused to move, the Register reports. Major Randy Kunert of the Iowa State Patrol said the arrests occurred at the construction staging site.
Crystal Defatte, a stay-at-home mother from Bettendorf, Iowa, was arrested as she stood with other protesters against the project.
"Every year you hear about oil spills. I don't want oil in the water that my children drink," Defatte told the Register. "This is a moral responsibility for me."
Dakota Access officials did not comment on the arrests.
North Dakota protest
About 50 people gathered near St. Anthony, North Dakota, to protest the pipeline, according to the Bismarck Tribune. Protesters closed Highway 6 in Morton County for several hours during of Wednesday's protest. Eight people were arrested.
A Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man spent more than six hours attached to a digger at a Dakota Access pipeline worksite, the Tribune reports.
According to the Tribune report, Dale American Horse Jr., of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, stood on the digger with his arms secured in a curved PVC pipe contraption known as a lock box, which encircled the equipment. He would chant, "Mni wiconi," meaning "water is life."
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said at a news conference the pipe was secured with tar, grease and chicken wire.
"I'm feeling pretty sad at the state of North Dakota for defending the oil companies and oppressing the people," American Horse told KFYR TV.
Six of the eight people arrested in North Dakota were from out of state, according to KFYR TV.
"All these other individuals who don't live here are going to go home and go to different locations, but we're still here trying to be neighbors and making sure that our relationships are not damaged in this," Kirchmeier told KFYR TV.
Since mid-August, 37 people have been arrested in connection with pipeline protests in North Dakota.
Dakota Access pipeline
The 30-inch pipeline will carry about 450,000 barrels of oil per day. The pipeline will begin near Stanley, North Dakota, in the Bakken oil fields and end in Patoka, Illinois. From there, the oil can be sent to the Gulf Coast or shipped to other markets via another pipeline, the Register reports.
The pipeline moves through ancestral land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the tribe has mounted protests against the project, according to a Yahoo Finance article.
Environmental groups say the pipeline, which would travel under the Missouri River, would pose a threat to the environment, public health and to the tribe's way of life.