10:43 GMT14 May 2021
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    With hundreds of protesters backing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline, authorities have begun arresting demonstrators.

    Using non-lethal tactics, police have arrested 16 protesters. According to the Associated Press, the sheriff's office has reported that all Dakota Access pipeline protesters have been cleared from private property.

    Authorities have called on protesters to disperse, claiming that the demonstration is a public safety issue. Earlier on Thursday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office warned that anyone who refused to leave the private property where the main camp stands will be arrested.

    Protesters have lit a flaming barricade to prevent police from approaching, as authorities use a Long Range Acoustic device to emit a high-pitch warning tone to disperse the crowd. Police bulldozers are reportedly standing by to demolish the camp.

    While the encampment sits on land controlled by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters say that the proposed 1,160-mile crude oil pipeline rightly belongs to them, under the conditions of a treaty signed 150 years ago.

    A number of high-profile individuals have already clashed with authorities. Journalist Amy Goodman was arrested on charges of participating in a “riot” while covering the demonstrations for Democracy Now. Those charges were later rejected by District Court Judge John Grinsteiner.

    Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka were both charged with criminal mischief after vandalizing construction equipment. Actress Shailene Woodley was apprehended earlier this month for her role in the protests.

    On September 9 the US government ordered a temporary halt on pipeline construction, after US District Judge James Boasberg rejected a request from the Standing Rock Sioux to block the pipeline altogether.

    The Sioux have said that the proposed $3.7 billion pipeline will desecrate sacred lands and burial grounds, and devastate local wildlife and water sources.

    The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior released a joint statement: "This case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects."

    Related:

    Bernie Sanders Calls for Obama to Halt Dakota Access Pipeline
    Feds Again Ask for Halt to Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
    US Must Improve Tribal Involvement in Dakota Access Pipeline Project
    Tags:
    Dakota Access Pipeline, US, North Dakota
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