A large group of Oglala Sioux Tribal members have gone to support a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation, reports KOTA Territory News. The tribe’s resistance to the $3.8 billion pipeline had been quiet, until eighteen people were arrested at the protest site in North Dakota last week.
Opponents to the pipeline say that it would disturb traditional and sacred sites as well as contaminate drinking water as it crosses the Missouri River and other water sources. Dakota Access maintains that the pipeline will have leak safeguards in place and have asked federal judges in North Dakota to order a stop to the protests, which they say are a risk to the safety of pipeline workers and law enforcement.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II was among those arrested last week on the grounds of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing at the pipeline site. Dakota Access has filed a federal lawsuit against the chairman and other protesters. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed its own lawsuit against federal regulators’ approval of the pipeline last month. If constructed, the pipeline would stretch from North Dakota to Illinois.
North Dakota Highway Patrol officials expect traffic delays in the area due to the protest and advise travelers to take a different route. According to the Highway Patrol, there are about 250 protesters at the site, with 30 state troopers stationed there to monitor the situation.
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