Nine protestors have been arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline camp Wednesday as the Army Corps of Engineers started shutting down the area in preparation for work to begin on the pipeline, which has been the center of a year-long protest.
The AP reports that most protestors left the camp Wednesday ahead of the evacuation deadline and that their departure was peaceful. During the day Wednesday, the handful of protestors set some of the wooden structures of the camp on fire as part of a leaving ceremony. As the deadline drew near, 75 protestors who remained began to taunt law enforcement, who showed up with five vans as a precautionary measure. Ten protestors were arrested for refusing to heed orders.
As night fell on the camp, CNN reports that about 50 to 75 protestors remained in the camp and plans on how and when to remove them have not been made. Protestors who left the camp during the day were bused to Bismarck and provided with fresh clothing, bus tickets home and vouchers for food and hotels.
On February 7, the Army Corps of Engineers granted the final easement required to move forward with the construction of the pipeline, following an executive order from President Donald Trump that instructed them to proceed with the project.
While the main camp is in the process of being dismantled and this disheartening project will eventually get underway, protestors have already started to move to other camps in the surrounding area, unwilling to give up the fight. Phyllis Young, one of the leaders of the camp, told the AP “The camps will continue. Freedom is in our DNA, and we have no choice but to continue the struggle.”