Water Protectors Caravan Shut Down Construction Following No Injunction Ruling

Dozens of water protectors shut down construction at several Dakota Access construction sites two days in a row as oral arguments for a preliminary injunction appeal to halt construction were heard by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. No ruling was issued, but the court-ordered no-construction zone 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe remains in place.

Following the hearing, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said, "We stand together in peaceful prayer and solidarity because this pipeline threatens the lives of the more than 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River for their water… The approval of this pipeline by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a violation of our treaty rights and we will not stop fighting until our lands, people, water and sacred places are permanently protected."

On Wednesday, the group set out in a tight caravan and arrived to a pipeline construction site near State Highway 6. Dakota Access workers immediately fled the scene. The caravan attempted to continue on to another construction site, but were met by police blockading County Road 136 heading west from the intersection of Highway 6, preventing the caravan from driving on a public road.

Protectors held space in song and peaceful prayer for approximately one hour with no arrests made, before leaving the roadblock to pursue an alternate route.  Upon arrival, they found pipeline workers had evacuated.  Police confirmed that construction sites 111-116 had been shut down, securing another victory for the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Police from Fargo, Grand Forks, and Cass County were present, as well as North Dakota State Troopers. A badgeless officer stood in front of a roadblock comprised of police vehicles and stated that the single-file caravan, which followed all traffic laws, was blocking the road from use by potential medical service vehicles. He warned protectors to disperse under threat of arrest.

On Thursday, Morton County Sheriff's Department reported 3-4 more sites shut down by another caravan of almost 100 vehicles. No arrests were made.